Programming Your Hands

Wrist braces, check. lefthand ergonomic mouse, check. standing workstation, check. icepack, check, physical theraphy, check. excercise, diet and sleep, check. b vitamins check.

This RSI in my right hand is a royal pain, between playing violin and doing financial analysis.

I had RSI in early 2002 and was able to deal with it simply by switching hands. Nowadays, I keep switching the hand that i use for the mouse every few days. My RSI has not recurred since 2002.

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Hmm… there are some that suggest that CTS is more of a syndrome that is caused by the mind (ie. when you think too much about it can inflict injury to you). Can’t remember where I found it on the internet.

My experience though, I have been feeling the pain (although not much, and not serious) some time long ago, even before I know what is carpal tunnel syndrome. And then some how it just disappeared. And then another year, I feel the pain again.

Then I read some stuff on the internet and stop pounding the keyboard, and the pain slowly goes away. It turned out that the years I dont feel the pain was when I was doing project management most of the time, with little or no programming. Diving to the code introduces it back to me.

Some relevant computer specific RSI books:

The TypeMatrix keyboard (which I’m currently using) has made a big difference for me. Geoffrey Rosenbach (of NubyOnRails and TopFunky fame) has a great writeup on his ergonomic woes and the type matrix at the link below.

I have never had any problems or injuries. Except that using a laptop cursor control plate gets my wrist starting to almost immediately to wear out of strength and aching. Wrist support pad does not help.

I have found out that keyboards are quite lousy. Some keyboards are stretched in half for better hands positioning, though. But almost all are more or less noisy and some have small mechanical or layout bugs.

I like keeping some roleplaying polyhedral dice on my desk, to roll around in my hands when I want a tactile distraction.

They’re also useful for deciding how to answer user help requests. 1-4 “Have you tried rebooting”, 5-8 “Log out and then back in” etc.

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Ah, and one I forgot to mention but ended up liking a lot more than I thought I would, is the “thick rubber bag of sand”.

Advantage over putty: never need to clean up or worry about contamination. But over time it will eventually wear out and spill its guts :face_vomiting: … this one is fairly robust though, they used a nice thick rubber, and two layers of it.