RSI and the TextBlade

Anybody with RSI (repetitive strain injury) and a TB to comment on feelings after/during using it? Lately I’m having a minor RSI flare kicking in (after 2 years of being pretty much fine, specially after learning to touch type), and I’d like to know if (when/if it ever arrives) it will help me with the symptoms.

It certainly helped me. Typing on the TextBlade is far less effort and more comfortable than using a traditional keyboard.

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As the time until general release is unknown, one idea would be colemak on a kinesis advantage or dactyl straight away.
I think that it is better to try to pre-empt these problems if at all possible.

While I have only been using the dactyl keyboard and colemak for about 6 months, you can see from this 1 minute video that it is a lot easier on the hands.

I’ve been on Colemak for almost 2 years (time flies, thought it was 1). Helped a lot, but something is affecting me lately again. Maybe the TB will help someday.

Pre TextBlade I would often have lots of tightness through both forearms during the workday.
I can now type all day without fatigue. The vertical strain I had to go through to reach characters and numbers is now a thing of the past.

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I used to have RSI problems in both arms–sore wrists, numb fingers, stabbing pains all the way up to my elbows. Switching to Colemak on a regular keyboard helped some–switching to the TextBlade made RSI from typing a thing of the past. At this point, my biggest source of wrist pain is my Swiftpoint GT–it’s ergonomic and all, but it’s only for right-handed use so I can’t switch it to my other hand when my right wrist starts to protest using the Swiftpoint for too long.

I think the biggest testament I have regarding TextBlade’s power to beat RSI would be from this past November–I did the National Novel Writing Month challenge, and not only did I smash past my previous monthly records by more than double. It’s also the first time in all the years that I’ve done NaNoWriMo where I finished my 30 days of frenetic writing with no joint pain in my hands or wrists–and that’s after churning out 340,000 words of my story, plus instant messages, emails, Etc.
I think that’s a pretty powerful statement about what TextBlade can do for people who either have RSI or are worried that they might be headed that direction.
(For my full discussion of this November’s spree of writing, see National Novel Writing Month )


This could be interesting if WT works with some doctors about RSI issues. Imagine medical sources encouraging the use of the TB! And if they use it themselves, they could say something like, “You can likely get rid of your RSI pain by using the TB, but after a reasonable adjustment period you will likely find you just prefer it anyway.”

Heck, once you establish to the medical community that it can solve these problems for most people without compromise, you are just one step away to saying you might as well avoid RSI in the first place by using the TB.

I wonder if they are doing that? Once I thought of this, it seemed obvious to do so. Surely others have thought of it too.

It’s still the thing that surprises me the most - a mobile keyboard that not only doesn’t have compromises but is actually superior for most user’s situations.

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It hurts us to write this (almost as much as to read it) but IF General Release does ever happen, we in TREG are certain that all users will be grateful for the kind of mind, values, and engineering behind this incredible keyboard, even if a side effect of that has been this absurdly long delay. This is an absurdly good piece of equipment.

I know, I know… if it never gets released it doesn’t matter how much quality there is… I know, and that’s true. What can I say?

Dear WayTools, Let’s do this thing! It’s gotta be show time by now!


Well, I hope the TB arrives sooner than my RSI gets worse. I’m doing stretching, posture fixing, pauses and all needed to get back in track (have been fine for 2 years so I have neglected something lately) but a better keyboard would be 2x more effective. Hear, hear @waytools

From what I’ve read and seen though, it’s very hard to get proper endorsement for RSI fixes because RSI can be due to many things, and can be fixed by many different treatments (in my case it’s aggravated by my elbow nerve being pinched in the elbow, similar to tennis’, but also at the shoulder, in addition to usual symptoms in forearms, so I need pauses, better posture, stretching, nerve aligning arm stretches and pressure release on shoulder trigger points)

I had RSI in a bad way, and couldn’t stop work (long story, but it had a good ending).

The stretches are by far the most important thing. Doing them more often and more painfully than desired is important. Get some squeeze balls and other exercise tools that strengthen the squeezing motion of the hands and fingers (not that this is the RSI problem, but as you work on the other muscles, this will balance that work out). Then, for stretches, place left hand fingers on right hand palm/wrist and vice versa (i.e. palm side to palm side), and then push and hold, so that your wrist bends at least 90 degrees “in the wrong direction”. And then push and hold some more. And then some more.

Next, stand up in front of your desk. Place your right palm on the desk, fingers extended. Turn your right hand counter-clockwise as far as you can, so that your fingers are almost pointing back at you. Now, straighten your right elbow (ouch!) and shift your body away from the desk so that you begin stretching your wrist. Do this a bit past “ouch” and hold it there. Now relax, and slightly rotate the hand in either direction, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

Do the stretches more often than you want to. Also, learn to avoid the mouse (EVIL MOUSE!) by learning keyboard short-cuts for everything. I settled on the Kinesis Advantage Pro keyboard (I have two of them, i.e. home and office). I’ve also been trying to learn the KeyMouse, but I don’t think that it’s a good idea for someone trying to recover from RSI (even if, once learned, it might be a good way to avoid RSI.)

One last stretch: Sitting in your office chair, put hands palm-to-palm, finger-to-finger (as if doing some sort of religious praying) with the fingers pointed straight up. Holding those palms flat together, push the wrists down toward the floor until it begins to hurt, and then push further, and then hold.

Remember to intersperse the stretching exercises with “compression” (ball squeezing etc.) exercises. Good luck :slight_smile:

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Oh, I’m sure there are many factors, but the keyboard itself (and layouts) are certainly big factors. So it wouldn’t be like saying the TB solves all RSI, but only that it can help many people with it (or avoid getting it).

Meanwhile, it would be very interesting to have more testing that focuses on people with these issues. It may be surprising at how things are connected. For example, you mention an elbow nerve. Certainly the TB won’t fix that, but it is possible that the change in typing with the TB may reduce the amount that nerve affects things.

I’d like to see WT check others who have reported RSI issues and get more in treg so, along with “normal” testing, they can report on this. Probably have to only take folks who already have said they have it or we’d suddenly have everyone who wants in treg suddenly saying they have that problem!!!

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@rberenguel and @Cameron – having been through the same thing I recall what really made it worse:

a) cold weather (but your post is dated July! unless you’re in southern latitudes…)
b) finger pain (stiffened up membrane of an old keyboard/heavier keyswitch)
c) lack of wrist or finger support (Fingerworks… I loved and hated you, zero-force doesn’t really work!)

Then I thought of two things that made it right:

a) Pushups (combination of strength and stretching)
b) The amazing rotating gyroscopic ball – an example here – I suspect it works by improving proprioception or something?

Late reply, but hope this helps. I need to do (b) again.