I'm sure you'll agree that as beaders, our hands are very important to us. As computer users and beaders, our hands are at risk. Repetitive Strain Injuries or RSIs can be a real threat to our future ability to bead and to use the keyboard pain-free. The most common causes of RSIs are, of course, typing and mouse use, but any repetitive motion (such as the hand motions used in beading or wire work) can cause or exacerbate an RSI. These injuries can be extremely painful.
Some time ago, I began having pain in my hands and arms after long periods of beading or typing. I saw a doctor who recommended that I wear a wrist brace and advised me to keep my hands and arms warmer when I worked. He also explained to me that my whole body could be contributing to my pain and instructed me on how to evaluate the ergonomics of my computer and beading work spaces. I still have occasional pain and stiffness in my hands, arms, elbows and neck but can get it under control with stretching, repositioning, heat and rest.
Read more for information on symptoms to watch out for, some stretches and other preventative techniques, braces and other equipment equipment and more things you can do to prevent injury, plus support and input from other beaders who have dealt with Repetitive Strain Injury.