I’m a long time sufferer of RSI. From the age of nine I’ve spent my life playing video games, riding a bike, playing a guitar or working at a computer. The numbness and tingling started to appear around the age of 17 and has gradually become easier and easier to trigger. I consider myself lucky that I’ve got full use of both hands at the age of thirty, but I’ve always known that full blown carpel tunnel syndrome is probably in my future.
That’s not to say that I don’t try to keep it at bay. I do little stretches, exercises, take lots of breaks and ease up when symptoms appear. I have a powerball that I use as my primary method of rehabilitation, I find it’s by far the most effective treatment for RSI. I practice good typing and playing techniques and try to favour ergonomics where I can but my hands are degrading slowly.
Thursday I woke with a pain in my right hand. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, it’s the final week of the semester, I’ve got a lot of work to finish and exams coming up. I need to be able to type at full speed for the next few weeks. I have regular spells of RSI but its never been anywhere near this bad.
By Friday night the pain was crippling. I was struggling to hold my fork at dinner time. I can’t lift, grip, type or really do anything with that hand, it’s very frustrating. Saturday morning the pain had eased enough for me to be able to have quick session with my powerball. It helped immensely but normally the powerball takes a few days to restore my hands from mild RSI, I suspect that this time it may take quite a bit longer. One of the biggest problems with the condition is that if I just take pain killers and power through with the rest of my work then the damage accelerates.
So for the foreseeable future I’ve not much choice but to rest the right hand and favour the left thankfully I’ve got an abundance of dictation options. I trust that writing and coding left handed wont affect the quality too much.
Lets just hope my left hand doesn’t shut down as well.
For more information on RSI you can start here. http://www.rsi.org.uk/