Adjusting to life with RSI

Question: I’ve only been recently diagnosed as suffering from tedonitis, largely as a result of doing a job involving a lot of typing, when I’m not a trained typist! My doctor has just advised to take ibubrofen when required and review my desk set-up.  I would be interested to hear how sufferers have adjusted to life as a result of RSI.  I’ve requested an ‘ergonomic’ keyboard at work – can anybody recommend one?  Also,

I’m currently applying for a mortgage, and although I’m in good health now, it occurs to me that I may not be able to do my job as a result of RSI in the future. I’m very wary of mentioning it to the IFA for fear of not getting a mortgage!  Has anybody else been affected in this way?

Answer 1: I understand how you feel with regards to the mortgage etc.  I was diagnosed almost 4 years ago now and I would highly recommend the Maltron split keyboard.  With regards to your mortgage – I mentioned it on my application last year and we had no problem with getting a mortgage. There is an extra piece of insurance your mortgage broker will probably mention. It covers you if you are out of work for a long period of time – minimum of 30 days I think.

Answer 2: If you don’t use the numeric keypad on the right hand side of the keyboard, you might find it helpful to look at keyboards without one (e.g. Siemens). A shorter keyboard means that you don’t have to stretch your right hand and arm so far when using the mouse or trackball. Then again, if you don’t feel any strain when using the mouse, ignore this suggestion!  Like you, I’m not a trained typist, and have realized that some of my bad typing habits make me worse. Think about what gives you pain as you type.

For example, are you twisting your fingers and hands awkwardly to hit two keys at once with the same hand? When using the control key with a letter key, or when typing capital letters, use one hand for control or shift and the other for the letter. Are you banging the keys harder than you need to?  Also, as your GP recommended, make sure you get your desk and chair arrangements checked out properly by a specialist, to ensure that the relative heights are appropriate.

Have you thought about voice recognition software? Lots of people on the list use it and have found it to be a very good way of cutting down on typing.

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