Finger Yoga
Finger Yoga

RSI notes

Some personal thoughts about RSI follow:


Intensive rest is by far the most significant treatment regime for most common computer-related repetitive strain injuries.

However, there are some other things you can try.

Since sideways force applied by the tendons to the wrist tissues is implicated in the disorder, one of the things you call do is to minimise the application of finger force while the wrist is bent. One way of doing that is to simply avoid bent-wrist positions. Another is to wear wrist braces while asleep.

Use of wrist braces may also help promote good circlation via a combination of avoiding compressed positions and local heating.

Topical creams and lotions can act as anti-inflammatory aids, and provide some short-term pain relief.

There is some evidence that stimulating the immune system can accelerate healing from RSI slightly. See the studies on the RSI page for more details about that.


Poor circulation may accelerate development of RSI - while good circulation may promote healing. However, the role of blood in RSI seems to have been poorly investigated.

Cold water and/or ice is also an anti-inflammatory - and its removal prompts blood to rush into the area, possibly promoting healing in the process.

Sometimes tension in the forearms can arise, partly as a response to pain. This can restrict blood flow and hinder healing. Exercise, relaxation and adopting open elbow and shoulder poses can help here. Note that exercise encourages circulation better then relaxation does.

Blood can be forced into the arms via gravity (e.g. headbalance), or via centrifugal force.

Low core temperatures can result in restricted blood flow in the extremities. This probably slows down healing - and may need to be avoided.

Eccentric contractions

If you have a tendon pathology caused by stress, thick tendons seem desirable - since they would distribute the force over a larger area.

Exercise thickens tendons. Rest causes them to atrophy.

Eccentric contractions seem highly theraptic for some tendon pathologies.

It remains to be seen if eccentric contractions can be adapted to help computer users.

Low force

If you must use a computer, experiment with low-force input devices, keyboard macro programs and programmable keyboards.

For more information about this strategy, see: [].

If you use low-force computer input devices using them with the minimum force required is to be recommended.

Also, RSI can sometimes be reduced in intensity and distributed over a larger area - e.g. by using a second mouse wth the left hand, scrolling using a footpedal, etc.


The role if inflammation in RSI appears to be poorly understood. Inflammation is used by the body to direct the immune system. However inflammation itself can be overdone - and too much inflammation can have harmful side effects.

Anti-inflammatory drugs seem to have some positive effects for at least a proportion of RSI sufferers.

Increased forearm pressure may aggravate some of of the symptoms of RSI, especially in conjunction with motion, by increasing frictional forces.

However attempting to reduce inflammation directly may have negative side effects - and the healing process may lose an important cue about where its energies are needed.

Overall, it seems likely that directly reducing levels of inflammation in RSI will have positive effects, but I think the side effects on the healing process deserve further investigation.

Tim Tyler | Contact |