Sunday, June 29, 2008

RSI is a pain in the wrist

Repetitive strain injury is a serious risk for all coders and for many office workers too. Many of my colleges at my workplace display symptoms of RSI problems and it worries me.

I once went through a period of about 2 months where I couldn't move at all. I could barely move my wrist, opening doors was difficult etc.. all the classic RSI symptoms. On the advice of my family I went to see a physiotherapist and over 2 months I managed to get use of my fingers back. In a very real way I'm still recovering now. While, I can use the computer all week for the normal amount, I still sometimes get pains in my wrists.. this is 3 years later.

RSI is bad new and represents one of those few times in life where panic and anxiety is a reasonable emotional reaction. Untreated RSI can destroy careers and lives. It can cripple for life. A friend of mine had to abandon his Ph. D in computer science and pretty much change his entire career plan. This same friend has written a short article about what he's learned battling RSI.

One big tip is stop typing! Don't type through the pain!

Being unable to type for 2 months is much less of an issue then being unable to type for the rest of your life.

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