Tuesday, February 21, 2006

This is a mop sink*

Lately I've become concerned with developing RSI (repetitive stress injury; for example, carpal tunnel syndrome). I haven't been experiencing any pain or burning yet, but sometimes I feel like my grip is a little weak. I spend enough time typing that it's a real concern for me. Plus, I'm a guitar player; that puts me doubly at risk, and also doubles the potential loss should I develop RSI. Since I'm so terribly uncoordinated from the shoulders down, I think it would be a damn shame to have trouble with the only dextrous parts I have.

So, I Googled RSI and looked for some suggestions for stretches and prevention techniques. I found this website which had some stretches. Look at this description, though:

Stand up facing the wall and reach your fingers up as far as you can. While you stretch up also stretch down by placing your feet firmly into the floor. Firm up your legs, extend the side of the  torso and bring the shoulder blades towards the wall. Breathe fully as you stretch, walking your fingers up the wall.

Move little away from the wall so that your torso is diagonal to your hips and press both palms into the wall equally. Press into the ground with your feet, firm up your legs and  release your tailbone away from the wall. Lift up the ribs and let your head drop slightly. You can also do this with the back of a chair. Place your hands on the chair and walk back until your torso is extended parallel with the floor. Firm up the legs, lift up your abdominal muscles and lift the ribs while releasing the spine, tailbone away from the chair and top of the spine towards it.

I read about four lines of that and gave up. This is the picture which they provide as a guide:

Um, okay.

On to the next resource: this one provides a handy little poster, with nice little cartoons. That's more like it. Moving my torso so that it's diagonal to my hips and that my feet are dug into the floor? I think I prefer the little picture of the dude with the arrow indicating his arms are pushed upwards.

This one doesn't even bother with a description, instead providing animated GIFs:

Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

At times like this, I'm really reminded of what an amazing age we live in. Avenues of communication that used to be completely unfeasible are now everyday, and have been done so often now that they look incredibly lame (animated GIFs? And who drew those guys' hair?) but look how much more helpful and straightforward that is.

I guess it just goes to show: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Well, that's not the point I'm making here, but it's worth noting anyway. The point I'm working at is that a picture really is worth a thousand words. And an animated picture is worth a thousand pictures**.

* This title is for you, Steve (see his original post)
** Literally, I guess, if the animation is 33 seconds long, or 40 seconds if it's in PAL format.

Current Music: Super Furry Animals - Guerrilla (bonus disc)


Stevie K said...

You could try whackin' it a bit more. That could help. And thanks for the link.

G said...

^^ I think that causes your RSI to get worse.

Rich, you can do that first one at my place, when you get here. ;)