Question: I need some advice on how to treat a possible RSI. I am suffering a lot of pain in my right arm. (am typing with left justly now, so forgive my sparse style). I started experiencing some discomfort a couple of months ago when using mouse more than usual. Then 2 days ago, after being out kayaking, the next day my forearm was quite painful and sore. I couldn’t figure out how it could be from the kayaking. I had also been typing for a long time that night – but then remembered that I had had to carry the kayak quite a long way down to the beach, with my wrist in a bent-up position (holding the boat) for a long time. I guess this may have exacerbated whatever may have already been lying in wait. In any case, the kayaking was Wednesday, and my arm is still in pain. It was hard to find a comfortable position in which to sleep, and I kept waking up through the night. I need some good advice about how to catch this early and not let it turn into some chronic injury. I will go to see my g.p. on Monday, but I have heard many stories about how doctors misdiagnose this sort of problem. What should I expect to get from my doctor? What should I ask for? what should I beware of? And also, what sort of things should I avoid doing with my hands/arms in the meantime in order to minimize my risk of compounding the problem?
Answer 1: This “pain,” is it located in the “tissue” that fills the space between the radius and ulna bones in your forearm? If so, you may have strained the musculature serving your fingers as that musculature stretches between the elbow and wrist. You may get wonderful relief from this sort of pain by asking your significant other to massaging the “space “between your ulna and radius bones.In the absence of a significant other, I’ve successfully self treated this pain by massaging that “space’ against a table corner (kitchen counters are an excellent height…). I hope this helps
Answer 2: Some things to think about: look at how you are sleeping. I always find that sleeping with my hands or arms tangled or under my head results in a painful morning. The best sleep I get is on my back. Some people are good at this, others not. I usually turn my head slightly and cross my hands on my chest. I find I get a real relief that way. Try stretching while lying on the floor. If you can get your arms out to the side, I find that helps. Otherwise, on bad days, I cross them on my chest. Doctors, emm…..what to say about doctors. Some are good at diagnosing rsi. My doc said I had cts within 3 minutes of entry into her office. On the other hand, her only recommendation for treatment was surgery which seemed somewhat extreme on such short exam. I’ve since found out a bit about back room politics and the medical profession. Another discussion. It may help if you give just your symptoms without any ideas. Let them consider the diagnosis. Then consider what they say and how knowledgeable they seem to be about it. Try asking questions about treatment, prognosis and healing time. I think you are likely to sense their knowledge of rsi through some pertinent questions. Also about doctors…I now have serious misgivings about seeing them re: rsi. I lost a job offer due to this and now worry terribly about info on my med records. You should see a doc but be wary. Guess that’s too long an answer and my hands are in a mess tonight. So I better close now. Massage the area. As the pain is caused by an acute incident it should get better fairly quickly. Get in contact with the RSI Association as they may be able to tell you of a good physio in your area.