Repetitive Strain Injury

Pete Sergeant pete at
Mon Jan 15 10:36:20 GMT 2007

Just thought it was worth dropping this to the list...

I used to suffer from fairly bad RSI, and went through a range of
different treatments, from wearing splints to physiotherapy (and a
course of ibruprofen from my GP who told me I was just being silly - I
had to beg her, finally, on the verge of tears, to refer me to a
physiotherapist, who lodged a complaint against her as a result of her
initially refusing to refer me, but that's besides the point...), with
fairly limited results - in almost every case, I was moving the pain
around a bit. I tried a vertical keyboard ( and
some other weird (and expensive) ones ( (both
of those are available for sale if anyone wants them, any price
considered) but again, not much joy.

I've been back in full time work now for 6 months, and can happily type
all day (occasionally, at the weekends, the pain returns, but it's mild,
and goes away quickly). The solution?

Forced breaks. Every five minutes, taking 20 seconds off. I don't have
the discipline or concentration to do this automatically, but I found
two free (speech and beer) software programs that do a good job of it:

Mac, Linux: AntiRSI
Windows: Workrave

The pain still returns consistently if I forget to turn the program on,
or hit the 'ignore' button too many times, but otherwise, I'm typing
just like I was before the onset, including a fair amount of programming
at home too.

I'm also using an Old-Skool Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard. I'm not sure
if that's helping, but they're a lot of fun to type on and make a lot of
CLICK CLICK noises, as well as allowing me to gain some impressive words
a minute :D	

Hope this is useful to anyone suffering from RSI. I wouldn't have
thought the solution (for me) would be quite so simple, but there you go


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