Question: My husband has been displaying some symptoms of RSI (numbness in the fingers — also in the feet and legs, which may be unrelated — and more recently a great deal of pain in the fingertips). He has an appointment with his GP coming up, but in the interim it has become more and more difficult for him to type (he is a computer programmer, and his habits — bad posture, static posture, typing for about 10 hours a day, every day for the past twelve years — indicate it could be RSI. (He’s done a lot of research on it, as his mother had MS, and he wanted to find out other possibilities.) My question to you all is whether or not you have any suggestions of exercises — or any website links which have exercises — which he could do between now and seeing his GP. As I said, it is very painful for him to type, though today he had a new, softer-touch keyboard installed at work. He also bought a book called Coping with RSI, but I thought maybe you all would have some suggestions for him.
Thanks in advance.
Answer 1: Buy this book: Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries – By Sharon J. Butler ISBN= 1-57224-039-3 (paperback) USD $20.00 (An absolute must! Full of excellent stretches!) These exercises are not just for hands/arms.
Answer 2: I hate to say it, but the number one thing your husband should do is in all likelihood NO exercises – and NO work. If it is painful for him to type, he should not type – he should rest until his arms/hands/whatever-is-hurting-him are recovered enough that they can handle exercises. Having said that, I second the suggestion of Butler’s book, “Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” as the exercises there are very gentle and unlikely to cause further injury. I would also suggest the Pascarelli and Quilter book, “Repetitive Strain Injury,” which is chock full of the high-quality info about RSI and how to recover from it. Good luck!
Answer 3: I’m sure your husband knows all about this already, but I thought it might be worth mentioning there are websites for people who want to program by voice (assuming they have some form of voice-recognition software).