Full Blown RSI

Question: I am really worried that I might go on to develop full-blown RSI, but I do not know what to do about it. Basically my job involves scanning the barcodes of files and adding dates onto the computer. I also have a lot of heavy lifting and carrying of files. I tend to work standing up because I am walking around a lot. I am fine typing and using the computer at home, but at work I have started to get pain. This is especially round my left thumb (although I am right handed!). I also have occasional arm and neck pain and occasionally feel a bit off balance if I have been staring at the VDU at lot. The doctor diagnosed mild tendonitis, but was not prepared to say it was work related and was quite antagonistic. He said if it got worse I could have steroid injections (which I do not want).

My work place takes RSI very seriously and wants to be informed of any problems I have. They are willing to provide things like light weight hole punchers to relieve pressure on my hand, but should I really be continuing to work with any pain? I do not want to make a fuss, but I am very worried. I am not prepared to take any medication as I do not like taking tablets. It is not necessary yet, but I am concerned. My personnel officer said I should not use the computer at home either if it was problematic, but home is not a problem and we have had a computer for years. What do I do? I like using the computer and cannot write e-mails if I stop! I also like the office I am in and do not want to change or give any indication there is a problem. Please help.

Answer: I cannot help/advise on your general problems but regarding the computer at home I would suggest getting voice recognition software for it. That way you can continue to use it without making your arm/shoulder problems worse. Be patient with it though, it takes a while to train the software.


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