RSI tips is a site dedicated to those who suffer from Repetitive Strain Injuries. I am the founder of the site – my name is Yoram Zara, I am 40 years old, male, living in Israel. I started experiencing Repetitive Strain Injury in 1997. I was a young lawyer and I worked long hours on the computer. As a hardworking perfectionist, I ignored pains I started feeling in my right arm and wrist, and kept on working.
As the pain grew I started self-medicating. I used a splint, took some pain killers and continued my hard working. In 1997 it was too much. The pains kept becoming more and more frequent and I started seeking medical treatment. What the doctors had to offer was anti-inflammatory pills. These masked the symptoms for a while so I continued working. Eventually things got worse. I felt stronger and stronger pains and was crippled from doing the most basic things. I had difficulties opening doors, driving, using a tooth brush and washing dishes. I stopped working completely. Needless to say these also had a very negative effect on my emotional well-being.
At this stage a doctor recommended a cortisone shot to my wrist. I took the shot, but it did not help. If anything, I felt my hand got weaker. I am right handed and suddenly my right hand grip was weaker than my left hand grip. I started dropping things. But there was one thing that rang a bell. The doctor told me, before giving me the injection: “Listen, you are doing something wrong. There is something in the way you work and live that caused this. The shot can help for a while, but if you don’t take care of the cause of this situation, your symptoms will come back”.
This was 1998, and the web was in its infancy. I started researching. I found out about RSI – Repetitive Strain Injury, its treatments and controversy, and the importance of ergonomics. I started buying every book, splint, ergonomic product and miracle cure out there. Some of it was good and some was nonsense. Very early I understood the limitations of the medical profession in dealing with Repetitive Strain Injury. Most conventional doctors I met offered pain killers and surgery. Some of them disbelieved my pains, because the x rays and MRIs showed nothing.
The main support I got was reading the insights of other people who suffer from RSI. These were real people dealing with a similar situation. So I began my journey, I improved the ergonomics, my chair, desk, monitor stand. I worked on my posture (still not that great). I started taking breaks. I found some cool software that helped me take these breaks and made me stretch. I tried any form of alternative medicine out there (at least in Israel) – Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Alexander Technique, Bio Feedback, Twina, Yoga, Tai chi, Feldenkrais ….
I started exercising – Feldenkrais, moderate weight lifting at the gym, running and swimming. I read every book on Amazon on the topic. As time went by things got better. It was a very slow process, with improvements and deterioration over time. Today, 13 years after my Repetitive Strain Injury began; I dare to say I know something about it. I can’t say I beat it, healed it or cured it. I can say that I learned to live with it, I have longer intervals between painful periods and I know how to deal with them.
Recently, I built a website on another topic. I liked the process, and I felt it was a very creative endeavor. I wanted to build another one. The first thing that came to mind was RSI. I wanted to build a site that accumulates the knowledge of Repetitive Strain Injuries sufferers. In my experience, the best people that helped me get control over RSI were fellow RSI sufferers. So, I decided to build this site. The content in this site is a gathering of my research of real people’s RSI experience. What helps in dealing with Repetitive Strain Injury and what prevents RSI? I would love to receive your comments and feedback on the content on the site. Please make good use of Repetitive Strain Injury tips.