Ringing and RSI

I have moderate RSI (from typing) and find that ringing is useful exercise for it. When I first got it, I used to cut down on ringing in case of making it worse; having seen a consultant about my RSI, who said that the key is to get fit and not to work beyond the pain barrier, I found that I'd been doing just the wrong thing. The right thing is to do more ringing -- although always stopping before the arms / hands / wrists start to hurt, so in practice this means touches rather than quarters and peals.

Choice of bells

Many ringers assume that, with hand injuries, it is best to go onto lighter bells. I have found that in practice, for the type of RSI that I have (in which the problem is primarily in the muscles) in fact these are the worst bells to ring. It appears that what hurts is holding the bell repeatedly at the balance. Heavier bells, in particular bells that you normally ring below the balance, although requiring more pull, are more comfortable, as the movement is continuous. I am not the only ringer with RSI to have found this.


Try not to grip the rope too hard; also watch out for overpulling. A healthy planned hard pull is often OK; it's the touch bristling with sudden corrections that can leave you aching for days.

Make sure you don't grip the rope (just let it rest in your hands) between each pull.

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 22:12:57 GMT Daylight Time 2007