If you are experiencing pains in your muscles, tendons or nerves of the neck, shoulder, forearm and hand which seem to be aggravated following computer use then you may well have the early symptoms of RSI. You should consult with a medical professional to confirm the diagnosis and eliminate other possible causes.
Even if you do not have RSI, you should read our RSI prevention tips. Take the pains you are having as a warning. RSI prevention is far easier than RSI recovery.
Our 10 Simple Tips to Help Prevent RSI is a good place to start.
I found the following books particularly helpful:
Repetitive Strain Injury: A Computer User's Guide by Emil Pascarelli & Deborah Quilter
Although now quite old, this book is cited by almost every other book or article on RSI.
It's Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, RSI Theory & Therapy for Computer Professionals by Suparna Damany & Jack Bellis
This book argues strongly that you need to look for (and treat) the causes of RSI, rather than just treat an individual symptom. It gets good reader reviews, and at the time of writing is in its sixth printing.
There's a lot of medical jargon surrounding RSI. Our RSI Glossary may help you navigate through it.
If your "mouse" hand or arm is giving you trouble, then you may want to brush up on your Windows shortcuts.
Microsoft has a comprehensive list of Windows Shortcuts. This list is impossible to remember, but it's worth figuring out and learning the 5% of shortcuts which will save you the most mouse use.
You can also try switching your mouse hand: personal experience suggests it takes about a week to become proficient with both hands. Of course, try and eliminate the underlying problems before you do this, or you will end up with two problems instead of one.
Our RSI glossary lists some of the terms used for RSI around the world. If you are looking for local resources or support groups.
There may also be a vaguely official term for what you are looking for. For example, in Canada look for the term WMSD (Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders), and in New Zealand it's worth searching for Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS).
If you are looking for software to help you to remember to take regular RSI prevention breaks while using the computer, our checklist may help. (Obviously as authors of our own break reminder program, Albion StopNow! we have our own view of which features are the most important.
If you an employer who cares about either your employee's health or the bottom line (or even both!), you should read Employee RSI from an Employer's Perspective
I often get asked this. What works for me, might not work for you. That being said, here's what I use:
Note that the above are Amazon affiliate links: if you end up purchasing something using one of the above links I get a small commission which helps pay for this site.