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Hand pain and Workrave


> 547 words, 17 paragraphs, about 2 minutes to read (300 wpm).

> First published on 2021-05-22.

> This article has been loaded 176 times.


Yesterday, while using the computer, I felt pain in my fingers and wrist on my right hand.


I don't know how to describe the pain precisely in words. It's certainly not the kind of pain produced by stubbing my toe, bumping my boob on something, eating too-cold ice cream, biting my skin, or cutting my finger.


It's more of a dull stiffness and just an awareness that something bad is happening. It's like it's on another layer past the physical. It's _annoying._ I don't know how to describe it. Right now, it feels like it's _in_ my wrist, in the middle of my flesh, rather than at the edge of my skin.


I have no idea if this is Repetitive Strain Injury or not, but feel free to let me know your armchair diagnosis.


(Go on, you know you want to.)


A very similar thing happened to me in winter last year. Judging by my past blog posts it was around early September. Back then I was doing some fairly intensive typing every day, incidentally using the Workman layout which I was quite early into using.


To deal with the hand pain then, I installed the program Workrave. Workrave prompts me to take breaks from the computer every few moments, to look away from the screen and stretch my hands.


https://workrave.org


I don't need to re-explain Workrave's features in detail here. Its website does a perfectly good job, so read that if you're interested.


My settings are:


Micro-break for 30 seconds every 3 minutes. (I believe this is the default.)

Rest break for 6 minutes every 30 minutes.

No daily limit.


For the rest break, so far I've often chosen to rest for longer, by doing an IRL task that ends up taking longer, or settling down with a book and enjoying reading it. It's nice to not feel the need to be back at my computer as soon as possible.


When I used Workrave back in September, I believe it was useful to me. It helped me by enforcing breaks, and breaks are a good thing no matter what. I immediately felt somewhat of an improvement in the physical feeling of my hands on a moment-to-moment basis. I think it took my hands a week or two to feel completely fine, at which point I stopped using Workrave and didn't have any other hand problems until now.


I don't know how long my hands would have taken to feel better if I had not used Workrave. Maybe it would have been the same amount of time either way. Maybe it would have been much worse.


In the end, I can only guess at how much Workrave helped me. One thing's for sure: it certainly doesn't harm me. Even if it has no effects on my physical health, it definitely has positive effects on my mental health.




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Replies


Wing


> could also be carpel tunnel syndrome maybe

> but asking a doctor is probably a better idea lol


$25 for an appointment which won't deal with it any faster than what I'm doing now lol


expected response from the doctor: "hmm i dunno, take frequent breaks from the computer and stretch your hands"


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