RSI exercises for prevention should be part of everyone’s exercise routine these days. RSI has been known to develop from as little as 2 hours per day computer use, which is not unusual in most secretarial and IT jobs, let alone Ebay and online game addicts. By the time you start feeling pain, the damage has already begun, and the only options are initially rest, reduced work, and gentle exercise.
Despite my terrible habit of lying in bed with my laptop on my knees, it was not my back that suffered, but my fingers. To me, the trackpoint on my laptop caused my pointer finger and thumb more stress than other fingers, plus my tendency to rest my wrists on the laptop. So, my changes were cutting down the number of hours online, assuming a more ergonomic position, adjustments such as using keystrokes and tabbing instead of the trackpoint, alternating hands and use of a mouse, resting my tense fingers, and gentle exercise.
The Medical Journal of Australia this year reported a 13 year old girl developing tendonitis after sending 10 text messages per day for a month. And the American Society of Hand Therapists has warned of an increasing incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis from overuse of handheld devices.
Some actions that brought me relief include:
- Soaking hands in water
- Doing all actions gently
- Shaking arms loosely
- Gently stroking the knuckles
- Cutting down the hours online
- Manipulation of the neck vertebrae
- Arm and hand stretches
- Cortisone injections for inflammation of tendons
- Resting the limbs, from six weeks to many months
More importantly, suggestions for prevention include:
- Correct posture, with neck and shoulders held straight
- Better time management
A truly excellent online resource for RSI exercises is My Daily Yoga RSI Exercises, also Typing Injury FAQ, in particular the Information page.
I strongly recommend doing the RSI exercises at the Daily Yoga site, and also checking out the ergonomic accessories and mouse alternatives at the Typing Injury site. Good luck.