Often RSI sufferers will be referred by their doctor for physical therapy, which in my experience can range from ‘wonderful’ to ‘complete waste of time’ depending on the experience and attention of the physiotherapist. The most wonderful physical therapy treatment I received for RSI was when living (and working) in Silicon Valley in California. I believe physiotherapists out there were more used to seeing cases of computer related injuries what with the region being the heart of the high tech industry. What did they do that helped with the pain relief so much? Treatments included –
RSI has been part of my life for over ten years now. In many ways I can’t remember the pain free time before the condition started. It’s hard to remember how it felt to use a computer and not associate its use with pain. I have in the past often been asked, ‘Why is this happening to you when others doing similar jobs don’t have any symptoms?’ Well, I guess we are all individuals, with unique musculo-skeletal structures, sensitivities and vulnerabilities, and therefore we all will react to using computers in different ways. We also have our individual ergonomic foibles, no two of us are the same, and we all misuse computers in a slightly different way from each other. As such, we can experience a multitude of different symptoms. Hence the global term “Repetitive Strain Injury” which is really an umbrella term for a wide array of more specific but little known ailments.
From my own perspective I have been using computers for a long time (circa early 1980s – from Sinclair ZX81s to Commodore 64s, to BBC Micros, to mainframes, to early IBM PCs, to Sun workstations) and did not have the benefits of a still evolving ergonomics industry. It is after all only in the last 5 to 10 years that ‘ergonomist’ was recognised as a job function. Indeed, it’s only just over 10 years ago that computers started to appear as common on peoples desks as a telephone. In many ways people in today’s generation will reap the benefits from emerging ergonomic knowledge obtained from years of watching cases like mine escalate in the computer using workforce.
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This is the first entry to my Ergomatters blog. I will be posting to this blog with discussion on various aspects relating to RSI and ergonomics, from a first hand perspective of an RSI sufferer. Hopefully sharing my experiences and findings can help others out there. Keep checking back for future updates.
All of the views expressed in this site are my own views based on living with an RSI type injury. I am neither a physician nor a qualified ergonomist, and as such my views may differ from those who are in those professions. I also suffer from a particular type of RSI condition, which may or may not be similar to your RSI condition, as such you should always consult a doctor as first point of call and make your own choices about how to proceed in dealing with your injury. This site consists of my opinions of what has and has not worked for me, and should therefore be used as a reference as to what avenues you should explore to try to find a solution to your RSI type injury.
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