Do you know of any RSI experts in the bay area, ideally SF?
September 19, 2013 9:04 AM   Subscribe

For the last year I have had mild RSI, though it began pretty bad and I quickly changed things up so it would be better. That said, it hasn't gone away and I want to talk to a broader base of experts to try and nip this in the bud before it becomes more than just a nuisance. Ideally, I'd like to find a doctor that specializes in RSI, physical therapists (though I'm sure said doctor could refer me), and then whatever else people know...massage therapists, whatever else could help. But I'm looking for people who really know RSI and have worked with people with RSI before. I'm tired of doctors just saying "this is what happens when you use a computer." I'm in San Francisco, but can travel into the bay area if I have to.
posted by wooh to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I knew somebody who dealt with very bad RSI and she made a slideshow about things to do about it. Take aways:

* While you are at your computer, take stretch breaks every 15-20 minutes.
* Wrist braces NOT for while you are working, but for when you are sleeping--you might be doing damage while you sleep if you bend your wrists and put weight on them.
* If you can take a vacation and absolutely stay away from the computer the entire time as a remedy, do so.
* Make sure that your workspace is properly adjusted to your body, and use good posture. (I assume you have already started on that, based on your description.)

In my personal experience, I switched keyboard layouts to Dvorak while I was in college. It took two weeks of torture and it didn't make me a faster typer but my wrists stopped hurting and I firmly believe it has helped me overall in the RSI avoidance department. If you'd like to do that, MeMail me and I can give you more resources about learning to type in Dvorak.

You could also look into getting a ergonomic keyboard and see if that helps.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:12 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ah, here is a video of the talk.
posted by foxfirefey at 10:14 AM on September 19, 2013

I can't say enough good things about Wacom's Tablet Pen-Mouse. My RSI went away after 6 months (I don't use a mouse at all any more), and I've been RSI-free and working at my desk job for 10 years now. All the other mice (rollerball, thumb mouse etc) just killed me. I had tennis elbow RSI (not carpal tunnel).

Also those little trays under the desk made much more of a difference than an ergonomic keyboard ever did.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:05 PM on September 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses thus far. I've actually done a number of things in order to mitigate this in the past, which is why I want to see a specialist...first order stuff usually cures it for most people, but it hasn't kicked it for me which has me worried.

- I use a kinesis advantage keyboard
- My setup is measured and tweaked. I can tweak it more, but I've seen ergonomists and read a lot and it seems pretty pinned down (my monitor is at the right height, I try to control my posture, my arms and legs and whatnot are all at right angles, and I am very conscious about my typing position.)

Things I SHOULD do:
- experiment with more mouses (the pen-mouse is a welcome suggestion!)
- learn DVORAK

Reading online, though, it seems like for people like me ie young people (I'm 26) for whom changing keyboards and whatnot isn't enough, there is often a physiological component (muscle imbalances and whatnot), so I want to consult with professionals to hopefully work on that as well.
posted by wooh at 1:22 PM on September 19, 2013

I really liked the hand clinic and hand therapists at Stanford, but I have no basis for comparison for clinics closer to you.
posted by freezer cake at 1:38 PM on September 19, 2013

It might be a bit dated, but I got a lot out of this book by Pascarelli and Quilter.

I also got major benefits from taking, not just a long break every hour, but a little "microbreak" every 5 minutes (set to 13 seconds right now.) I use a program called AntiRSI (for mac) to remind, and I've seen others for windows. It was a big change when I added in the micros even though I'd been doing the long breaks for a long time.
posted by spbmp at 10:18 AM on September 20, 2013

I found acupuncture surprisingly helpful for this. I saw a practitioner in Bernal Heights, but I think any good practitioner could help.
posted by judith at 9:54 PM on September 20, 2013

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