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Repetitive Strain Injury: A Computer User's Guide Paperback – February 15, 1994
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This book has become a bible for those suffering from RSI. It explains what to ask your doctor (and why) when you go in for a diagnosis; it also lists more than two dozen types of RSI and related conditions, from cervical radiculopathy to reflex sympathetic dysfunction to fibromyalgia. If these terms sound intimidating, then the book succeeds in bringing them down to clear, manageable definitions.
Quilter and Pascarelli also delineate the causes of RSI that are often unconsidered, including being obese, typing while cradling the phone with your shoulder, and having long fingernails. They don't discuss many of the different surgeries used for RSI but instead choose to discuss the various kinds of physical and occupational therapy treatments; acupuncture; stretching; vitamins and nutrition; relaxation techniques, deep tissue massage, and guided visualization. There's also an extensive list of helpful tricks for adapting to living with RSI, from making changes in the kitchen to re-learning how to drive.
This is also the RSI book if youre looking for information on the psychological ramifications of RSI and how to handle both time off from work and the return to the office.
From Publishers Weekly
In this highly instructive and readable guide to health in the age of computers, Pascarelli, professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University and Cornell Medical Center, and Quilter, a health writer, explore the causes, symptoms and treatments of varied injuries stemming from prolonged computer keyboard work. RSI (repetitive strain injury) is the authors' catchword for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, tendinitis, epycondylitis (also called tennis elbow) and a slew of other potentially chronic conditions that render not just computer work but also driving, washing dishes, holding a phone and opening a book difficult, if not agonizing. The authors identify the factors contributing to RSI; emphasize preventive measures, such as upper-body exercises, stretches and the pacing of keyboard work; and insist that finding the right professional diagnosis and treatment is the basis for recovery. They also include names of RSI support groups, ergonomic catalogues and on-line newsgroups. Each chapter offers personal exercises and checklists along with countless anecdotes from commiserating RSI sufferers. If some readers find this work somewhat repetitive and alarmist--all too ready to proclaim RSI "the occupational epidemic of the '90s" and to attribute it to overly demanding office productivity standards--most will find it a consoling trove of practical advice.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I think the authors strike the right balance here -- they say, yes, your problem is serious and could lead to disability if not addressed, but they also give a calm explanation and show how all but the most far-gone cases can be addressed with time. It was incredibly empowering to read this after visiting a general practitioner, being told I had carpal tunnel (despite my symptoms not resembling carpal tunnel at all), and essentially being brushed off.
This book encouraged me to get physical and occupational therapy which has done a lot to help me improve, but the book gave me important background knowledge to help me understand what was happening to me.