I too was diagnosed with RSI now about 15 years ago. Big helps: go to a
professional who can diagnose this properly (get a referral); learn the
Dvorak keyboard layout---you'll type for longer with drastically less
pain, even if it takes a few weeks to get back to the speed you like;
force yourself with a whip to take regular typing breaks (while
frustrating, finding yourself unable to work only halfway thru the day,
and seeing long-term effects, are much harder); put the screen directly
in front of you, no angles; never rest your wrists or arms on anything,
ever, particularly while actively moving for the keyboard or the mouse.
I switched to using Microsoft Natural Keyboards and now a MS Wireless
Comfort Keyboard, and definitely find them much more comfortable. (But
after getting it, learn Dvorak.) As much as I'm all
free-software-advocacy, their ergonomic keyboard layout is the most
useful I've discovered so far.
I will sometimes rest wrists/forarms with ice wrapped in a cloth if
they're really stiff or hurt a lot. Any keyboard shortcuts you find
yourself using a lot have to go. e.g., before I finally stopped using
emacs for 99% of everything I did, I took the first step in making sure
it was impossible for me to use key sequences I did a *lot*, using this
bit in my .emacs:
; I hit C-x f instead of C-x C-f a lot .. since I don't want it to
; fill column (what C-x f does), do this:
; force the use of the File->Exit pulldown choice.
;; set things up to not be able to use the more common control keys
;; cuz left-handed control is too painful.
(mapcar (function (lambda (binding)
(global-set-key (car binding) 'keyboard-quit)))
;("\C-d") ; fsf-emacs 21.1 maps Del key to C-d
When used under X, this made sure I had to use buttons and pull-down
menus instead of typing stuff (like C-x-everything). I've since stopped
coding in emacs usually because I was still finding ways around them.
(e.g., Since C-x C-f was out, I got into the habit of doing C-x 4 C-f to
still get to do it, even though this was against the original idea)
Hope this helps,
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