Sunday, August 30, 2015

How to Prevent Repetitive Stress Injury

It's the writer's nightmare - being unable to write.

We may have progressed in technological capability, from painstakingly portrayed hunts and rituals with blood and plant dyes on cave walls to writing longhand with our feathered quills dipped in ink to manual typewriters to the almighty word processing programs. Some authors even use voice command programs to dictate to a document that records their words. Still, if we don't want to go there, writers take care of our hands.

Thus this week's topic, Preventing repetitive stress injury - writer physical ailments and how to prevent/combat them

If martial artists have to register their hands as deadly weapons (bunk, btw, just Google and be appalled at how many links and discussions there are!), then I sometimes think I'd love to insure mine as critical tools of my trade. Instead, I do everything I can to preserve their health.

Pretty much the same thing.

Fortunately, in one of my more brilliant life-decisions, I encouraged David to start a second career as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, so he gives me lots of good advice and help on natural preventatives and cures. I know, however, that not everyone has access to in-house acupuncture and liniments, though I highly recommend seeking out professionals for that help.

A simple thing everyone can do is adress ergonomics, as shown in the photo above. Many of you already know I have a treadmill desk. I took this pic (after many failed attempts) while standing on the treadmill at the desk. The desk top itself is quite large and is hydraulic, so I can adjust the height in minute increments. I try to work with my elbows at about a 120 degree angle (though I vary it, to prevent my joints from locking into a habitual position) and with my forearms flat and wrists straight, not bent. This works wonders to keep my wrists from getting stiff and sore - which they did at one point, before I got smarter. 

I've also gone back to an external mouse instead of using the touch pad, because the touch pad makes me bend and crimp my wrists too much.

Also, there's this exercise from kung fu (I forget which style), that is great for preventing and eliminating carpal tunnel syndrome and other related repetitive stress injuries. My highly professional video is below. Feel free to ask questions, if it's not clear!


  1. Wait. Am I reading this correctly? You are taking credit for David's medical expertise?

    1. Yes. For talking him into going back to school. :D

  2. Hmm...Last night and tonight as I have tried to write my wrists are killing me. If only I could convince my husband to take up acupuncture, that would be great! Util then, chiropractor here I come!

    1. heh. you must work on your powers of mind control!