The Rule of One Pain at a Time

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I’ve talked before about the various physical pains that software developers face on the job. For me, it seems that my pain likes to migrate around my body. If I have pain, it almost always seems to be one at a time.

For example, recently, my hands started hurting again, but my back felt much better. More recently, my hands and back felt good, but my eyes started bugging out due to eye strain. Now I am back to my back hurting, and everything else is feeling good. I hope to get back to where everything feels good, but I think that situation only occurs in the womb.

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8 responses

  1. Avatar for jayson knight
    jayson knight October 24th, 2005

    I was actually going to post about something similar pretty soon myself...my finger/hand pain has been steadily getting worse over the past year or so. I simply don't know how many more years of coding they have left in them.

  2. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked October 24th, 2005

    Jayson, I highly recommend you read this book, Repetitive Strain Injuries, a guid for Computer Users.



    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471595330/103-9411210-6787060?v=glance&n=283155&v=glance

  3. Avatar for Greg Chen
    Greg Chen October 24th, 2005

    I stand and do programming, feel good. have a rest every an hour.

  4. Avatar for jayson knight
    jayson knight October 24th, 2005

    @Haacked



    Ordered, thx for the link (and it was only 1.99 used)!



    @Greg



    I hardly ever code more than 90 minutes straight w/o taking a break (mainly due to meetings, phone ringing, etc). TBH I think my typing style is f'd up...I've been watching how I type lately and the fingers that are tingly/numb (right index and middle, and left index), I almost always hit the keys w/ the tip of those fingers rather than the pad, and I think that's why they're numb. I don't do that on "natural" keyboards, only on laptops, which is usually what I'm using. I may need to retrain my fingers on non-natural keyboards.

  5. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked October 24th, 2005

    Typing on a laptop is about the worst thing you can do for yourself. Over the course of a day, your fingers travel miles. Many of them. You need an ergonomic keyboard and to train yourself to use proper typing style.



    I switched to Dvorak a long time ago. I don't know if Dvorak really is an improvement, but the fact that I had to relearn to type helped my typing style.

  6. Avatar for Matt
    Matt October 24th, 2005

    I hear you brother!

    I'm going with the theory that i'm getting old :(

  7. Avatar for jayson knight
    jayson knight October 25th, 2005

    I agree about the laptop stuff, and I've been trying to spend more time on my desktop machine (which does have an ergo keyboard...that's actually what I'm used to, jumped on the ergo bandwagon several years ago, but after going independant about a year ago I've mainly been using laptops).



    I think my typing style is pretty spot on (not self trained, I actually took courses), but I look forward to seeing the recommendations in the book you linked to.



    As a sidenote, when I worked at MS a few years ago, one of the things they *made* new hires go through was a complete ergo crash course where a "specialist" (could have been a janitor for all I know) comes and monitors you working for about an hour, then makes recommendations on keyboard height, chair adjustments, etc...they realize the liabilities of repetitive stress injuries and took them pretty seriously.



    I really think it's the laptop :-).

  8. Avatar for protected virtual void jaysonB
    protected virtual void jaysonB October 25th, 2005

    Haacked reminds me of a post I’ve been meaning to throw on my site for a while now.  I’m...