I sometimes have really bad RSI. I say RSI, but I really mean, "my right wrist is giving me a bit of pain". And I say, "really bad" as in, it's only giving me a little bit of pain.
I have friends who have gone through a similar experience, but sometimes I discover that one of my friends has not gone through what I call bad RSI, they've gone through flaming both wrists hurt like hell all day every day.
I never let myself get that bad, but it did get to the point that I saw a doctor, took a week off work, took iboprofen, and decided never to seriously use a computer again unless I had gel wrist rests.
That's why I define 'bad' as being in a little bit of pain.
I have a friend in mind who let his RSI get so bad that he quit his job, and found other employment because he was in so much pain... I was discussing wrist pain with a coworker today, and she was saying she couldn't believe how bad it got before she took 'measures', and how it starts to hurt if she even uses her computer at home, that doesn't have wrist rests.
As such, I thought I'd just list here a few of the things that I find really helpful.
- Gel Wrist Rests. Both mouse and keyboard. Mouse is more important for me, but I need both. I use the coloured gel ones made by 'Fellowes'.
- Workrave. When things get bad, I turn on workrave, and it reminds me to stretch every couple of consequtive minutes of work.
- Keyboard shortcuts. Make them if there aren't any good ones in your environment.
- If you're like me and the mouse really hurts your wrist, move to a window manager like Ion.