Experiences with Repetitive Stress Injury?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by simX, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. simX macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    Has anyone on these forums here had any personal experience with repetitive stress injury? I'd love to hear any thoughts about this. This morning I woke up, and for the first time my arms really started hurting, instead of slightly aching. I guess it's time for me to face up to the fact that I have a problem to deal with, here. :\ I'm sitting here at work and I have to do a lot of things with my left hand instead of my right, now.

    If anyone has any experience with stress reducing products, like the Imak Smart Glove (http://www.imakproducts.com/products/smart_glove.htm), I'd really appreciate it (yes, I know about the review on Ars Techinca -- I just want to make sure that other people have had similar excellent experiences, and maybe there's a better product out there).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Yes after many years of using computers, i have finally this year developed a pain in my wrists.

    It started to happen when i stopped using a MS explorer optical mouse and switched to a logitech one. Another factor was i had got a new desk and i had been leaning my wrists on its edge. As soon as i had spent a long time at the computer i would get pains on my hands.

    Now i have 3 wrists pads, 2 for my laptop (bought from shinza.com) and i have changed my mouse to the logitech MX 700 which feels so much better.

    Now i havn't got so much pain as long as i use the smaller gel pads.
  3. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I have a coworker who started feeling a lot of wrist pain. He got some wrist braces which he wears while typing and that helped. He tried using voice input for a while, so he wouldn't have to type at all, but it was just too inaccurate. We had some hilarious AIM conversations while he was trying it!

    Some people use split-angle keyboards, an invention that makes good sense, since they let your arms point toward each other a little rather than forcing your hands to be parallel as normal keyboards do. I tried using my friend's split keyboard for a day to see what it was like. I'm a pretty fast touch typist and I wondered if my fingers and brain could adjust. They did. Once I got used to it, it was surprisingly easy to use.
  4. MacManDan macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2003
    My girlfriend got tendonitis and it wasn't fun. I highly recommend the use of an ergonomic mouse (such as one of those large Microsoft mice) and split keyboard (trust me .. they are significantly better for your wrists than Apple Pro Mice and Keyboards). I think Microsoft has some of the best ergonomic input devices out there, but of course, you have to find what's comfortable (don't flame me please!).

    Another thing to look for is something called Hand-eeze. It's a small tanned-color glove-like thing that's really comfortable and helps relieve stress in your wrist. Look for it in Walgreens (or Eckerds, whichever you have).

    Of course, make sure you're sitting correctly and take lots of breaks. I know I'm repeating everything everyone tells you .. but if you follow them rigorously (I mean rigorously!!) it really makes a huge difference ..

    Sorry, but I don't have any experience with the Smart Glove ..:D
  5. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    I think the most important thing is to keep this in mind.

    If it hurts, stop doing it!

    Seriously. I don't mean stop using a computer forever. Stop and figure out what is causing the pain and change it. Don't just keep working and deal with it tomorrow or next week or wait until the next staff meeting to ask for a pad/gloves/etc.

    Seems obvious but some people don't do that. I've seen people with computer setups that were obviously causing problems (monitor >45 degrees to the side, mouse nowhere near the user, etc.) and they'd been working like that for years, complaining of neck and shoulder problems. Even if I pointed out the obvious cause of their pain, they'd give me a blank look and go right back to work. Maybe they were hoping to get disability or something.

    I've been guilty of using bad setups and always regretted it. Especially the time I set my mouse on a couple of Centris 650s for a couple of hours one day. I didn't think it would matter but boy did the muscles in my shoulder hurt the next day. I also tried typing in bed once. Took about half an hour for my wrists to catch fire. I never did that again. (Also stopped using the computer immediately and gave my wrists a couple of days off from typing.)

    As for wrist braces, pads, etc., I personally think using those to eliminate pain is like treating the sympton rather than the cause. With a proper workplace setup, they shouldn't be necessary. Your wrists shouldn't be resting on anything. If they are, the tendons are rubbing. Doesn't matter if it's a hard desk or a soft pad. Rubbing tendons is bad. Using a keyboard is like playing a piano. Your wrists should be up.

    Split keyboards aren't necessary, either. I don't know why people think that their hands must be lined up perpendicular to the keyboard. Totally unnecessary. You can keep your wrists straight and use a standard keyboard just fine.

    But back to my original point. If it hurts, stop doing it until you figure out what's causing the pain. When you figure out what's causing the pain, change it.

    Just my $0.02.
  6. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    carpal tunnel syndrome. bugs the hell out of me once in a while.
    it was because i used all these mice that were for right handed people, and because i like laptops better than desktops...the pro mice are very nice though :D
  7. MacFan25 macrumors 68000


    Jan 5, 2003
    I'm bound to get a wrist stress injury when I am older. I'm typing or using the mouse all the time. Maybe by the time I get it, it will be easier to treat. ;)
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Are you a "southpaw"?

    Last year, I thought I was developing carpal tunnel syndrome because my wrist was hurting after a marathon programming weekend. So I switched to left-handed mousing for 2 weeks to let myself recover. But it turned out that I had strained my wrist doing something else, nothing to do with the computer. Maybe I lifted my Jolt Cola can too fast!? Anyway, it got better on its own and I'm back to mousing (either either hand) with no trouble.
  9. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    This product works really well.
    I have used it and it seems counter intuitive, but I believe in it.
    Give them a call and a real person will explain how it works.
    Not many companies do that.
  10. FriarTuck macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2003
    Chicago area
    There is a school of thought that many carpal tunnel type problems are primarily caused by sleep position and unconscious fist clenching. Since you "woke up" with the symptoms, maybe that's an avenue to pursue.

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