A few Questions about RSI.

Question : I have a few questions about RSI.

  1. Do people with RSI tested for nerve damage in their arms and do they have it?
  2. Do your symptoms improve when you are on vacation or during the weekend?
  3. Is it a slow progression, or does it suddenly starts and where does it usually begin?
  4. Does RSI eventually turn into carpal tunnel?
  5. Is it a burning feeling or inflammation feeling?
  6. Are you monetarily compensated for it?

Answer 1: I had conductivity tests – which were a shambles as the person carrying them out didn’t know what they were doing – and learned nothing except they think I don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome. Mine improve somewhat when I don’t use the computer, though I can’t avoid it for long and keep my job! Mine progressed slowly over a period of years, I would say. I decided it was something that needed dealing with when the tingling, burning sensations I had in my wrists and hands became pain which spread up my arms to my elbows and shoulders. Ha – wouldn’t that be nice!!! No-one will ever admit that working on a computer at work is the cause – it is though too coincidental to be any other cause. Seems to me that the opposite is likely to apply – you lose your job and your income if you are really unlucky! I do know of someone who is in the process of trying to get compensation and seems to be on the way to succeeding to a point. To me it looks as though the difficulty is proving responsibility and making a claim within the permitted period.

Answer 2: Nerve conduction studies will show some forms of nerve damage, for example in carpal tunnel syndrome, however people with RSI often do not show positive results with the nerve conduction study. In this case the only current way to find out where the nerve problem is to have the neural stretches for ANT/AND done on you. Remember some people with RSI do not have nerve problems; they may have tendonitis or a similar problem. In the early stages of RSI your symptoms will improve at the weekend, in later stages you do not. Often people found that the RSI suddenly gets worse, having had mild symptoms for some time. Some event, like getting back to work after a vacation, with a lot of work to catch up on, will make the RSI worse. However if you can get treatment or change your working practices you can stop the RSI getting worse. The pain can start anywhere in the hand/arm/shoulder. No. The neural problems can cause the same symptoms as carpal tunnel. That is why you should always have a nerve conduction test before you have carpal tunnel surgery. Yes, you can also have aching or tingling or pins and needles. In the UK you have to take your employer to court to get any compensation and this is difficult!

Answer 3: What is the permitted period?

Answer 4: Very helpful paper by Graham Ross ‘Court action must commence by the third anniversary of the employee having knowledge of….’ then alist, the first of which is ‘that he/she has suffered a significant injury’. May be the first visit to a medical practitioner with reference to a problem?

Answer 5:

The answers to the above six questions are as follows:

  1. Don’t know.
  2. Yes, on holiday-not so much at weekend.
  3. Slow progression. Where it starts, depends on the type of injury. In my case it started in my shoulder from using a mouse.
  4. Carpal tunnel is just one of the many versions of RSI. I personally have tenosynovitis but I also have pain in neck and shoulders.
  5. Neither. It is hard to explain – more of a continual ache which is worse sometimes.
  6. You must be joking.

Answer 6: Not if no reason at that stage to link the problem with work, or indeed no diagnosis straight away. But if the doctor says you have an injury and you know, or suspect, or your doctors suggests, it is connected with work, then the
clock will probably start to tick.

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