Ask DN: Designers suffering/suffered from RSI?

over 5 years ago from , Creative Director

I've recently been struggling a fair bit with RSI, not in a debilitating way but tend to be 'playing through the pain' which I presume will only get worse. It's a consistent dull ache at the front of my shoulder that will hit me sharp maybe 3 or 4 times a day.

Google is obviously littered with the same recommendations that my GP gave me, posture, circulation, variety... is there any particular miracle chair/desk/mouse/technique/painkiller that people try to stick to to relieve the pain?


  • John Paul GiagoJohn Paul Giago, over 5 years ago

    I'm a designer/developer and started having RSI early symptoms, so I took some steps that have helped. Things I've done was switched my desk to standing to improve posture, replaced my mouse with a vertical mouse, switched my Apple keyboard with a mechanical one and use a Wacom tablet in-between .

    3 points
  • David ShastryDavid Shastry, 5 years ago

    Dan, I'm an athlete in addition to being a UI designer and so overall health and performance is doubly important to me. The issue of desk work for long hours has bothered me for years. A few points to note are that RSI is not necessarily only related to the wrist and other factors such as internal rotation of the shoulders messes up the whole arm. The weakest link usually are the ligaments in the wrist leading to RSI and pain.

    One thing you can do is go look on Mobility WOD on wrist flexibility and how to open up the shoulders (http://www.mobilitywod.com). Kelly is an expert in human kinetics and his stuff has greatly helped me. Here's one specifically for wrist mobility : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLheJx3Gnsk

    I don't know the specifics of your pain, but I know for me it was a mobility problem. Consistently hammering mobility/soft tissue work atleast once every dew days, and i haven't had pain in years!

    Feel free to ping me if you have more questions

    2 points
  • Jeremiah ShoafJeremiah Shoaf, over 5 years ago

    I’ve suffered from wrist pain for years from holding a mouse too much. One simple thing that helped me was learning to use a mouse with my left hand. Now I switch back and forth between my left and right hands all day and it has made a huge difference.

    2 points
  • Renee PRenee P, over 5 years ago

    Not sure if it was RSI, but I had wrist pain and numbness/tingling in my hands and feet for a while (possible carpal-tunnel) but switching from a mouse to a wacom tablet and being more careful about posture and taking breaks has helped heaps, no more pain.

    On a related note, my employer also bought new chairs for everyone in the office and had someone come in and set them up properly for each of us which is also important for your health.

    0 points
  • Jesse Bennett-ChamberlainJesse Bennett-Chamberlain, 5 years ago

    I had a lot of pain at the front of my right shoulder for a bit too, and I found that changing from the wide apple keyboard to the smaller one helped a lot. I read somewhere that for every degree your arm is rotated out from directly in front of you it puts exponentially more strain on your shoulder.

    0 points