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Useful tips from sufferers .. 

"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 years."

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 and effectively.

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 feel it.

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 hand position.


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. 

A 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.



Stretches:

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.

Exercises:

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.

Stay healthy!

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 late..




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 weekend.




I dismiss all of that advice!

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 ...




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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