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Worried About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and RSI

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay in getting up the next part of my Forever Affiliate review. Things have been crazy at work this week, and I had to work overtime during the weekend as well. My arms, wrists and hands have been hurting a lot from working on the computer for so many hours each day, and after work I just couldn’t bring myself to continue working on the PC.

I might get some time off in the next week, so I’ll continue my review then – unless my arms are feeling worse!

My microwaveable grain sack

My microwaveable bag of grain being used as an arm rest. Mmm, smells like lavender!

I’ve had a tingling feeling in my left hand for over a week, and yesterday I had to stop working for awhile because the pain was so bad.

I have this weird microwaveable sack of grain with essential oils that’s supposed to be for neck pain, but it’s the perfect length for my arms. So I tried heating that up and resting my arms on it for awhile, and then wrapped it around my wrists. It doesn’t stay hot for very long though, so I had to do that twice before I was able to continue working.


My boss had to have surgery a few years ago for carpal tunnel syndrome, and my sister (who used to do the same job as me) also had similar problems, and she still has a ball in her arm all these years later. I’ve been really worried, so decided to take a break from the computer today. With some rest and heat therapy, my arms are feeling a bit better – we’ll see if they start hurting again tomorrow at work.

Kinesis Freestyle KeyboardI’ve decided that when I get paid this month, I’m going to buy a special keyboard and mouse to help reduce the strain on my arms and wrists. I’ve never bought special keyboards and mice before – I’ve always just used whatever we had lying around – but I think it’s an investment I need to make if I don’t want to ruin my arms before I’m even 30 years old!

Right now I’m leaning towards the Kinesis Freestyle split keyboard, because I like that I can position it exactly how I need it, and it also has special copy & paste keys on the bottom left, which is something that would really be useful for my job.

Evoluent VerticalMouseI’m undecided between a vertical mouse and a trackball. I want a vertical mouse because there’s less tension in my arms and wrists in that position, but my boss says I should alternate which hand I use the mouse with, and that will be impossible with a vertical mouse.

A trackball has the benefit that I wouldn’t have to move my arm around while using the mouse, and I could use it with either hand – but I’ve never used one before and it looks like it would be difficult to control.

Logitech Trackman Marble MouseThe Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball seems like it would be easier to use, but it can also only be used with one hand, so that kind of defeats the purpose. I would probably have to get something like the Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse instead – at least it’s cheap, so if I can’t adjust to using a trackball it wouldn’t be such a train smash.

My hands and wrists are already hurting again just from writing this post – I don’t know how I’m going to manage working on the computer for 8 hours tomorrow! 🙁

If you have any suggestions or recommendations for ergonomic keyboards and mice, or just ways to relieve the pain, please let me know in the comments below!

  • Alan says:

    Hey Priscilla,

    Sorry to hear your having those troubles. I like your picks for alternative keyboards and mice. Mice?
    Anyway, I have a suggestion. Now its a bit different so bear with me. This past Christmas I received a copy of Dragonfly Naturally speaking as a gift. I quickly installed it on my PC(there is a Mac version). It took about 20 minutes to sync up with my voice. It opens many types of software on command(word is one of them). It is still in the trail stage on my computer, I too have had an extremely large amount of overtime at my day job.
    My vision for this is to type all my blog posts and article content needed in Forever Affiliate in word and paste to notepad to edit. Sound like a lot of work, but until I find a different way, this is my best bet. I type ok, but I can talk a lot faster and it is pretty amazing to watch, Head on over to you tube and type in “Dragonfly Naturally Speaking” I believe its version 12.0 and watch the demos, there are a ton. Hope that helps and best wishes and prayers for your situation. Alan

    • Priscilla says:

      Lol, I also wondered if it was mice when I was writing this post!

      I actually considered getting Dragon Naturally Speaking, but I heard that the Mac version isn’t as good as the Windows version, and the iOS app I tried was really terrible. I was following Tiffany Dow’s review of the Windows version, and it was taking her a long time to get it trained – though that might be because she was using the bluetooth microphone that comes with it, and apparently it isn’t very good.

      How is the speech-to-text working for you? Did it take you a long time to train it?

      • Alan says:

        mouse’s. mice’s. who knows. I am using Dragon on a windows machine, it came with a quite decent headset and microphone. The text recognition wasn’t to bad really. About 15-20 minutes and it seemed quite accurate.
        One caveat, when talking and amaking sentences you must speal as it you were writing out loud. For instance, At the end of each sentence you have to say the word period. When you want to start a ne sentence you must say”New Sentence” etc.
        A little unnerving at first but after a while you tend to talk in a manner to make the software do what you want done. The only problem is when you do it for an hour or so, when you quit you keep saying, period, new sentence. Just kidding.
        Whatever you decide, either the keyboards or the mice’s, or the Dragonfly, just find what fits you. And get back to writing reviews and your blog, I enjoy both.
        Take care. Alan

        • Priscilla says:

          Thanks for the info and encouragement Alan. Today was a quiet day at work, so I was able to rest my arms and listen to a few videos. The next part of the review will be coming soon 🙂

          • Alan says:

            Glad to hear that Priscilla. Can’t wait to hear more on your work on the Forever Affiliate sites. Take care of yourself. Alan

  • Rod says:

    I’ll go along with Dragon. Once it’s trained you’ll be amazed at what it can do – not just documents, but emails too.

    Also, I had terrible tendonitis in my right forearm 14, 15 years ago and acupuncture did a lot of good. I went for just a few sessions and although it didn’t heal the problem completely, it helped to quite an amazing degree. Enough that I could resume playing racquetball again.

    It might be worth a try.

    • Priscilla says:

      Thanks for the info Rod! I’m almost convinced to get Dragon. Do you use the Mac version or the Windows version?

      I can’t stand needles, so I would leave acupuncture as a last resort. Glad it worked so well for you though! 🙂

  • Andrew says:

    Hiya

    I have had RSI for over 5 years now and, even though it is a struggle, I can survive pretty well in this digital world. Advice wise:
    – Dragon is good but you need to have a fast computer, not too many apps, tabs open and a lot of patience. Best speech recognition software out there
    – iphon or Galaxy has good bult in speech recognition functions
    – I use a tablet mouse (Graphic designer’s type tablet with pen). This alone has let me go from 1 hours work a day to at least 6
    – I traded in my ipad for the galaxy as it has a pen stylus that makes it easier.
    – Agree with rest and all doctors will say that but the reality is we need to still work so I would suggest these to start

    Like i said I have been going through this for 5+ years and have tried every method of working and living with this so if you have any questions, just let me know 🙂

    • Priscilla says:

      Thanks for the tips, Andrew! Sounds like I would have to delete a lot of apps and other stuff from my computer before I install Dragon. It always gets full so quickly! Today it was driving me crazy with how slow it was. I also tend to have a lot of tabs open at once, lol.

      I actually have a very old Wacom tablet somewhere, I haven’t seen it in such a long time that I forgot about it! Probably disappeared in a cupboard or box somewhere when we moved the rooms around. I’m so glad you reminded me of that, I’ll search for it first thing in the morning 😀

      I use a capacitive stylus with my iPad. Do you use your iPhone or Galaxy to transcribe what you’re saying, or just to navigate around the phone and make calls etc?

  • Rod says:

    I use Dragon for PC.

    If needles are a deal-breaker, you could seek out an acupressure practitioner. They still use meridian therapy but it’s non-invasive.

    Another option is EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques, sometimes just called Tapping. Also a meridian, energy psychology, it has (I believe) wonderful effects on a host of ailments. You can find lots of info on YouTube about it. Also Google Brad Yates, Carol Look, Gary Craig, Lindsay Kenney or Margaret Lynch.

    EFT is easy to do on yourself and I’ve never heard of any negative side effects.

  • Sherry says:

    Hi Priscilla, I am a Dragon junkie. Check out my site at SteppingStonesToDragon.com. It is not an affiliate site yet, just the start for a training site.
    Jason is in the video on there and he is quadraplegic. He has total control of his PC via Dragon. Not a powerful PC either.
    I sometimes don’t touch a mouse or keyboard for two or three days. Dragon does it all! My husband runs Dragon on an XP with 3Gb of RAM. His homepage when he opens IE has 5 tabs / sites opening and he opens more… He is running Dragon 11.5 Premium with the out of box microphone.
    Sorry about any typos… I am on my Kindle right now… no Dragon 🙁

    Sherry

    Dragon 12… 5 minutes to setup m
    icrophone

    • Priscilla says:

      Thanks for the info, Sherry. I watched Jason’s video, it was good to see how Dragon actually works and how it can help people.

      Good luck with your website! 🙂

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