I was reading questions on Programmers and I came across this one where a use is having issues with a Repetitive Stress Injury from typing. It got me thinking, is exercise alone a viable alternative therapy to correct the problems that cause RSI?
From what I understand (and I'm probably wrong), RSI problems like Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or Kyphosis (Hunchback) not related to spinal disorders are caused by repetitive action or posture in an awkward position that causes muscles to strengthen in an unnatural manner (Ie out of balance).
If I'm feeling mild (intermittent not consistent) pain in my wrists, doing wrist exercises helps relieve the pain. Or, if my back is starting to hurt from working on a laptop that core/back exercises are an effective way to correct my posture (and get rid of the soreness).
First you need to make a little setup:
- Find a short (or cut-off) broomstick
- Find a weight (5/10/15lb plate with a handle works best) or cinder block
- Grab a 5 ft length of string (parachute cord works best)
- Tie one end of the string to the center of the broomstick (clove hitch knot or two for additional strength)
- The the other end to the weight (same as the broomstick)
For the exercise...
Grab the broomstick in front of you with both hands spread apart, palms down, with the cord dangling down between (elbows hanging down slightly bent) and proceed to roll up the cord onto the broomstick in the same manner that you'd roll up a flag onto a flag pole.
After a few of those, change the direction that you roll up the cord (to target the opposite side of the forearm).
These types of exercises seem work for me but are they really a viable alternative to traditional treatment? Or, is there something I completely missed about the causes of RSI?
Disclaimer: The question talks about measures to prevent severe RSI injuries not cure an an existing severe injury. If your RSI gets bad enough that you feel consistent pain and/or numbness see a doctor.