Muscles operate best when they are flexible and supple. All RSI is caused by excessively tight (hence weak) muscles. Test for tightness in these muscles. As a general rule, people with supple and flexible muscles, particularly of the upper body – but basically all muscles – won't get RSI.
The crucial thing to understand is this: Your hands bear about 10% of the load of typing. 90% of the load is borne by your forearm/upper arm/upper back/ pectorals/ lats/middle back/ lower back and even glutes. The 'hands' and wrists can't be "fixed" without without fixing the entire upper body – including remote areas like the gluteal muscles. Yes. The body works as a whole. And doctors DON'T have a clue about this basic concept of bio-kinetics.
THE ONLY EFFECTIVE CURE OF RSI
30% of the cure: DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE
Break the spasms/ tightness in muscles with myotherapy or other very hard deep tissue massage. This will include massage not merely (indeed almost not even) massage of the arms, but (a) upper back, (b) neck (c) lats, (d) lower back, (e) abdominal muscles – and arms including hands.If you don't (actually) scream with pain for at least half the time during the massage, your massage "therapist" is USELESS. Find another one.
One great way to massage YOUR muscles on your own is through a foam roller (see this blog post).
30% of the cure: STRETCH
Recover normal range of motion and length of muscle through clinical Pilates and other stretches – follow up with yoga. Perhaps hte most important yoga postures are the shoulder stand and backward flip of the legs, shown below. But it is important to undertake a comprehensive stretching regime.
25% of the cure: STRENGTHEN
Swim to strengthen your back muscles. Backstroke is particularly important. And use a range of weightlifting and other strenghtening exercises [some of these shown here]
5% of the cure: PACE YOURSELF
Pause before doing anything – relax the body as much as possible (Alexander technique, psychiatry MAY help, but in the end, this is a VERY SMALL part of the solution)
5% of the cure: SPEECH RECOGNITION
Use Dragon Naturally Speaking Ver. 9.0 or better to minimise typing.
5% of the cure: ERGONOMICS
Good ergonomics will help, eg. a split keyboard. I also sat on a 65 cm fit ball at work from December 2006 – July 2010, after which I reverted to an ergonomic chair. The key is to have the arms hanging LOOSELY from the shoulders, looking at the screen without slouching forward.
THE KEY THING IS TO NOT DESPAIR
It WILL get OK! May take time but IT WILL DEFINITELY BECOME OK NO MATTER HOW BAD IT IS. - but you must not waste time on "solutions" that don't work. A bunch of utterly USELESS "professionals" and "experts" make a living by selling BOGUS "solutions".
First thing – don't rely on your doctor or physiotherapist unless you want your problem to get worse. Either they'll give pain killers, or do some useless and expensive 'tests' including MRI, or give you useless therapies like ultrasound, or may even recommend surgery . Better spend all that money on the myotherapist, gym, swimming pool, and yoga classes.
The ignorance within the medical profession of the biokinetics and physiology of the muskulo-skeletal system is mind-boggling!
Instead or running after totally useless 'experts', just put in the effort outlined above. That will fix it. The solution is actually quite logical, as well. It makes physical sense. I'll explain the logic some day when I find the time, through a detailed book.
Addendum, 21 June 2012
I'm working on a hypothesis that Vitamin D deficiency could exacerbate RSI. If you wish, you can check these blog posts:
NOTE: If my advice to you has worked then please consider donating to (a) help me recoup a tiny part of the tens of thousands of dollars I've wasted through bad professional advice from ignorant doctors and other nitwits, and, (b) more importantly, to help me spread the message of freedom across the world, particularly in India (working night and day on bringing liberty and good governance to India was the thing that drove me to the excessive typing that led to RSI). Write to me at sabhlok AT gmail DOT com.
A question on this FB group that I satarted:
What do you think about coffee? I'm reading "The cafferine blues" and I've quit coffee ten days ago. I feel much less tired, although my pains are still there.
A simple control experiment. I used to drink 5-6 cups of coffee (including two cups of tea) each day before the RSI cure I've outlined at http://rsicure.sabhlokcity.com/ and continue to drink so today. More than 12 years.
The only thing that has changed is the way I undertake the PHYSICAL cure. Plus I can work (both reading and writing – on the computer) at least 14 hours a day – at the level which "caused" the problem.
Coffee has many health benefits as well.
My scientific conclusion (since there is a LOT of junk science in this world) – coffee has NO effect on RSI.
Further, there should be a correlation between coffee drinkers (billions of people) and RSI. There isn't. It is ALL due to muscle tightening (micro-spasms).
Discovered that a foam roller can be a great way to release tight muscles in the legs, glutes, hips, lower back, upper back and shoulders.
Try this exercise. It is brilliant! The result is a great relief from RSI
Images sent by Shiva (see comments)
Attachments_2012_04_11 (zip file with four images)