RSI + Wacoms Ergonomic Mouse

Posted by Liza Murphy on

In about February this year I started getting really bad RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) from using of all things a Wacom.

It seemed to come out of nowhere and got to the point where I couldn't draw at all without significant pain in my elbow/wrist and shoulder.

My hand was in a splint for about 6 weeks and I couldn't use my wrist. I was diagnosed with De Quervain's tenosynovitis. Its been 6 months now and I have been to a hand therapist but doing illustrations was still very painful.

In July this year I started seeing a Occupational Therapist recommended by a friend. I was very sceptical as I am sceptical about anything but doctors in general. Basically he was telling me to 'move more' and gave me a lot of exercises to make my hand much stronger. He also told me my brain is re in-forcing the fact that my wrist is painful which is something I have read about with chronic pain.

Around the same time I invested in a large screen (I used to just work on a small mac) - 2 extra types of mouse (in addition to the Wacom), and a different chair. I am sitting straighter and doing hand exercises.

I wouldn't say Im 100% better but definitely 70-80%. Also one of the other things causing my De Quervain's was using my thumb on my iPhone, so I use my left hand with my phone now and try to limit my phone use (which is incredibly hard and I cant say I have achieved that goal). I was also recommended This book 'Draw Stronger' from Kriota Willberg. Most of the exercises in there were the same as the ones the Occupational Therapist gave me.

Draw Stronger Kriota Willberg

I think my recovery was a combination of things.. but if you have similar pain hopefully some of these ideas can help.

I went to Biomechanics Healthcare in Cronulla.