1. elbow27
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    elbow27 Member

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    Dealing with RSI

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by elbow27, Dec 18, 2012.

    I have it bad this week. I've done 40,000 words in seven days, so I'm not really surprised. Mainly wearing a splint and taking ibuprofen. Any other ideas folks?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What's RSI?
     
  3. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    40K words in 7 days? :eek:
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    RSI = Repetitive Strain Injury. It's a good idea to avoid or define TLAs in your posts.

    This kind of injury doesn't come about all at once, and it doesn't go away all at once either. You may need to change your work area to prevent further injury, but you will also need to let the injury heal. You should consult your doctor.

    Meanwhile, consider a speech recognition program, to let you enter text hands-free, at least until you have had a chance to heal.

    That's not instead of seeing your doctor, it's after you do so.




    * TLA is a TLA (which stands for Three Letter Acronyms)
     
  5. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    The key factor in developing an RSI from typing is in not moving the fingers very far but doing it thousands of times. These tiny, effortless movements cause the muscles to swell a little, but not increase their blood flow, because there's very little energy used up by them. The swollen muscles put pressure on the nerve supplies travelling through them, and that's the cause of the pain.

    Best way therefore to resolve the issue is to redesign your typing system. If you touch type, a problem because it means your fingers move millimeters, stop doing it. Get a keyboard with more spread out keys and with keys that spring back quite hard. Practice your two finger typing where you have to hunt and peck. The new ergonomic keyboards with the split hand positions may be of some use as well. And of course maintain regular hand / finger exercising routines. Every ten minutes or so make sure to give them a good wave around and get the blood flowing.

    Cog is right in that this is not an injury that goes away easily, and the more typing you do the more you will exacerbate the problem. So a voice recognition program may be of good use.

    Also, see a specialist. If left untreated / dealt with it can get much worse.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  6. elbow27
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    elbow27 Member

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    That's really interesting. I do touch type, as I find it the fastest way to write, but I can see the logic in hunting/pecking, and moving my fingers about more. Thanks!
     
  7. johann77
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    johann77 Member

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    Why don't you get voice to text software.
     
  8. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Refer to Cogito's comments.
    "You should see a doctor"

    If you have a mild case and have never had trouble such as this before, it could well go away on its own with immobilization. HOWEVER, whether you have had problems before or if this is the first time, unless you are a medical practitioner, you are not in a position to know the extent of the problem. For most, a steroid injection does wonders for resolving the symptoms. If your condition is more complex, surgery may be required. But, without testing and/or the experience of a well-versed practitioner, you have no real way of knowing how extensive your affliction may be.

    You should see a doctor.
     
  9. inkyliddlefingers
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    inkyliddlefingers Member

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    MIght I suggest writing with a fountain pen (much more ergonomic than ballpens, and eco-friendly to boot) and leaving off the typing until you are better, or getting a kind friend/family member to do the typing for you? This is how I operate, due to a lifelong disability. My 'typists' also double up as editors and critics sometimes! Bonus!
     
  10. elbow27
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    elbow27 Member

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    I've now taken to a mixture of ibuprofen and paracetamol. So 20 minutes before my writing sessions start, I take two ibuprofen. Then an hour in I take two paracetamol. This can't be good for my health but it's the only way to get the writing done!
     
  11. Macaberz
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    Macaberz Pay it forward Contributor

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    I hate to nitpick but, like you noted this does not sound very healthy. Are you afraid that you might lose your ideas if you don't write them straightaway? What's the hurry? I would highly recommend you take it easy. I am not a doctor but really what you are doing is combatting the symptoms instead of the source. Usually the result is increasingly worse symptoms. I would recommend you take action to prevent the strain in general.
     
  12. elbow27
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    elbow27 Member

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    Yeah you're right, I know. I'm just in a rush to finish this project, I'm about 10k words away from my 65k word total. A few more days and it'll be complete. Then I have to get the doctors to really pay attention and fix the root cause of my RSI before my hands fall off! :)
     
  13. johann77
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    johann77 Member

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    Try using a tape recorder.
     
  14. Rose Hunt
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    Rose Hunt Member

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    so if you write 65k all at once, then its done? No cut and rewrite 25k?
     
  15. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Painkillers won't help you to resolve the problem. They only mask it. You need to take steps to actually fix it.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  16. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Aside from the good advice above, to see a doctor and use recognition software, let me also add that naproxen (AleveĀ®) will likely help. RSA is usually a result of connective tissue swelling against its own sheath, from the inside; naproxen is, in addition to being an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory drug. That will help to address the immediate cause of your RSA.
     

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