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McEs, A Hacker Life
Thursday, January 29, 2009
 Dear Lazyweb: RSI therapy around Toronto

I've wanted to ask about this for years: Anyone knows any doctors around Toronto who know what to do about RSI? A few years ago I had wrist issues but got over that. These days my fingers are killing me... Constant pain, even when I'm not typing... And yes, I have good keyboard, I take regular breaks, I stretch, I use stress balls, ...

Thanks in advance.


Home treatment (might work, might not):

- Take a *complete* break from typing (or any wrist motion) from a few days
- Wrap your wrists in tensor bandages to stop them from moving.
- Hot-pack/cold-pack alternation (or hot/cold water)
- Take the max. daily dose of Advil (to reduce swelling)
- Make sure you aren't sleeping on your arm/write in a way that might impinge your nerves.

If that doesn't work, go to your doctor (you might be able to get a steroid shot or surgery). Since it's Toronto, you are covered by our wonderful healthcare system. :)

It might not be RSI either - there are a number of other conditions that present as wrist/finger pain/numbness. It could even be a case of neck tightness.
You've probably looked into it ... but I've found that most of my problems (from wrist to neck) stem from sleeping wrong. Sleep is a long period for your body to rest and recover and if you sleep in the wrong position, you stress it out more.

So for wrists, I was bending them forward. I slept with wrist guards for a few weeks to keep them bent back, and all my problems went away.

(Same with neck, I was bending my head towards my chest instead of keeping it up and back.)
That it's your fingers, and that it's constant sounds more like arthritis than RSI. Visit your doctor and see what they think.

RSI is generally the wrists to the elbows.
You might try here
Thanks everyone. I'm wearing my Tensor brackets all the time now and I've got to say I'm seeing progress already!!

I had RSI syndromes that went away when I chose good keyboard and mouse and worked on my posture. The finger issue remains. I'll go ask my doctor and will post my findings.
Pay attention to you hands/fingers/wrist positions and check if you are not keeping them unnecessarily in tension, e.g., in order to type faster you might keep your hands in a "ready-steady" state, which you might not even be aware of.
If it is stress related, you might benefit from seeing a good psychotherapist - I certainly did. They might be able to help you identify the root causes of the stress (which are not always as easily-identifiable as one might imagine).

Best wishes, Jaime
Once again, my own personal treatment:

- take a long vacation, several weeks.
- get more sleep. very very underrated.
- kinesis advantage keyboard. worth more to me than my computer.
- ms natural mouse. use it as little as possible.
- wear long sleeve shirts and fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm.
- ice immediately after work.
- take plenty of breaks.
- had the doc drain the ganglionic cyst to reduce pressure.
Simple long-term solution?

A vacation followed by regular exercise, the exercise also does wonders for ones coding.

1, Vacation AFK, atleast 1 week.

2. get Heavy Grips (lowest strength to start with), do as many simultaneous repetitions as you can for every arm, 3 times a week.

3, Start some kind of martial arts or Ashtanga Yoga or Power Yoga 2-3 times a week, which ever suits you best (I recommend Wing Chun, but its a matter of taste)
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