"When my RSI was
at its worst, I was unable to open doors, prepare my own food, do
laundry, drive, write, type, and shake hands. This lasted for half
a year. I was unable to type regularly for about three
I have been dealing with several
forms of RSI, that is, Repetitive Stress Injury which is a type of
injury most serious gamers will probably encounter in some form,
even if it's only a light discomfort.
During the course of my
recovery, I have done a great deal of research and study on what
can be done to heal these types of injuries.
I had to personally develop a plan for myself to try to get on
track to recover fully for the release of Starcraft 2, and so far
things are going well enough for me to try to write this up, so I
would greatly like to share the information with anyone.
I hope to help users with light to mild pain deal with it cheaply
I will cover the topics of workstation layout, posture, exercises
and stretches for the following conditions:
- Tendonitis of the wrist, forearm, hand, and elbow(also known as
tennis elbow or mouse elbow)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Ergonomic Workstation Guide:
When I first found myself having pain in my arms and hands, the
first thing I asked myself was "what has changed?" The
only thing that had changed since before the pain started
happening was my desk height.
The height of my desk was too high
and causing me to have terrible posture, resulting in me putting
pressure on the carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel of my right hand,
and the cubital tunnel of my left hand.
The thing that really
agitated this was the mashing the f keys while resting my arm on
the left armrest of my chair. The major extension of my pinky
really did a number on me, and even as I type this now I can still
I knew something had to be wrong with my workstation, and oh boy
it really was. It was extremely hard for me to access a guide with
extensive knowledge how I should be positioned in all ways for a
workstation. Thankfully my University has an ergonomics
department, and after going through their information, I found a
very comprehensive guide to how to setup a workstation.
There are a number of obvious choices such as split keyboards and
ergonomic mice for maximum health and comfort. According to
Cornell University, wrist alignment is much more important than
Simply put, you can't set a flat work surface at an appropriate
height for the 5 main tasks of office work - keyboarding, mousing,
writing, viewing documents and viewing the screen- these all
require different heights for an optimal arrangement.
negative-slope keyboard tray system serves as the height and angle
adjustment mechanism for the keyboard, and the mouse platform
serves as the height and angle adjustment for the mouse when
attached to a work surface that is set for writing height. Monitor
height is best adjusted by a separate monitor pedestal rather than
trying to move a whole work surface. There are a number of new
split work surface designs that may work quite well to achieve
optimal monitor positioning.
With all that being said, my "workstation" could hardly
even be called such. I rest my monitor on a folding card table,
with my mouse and keyboard on a separate, height adjustable laptop
table. I recently made the switch from a keyboard with scissor
switches (laptop style keys) to a keyboard with mechanical
switches and noticed a great deal of comfort, along with owning
the best keyboard I have ever used.
The point I'm making here is that you don't really have to go all
out to be comfortable in your work station. It's nice to have a
cool looking one but a cardtable and adjustable smaller table for
my keyboard worked perfectly fine for me and cost very little.
If you think you are suffering from RSI, and you have narrowed it
down to a certain condition, certain stretches may be more
beneficial for relieving the stress on your tendons and muscles
than others, but I would personally recommend doing all of them as
a preventative measure. If you any really bad pain during any of
these stretches, you should probably go and see a doctor.
I'd recommend holding these for about 10-15 seconds each, doing
them 3 times a day minimum, up to 10 times a day.
Of course, all stretching is good, so if you can think of any
more, do them! It helps believe me.
The goal in these exercises is to strengthen the core muscle
groups that we use when on the computer.
What you'll need:
- 1lb / .5kg dumbbell
- 2lb / 1kg dumbbell
- Grip Strengthening Tool / Stress Ball
- Rubber Band
For grip strength even a tennis ball works here for or even a wet
rag. Stress balls are pretty cheap at any sporting goods store. I
got mine for around 4 UK pounds. Here's something similar.
Before you try these you should make make sure you have the range
of motion required to perform these exercises, meaning you should
be able to do all of the stretches comfortably. If you have any
sort of pain while doing this you should go back to stretching and
resting. Most would recommend 3 sets of 15 repetitions. I would
say go until you feel a burn and then a little further and then
stop and rest. Doing these every other day should be fine.
Just a random note / trick that I picked up about the rubber band.
If you twist the rubber band between each finger you can have a
much easier time keeping it from rolling up your hand. I had a
much easier time doing the rubber band exercise after learning how
to do this.
With this routine, I have been able to ease my way back into
personal computer use, and I plan on following it for my lifetime
so that I hopefully don't slip into injury again.
Another thing I would recommend doing is going to a nice massage
place. If you are gaming and having complications in your forearms
from playing so much there's no better way to relieve the stress /
lactic buildup in your forearms. I now go once a month to get a
regular massage and I believe that this has helped me out quite a
bit, almost as much as the stretching.
..... very very
interesting. I must say I will fall to this soon since I'm usually
looking really close to the computer, my posture is really bad
,I'm usually hunched over, I sit on beanie bags because we have no
comp stand and my mouse pad is my tower so my wrists are also in
pretty bad shape. I better start to exercising before its too
I do NONE of this
shit. Totally getting RSI any day now..
I'm like a guy with a bee allergy who pisses on hives on the
I dismiss all of
I have never had an "RSI" and therefore I am immune to
them. I'm probably invincible too.
But yeah I'm going to fall apart in a few years ...