Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Off topic: Back pain when typing
Thread poster: Troy Fowler

Troy Fowler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:11
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
Dec 13, 2004

I've only been translating for 4 years, but after 1 or 2 hours of typing, I get a sharp, painful knot in my upper back/shoulder area, more towards the right side (I'm right handed). The pain gets worse when I use a normal mouse, so I switched to a "thumb ball" mouse to eliminate the wrist motion. This helped, but simply punching keys triggers back pains. After a long day at the computer (usually translating), it can get quite painful. I have a few questions about how to avoid this:

1) What is the proper hand height to type at? My hands are usually chest high...would lowering them help?
2) Has anyone had good results with acupuncture or massage at relieving posture-related fatique?

This started about 2 years ago, and has gotten progressively worse. I'm still in my 20s (barely), and this is somewhat alarming.

Any suggestions? Thanks! (ouch)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 06:11
Italian to Danish
+ ...
Professional disease alright! Dec 13, 2004

Hi,
I've been typing for some 25 years and immediately recognized the description of your back pain.

Choices are multiple, I myself prefer having my back stretched a couple of times a year by a chiropractor, it does wonders for me!

I seem to remember that your hands should be more or less about the level of your hips when typing, but as I am sure you know, reality does not always correspond to best practice!

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Els Hoefman  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:11
Member (2004)
English to Dutch
+ ...
RSI Dec 13, 2004

I think many of us have had to cope with pains like this.

There are lots of things to consider if you want to sit right.

You can find a lot of information on RSI (repetitive strain injury) on the Internet, e.g. http://eeshop.unl.edu/rsi.html

I've had some wrist pains but they are solved with a special mouse pad that supports my wrist. Sometimes I also use this free software: http://www.cheqsoft.com/break.html.

You may actually feel much better simply by adjusting your desk and chair.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Johanna Holmberg  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:11
English to Swedish
+ ...
Variation and work-out Dec 13, 2004

Hi!
I had exactly the same kind of pain four years ago. After a few months I consulted a physiotherapist but also did a few adjustments to my workplace, such as lowering the table. I bought a cordless keyboard and mouse so that I can alternate between keeping the keyboard on my lap (which I think is the ideal position) and on my desk. I'm right-handed but now only use my left hand for the mouse. One of the things that the physiotherapist told me was that I needed to strengthen my back and stomach muscles, so I've now been going to the gym once a week for three years and feel a lot better for it
Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:11
French to English
Mouse on left Dec 13, 2004

I agree with Johanna. A few years ago, after having moved into a new place, I started having tingling in my right arm and it became quite uncomfortable to work. I consulted an ergonomist who suggested that I put the mouse on my left side. His reasoning was that your right hand has a further distance to go to reach the mouse (over the Insert/Home/etc. and arrow keys plus the number pad), which puts more strain on the right arm and shoulder. I did that and although it took some getting used to, I haven't had any problems in either hand since then.


[Edited at 2004-12-13 14:12]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:11
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Good chair, good keyboard, screen adjustment and speech recognition Dec 13, 2004

- Buy a good chair with a high back ("executive chair");
- Make sure that the soles of your feet touch the ground and that your knees are bent at an angle of 90°;
- Place your screen a little higher. The middle of your screen should be at the same height as your eyes;
- Buy an ergonomic keyboard;
- Use speech recognition software to dictate your translations (I have Dragon Naturally Speaking 7). It does not only give you the opportunity to let your hands rest more, it speeds up your output as well.

I have solved my RSI problem and have much less back aches since I did those adjustments.

HTH


Joeri


Direct link Reply with quote
 
pidzej  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:11
Polish to English
+ ...
Try a kneeling stool Dec 13, 2004

I, for one, have been using one for close on 14 years and the only time I have experienced back pain was when I was deprived of it for a few months four years ago. but find one with both surfaces adjustable. the orthopaedic community is i presume divided in its assessment of the device and some doctors have suggested that you save your back but damage your knees. well, mine work just about fine. (Balans is one name that comes to mind)

look here to see how it works: http://www.bodytrends.com/sit.htm [Edited at 2004-12-13 14:30]

[Edited at 2004-12-13 19:33]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
JackieMcC
Local time: 05:11
French to English
Yoga techniques Dec 13, 2004

Although I don't get sharp back/shoulder pain I do find my shoulders/neck ache and seize up after hours in front of the computer. If I try and ignore the problem I found the neck ache gets worse and develops into a full-blown migraine which can last up to 2 days !!
I've found the most effective relief is some simple yoga-based exercises that focus on the back, shoulders and neck. I can do some of them at my desk, or do a longer session when I've finished for the day. I'm sure any local yoga teacher would be able to give some advice ... effective and probably cheaper than a physiotherapist !
Hope this helps,
Jackie


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:11
German to English
+ ...
It might not be 'just' typing... Dec 13, 2004

Have you ever thought about what the weight of that bass you're playing in your picture does to your posture? I also play bass and I had some of the same symptoms... they went away using yoga. Get up and move around (at least once an hour)!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

murat karahan  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:11
English to Turkish
+ ...
The mouse may not be the only problem. Dec 13, 2004

5 years ago when I was at the brink of CTS and RSI I've solved the problem by buying a natural keyboard. It takes just a couple of days to get used to it but it works wonders, it's slightly more expensive than other keyboards but I've been using mine for over 5 years.

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/productdetails.aspx?pid=022

and as for your questions you may find answers here

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/hcg/default.html

rasputin wrote:

I've only been translating for 4 years, but after 1 or 2 hours of typing, I get a sharp, painful knot in my upper back/shoulder area, more towards the right side (I'm right handed). The pain gets worse when I use a normal mouse, so I switched to a "thumb ball" mouse to eliminate the wrist motion. This helped, but simply punching keys triggers back pains. After a long day at the computer (usually translating), it can get quite painful. I have a few questions about how to avoid this:

1) What is the proper hand height to type at? My hands are usually chest high...would lowering them help?
2) Has anyone had good results with acupuncture or massage at relieving posture-related fatique?

This started about 2 years ago, and has gotten progressively worse. I'm still in my 20s (barely), and this is somewhat alarming.

Any suggestions? Thanks! (ouch)


[Edited at 2004-12-13 16:40]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
trad500
Local time: 04:11
English to French
Gym ball Dec 13, 2004

Hello,

Yoga actually is doing marvel to strengthen all the muscle we need to stand properly.
I've also been using a gym ball to sit on, as you have to sit up very straight to keep your balance. It is quite tiring at the beginning, so you can alternate with a normal computer chair, but it helps strengthen the muscles in the back.
By experience, not always sitting in the same position helps...

Good luck!!!

Marie


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxsarahl
Local time: 20:11
English to French
+ ...
Sit straight and exercise! Dec 13, 2004

Hi Rasputin

Your pains may be caused by the way you sit, which happens very
often with people who sit at a chair with a back rest. I myself sit on a zabuton to work, so my back is always straight. Strong abs and back muscles also help sit straight. Don't forget to stretch several times a day too to work on those knots and kinks.

Best
Sarah


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:11
French to English
Mouse on left worked wonders Dec 13, 2004

Hi,
I also had excruciating pain in my right shoulder for a couple of months at the beginning of this year. I tried various things, no help, then decided to switch to the mouse on the left - pain has disappeared!

HTH
Mary

PS Your hands seem very high if they are at chest level. I think you should check on RSI sites to see what is the optimum position.

[Edited at 2004-12-13 17:58]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 06:11
English to Russian
Rodents are bad Dec 13, 2004

I tried various things, no help, then decided to switch to the mouse on the left - pain has disappeared!


I work Word + Wordfast, and sometimes shut down my system without having touched the rodent a single time. Hard to adapt yourself, but pays back!

+ An *** excellent *** guide. Most thoruoghly recommend it to everyone. http://www.pc.ibm.com/ww/healthycomputing/vdt4.html

Stay well & stretch often
Alex


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:11
English to Czech
+ ...
Things to do Dec 13, 2004

I can only agree with the others.

You should sit straight and your elbows and knees should be at right angle. You need to adjust the height of your desk, chair, keyboard and monitor.

Put your mouse on left (I did that) and use it as little as possible (use keyboard shortcuts).

Exercise. I've been practicing yoga for about year and half two or three times a week and it helps a lot.

And I guess you should see a doctor. Good luck.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Back pain when typing

Advanced search






LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs