No, I’m not in great shape. I’ve been meaning to get the few extra pounds of flab out of my midsection for quite a while now, but I can’t do abdominal crunches because of the throbbing pain in my lower back. As such, I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution to exercise.
But being a prolific blogger (which means that I write almost every day), I must say that blogging takes its toll on wrists and finger joints. Many people suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), particularly secretaries and office workers. “Nintendinitis,” or a form of joint pain caused by excessive gaming, is rising as one of the chronic maladies of today. After three years of blogging and almost 22 years of being surrounded by computers, I’m well-acquainted with the joint pain that results from computer use.
People claim that the structure of the keyboard is the cause of all computer-related orthopedic maladies. Some people have resorted to “natural keyboards,” where the keyboard can be split in the middle and adjusted to a more natural position. If that doesn’t work, keyboards laid out in Dvorak (as opposed to QWERTY) also prove to be alternatives. If blaming the keyboard wasn’t enough, there’s also the mouse. Contoured mice have been around for quite a while, and mouse pads with wrist-rests have also been marketed.
I find that the best remedy for computer-related joint pain is exercise. Whenever I play games or write, I always do a little move from jiu-jitsu, in that I loosen up my wrists by rotating them in 270 degrees. Loosening up your wrists allows for more freedom of movement: because I don’t use both hands in typing, my right hand does most of the work. As such, I need the freedom of movement for my right hand to “fly” the keyboard.
Loosening your wrists also helps in gaming, particularly with arcade machines. A bad wrist will prevent you from doing complicated motions, particularly in fighting games like Tekken (like wavedashing) and Street Fighter (the Dragon Punch motion). Console controllers aren’t joint-friendly, and a comfortably loose wrist would allow you to contend with shoulder buttons. Also, a loose wrist would delay (for a while) the pain that comes with turning vibrations on in a PlayStation Dual-Shock controller.
There are a lot of benefits to loose wrists for sports like golf and masturbation, but in the end, there really is no substitute for consulting a doctor if you have joint pain.