stephanie jones

I’m Baaaaccckkkkkk….sorta. A cautionary tale for writers

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Hello out there!

After months (many months) of suspected carpal tunnel, rheumatoid arthritis, severe tendinitis…we’ve finally realized I have RSI (repetitive stress injury) from too much bad-habited writing at the computer.

I’ll post on it later, but until then, if you spend lots of hours writing on the computer and:

1. If you ever have pain in your hands, fingers, wrists, or

2. If you ever wake up at night because your hands/arms/fingers are asleep, or

3. If you have had to cut back your writing time because of pain, fatigue, tenderness in your fingers/hands/wrists/arms/elbows/shoulders.

You may have a very serious problem brewing and working through the pain may result in permanent nerve and soft tissue damage.

DON’T WORK THROUGH THE PAIN!

You may have RSI, and the answer is NOT surgery, steroids, or pain medications.

And the problem is probably NOT with your hands – it has likely originated in your neck/upper back/pectoral muscles, cutting off circulation to your arms and hands for a long, long time before you began feeling the pain.

Here’s a fabulous book. When it was recommended to me, I felt like I was reading about myself in these cases. It offers great recommendations for therapy (myofacial release, acupuncture, yoga, regular breaks/stretches, and strength-training seem to be working really well for me right now), and a very readable description of what happens with the body when it works in front of the computer for too long.

Between August and February I have been struggling to do any work/writing/emailing because of this debilitating condition. May have also included some depression for me too…thinking about living without writing was something I did daily during those months.

So don’t let yourself get to that point.

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  1. Thanks so much, Stephanie, for posting this warning and for sending me the list of precautionary tips. My elbows are feeling much better now, and my hands are floating above the keyboard as I type this. 🙂

  2. keep floating grace! you have much to share in the future – don’t want a writing injury to prevent the great work you need to do:)

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