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The Effects of RSI


Part of the reason why there's been no posts on here for a while, I'm cursed with RSI. This makes typing amongst other activities - at times - somewhat painful. It annoys me to say the least, as I've got plenty of things I would like to get on with. I will try and catch up on some political news I've missed (check back later for backdated entries, if you're interested), it seems the best way to do it.

Which brings me neatly onto Coterie of the Zombies, and his posts about the effects of having to give up interpreting due to RSI. See this post:

The GP told me I have many things wrong with my hands and that I should consider stopping interpreting if I can. .... I don't understand how RSI works if I can sort of manage that ... but interpreting hurts.

Howard needs to stop interpreting and gives the timescale for recovery:

So. I had the injections done and my GP was lovely about it all, but he did explain the timescale for recovery from this kind of injury. Apparently it'll be six months before I can expect to return to something approaching normal functionality.

If you read the rest of this post, he then goes onto detail the issues claiming IB. In his latest post he expands on the effects of physio, a psychologist, acupuncture, injections, and generally being overloaded with talking about one's problems; with the money issue not resolved thus needs to consider going back to interpreting even though health issues are not resolved.

Howard is currently trying to sell some artwork, in an attempt to cover basic living expenses, details in this post.

The pain from RSI is very real, and if ignored it does get worse (I've been there). For interpreters is there a feasible alternative to interpreting, if you've spent many years training solely for one profession?

Ask the Readers:
This is really aimed at interpreters. Do you have a contingency plan for RSI, apart from safe working practices? Perhaps insurance, secret savings stashed away, a fall back skill? Something else, or do you hope for the best? How should we be protecting interpreters (thinking prevention is better than cure)? Throw us your thoughts in the comments.

See also:
Sign Language Interpreters at a High Ergonomic Risk

Comments (4)

I can see the pro CI brigade saying that CI prevents RSI.

As you see i have nothing interesting to comment :-P

Can I just say regarding RSI. I was suffering badly from this these last few months and I was seriously worried about my ability to work and even do household chores, such as turning on the tap. A lot of it was down to bad posture and tension in my back, shoulders and neck.
BUT it now practically sorted and as I am typing this I am feeling no pain!
How? I had the most fantastic massage of my life from a Thai woman last week. She worked and worked my back, neck and shoulders till I staggered out of there feeling the most incredible release and relief. It really has worked, I will be going back for another massage to get rid of the final knots and tension, but I can't recommend a proper Thai massage enough!

You've just sold me a Thai massage! Thanks for your advice, and glad your RSI is now better.

Hmm, wondering where I can get such a massage in this part of the world .....


I had RSI in 1995 and you are right ....it does hurt like hell ! and very restricting on life

I am ok now cos I had physiotherapy and it really changed my life although I do still have difficulties on some jobs ie using a tin opener or screwdriver ...cant use a potato peeler or do repetitive jobs ie painting

I do recommend Physiotherapy and look at the body posture as sometimes this doesnt help

take care

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