Need Advice Desperately!

Question: I just recently decided to go on holiday to Fuerteventura to try and alleviate my symptoms of rsi. As I took my holiday my symptoms have deteriorated considerably. I therefore need some serious advice. Here are my symptoms over the last few days. Wed, pain in my arms and hotness in my neck, still able to wash and eat without pain. Thurs. constant pain in arms, eating or washing brings on hotness in neck. Fri, constant pain, constant hotness in neck. Sat: pain disappeared from hands and neck, I now have very bad back pain. Hands constantly tingling. Sun: Back pain still even after taking 100mg of volterol (anti-inflammatory). Presently being prescribed gabapentin (300mg)Rofecoxib (vioxx 12,5mg)
I am worried that the simplest things that I do are making my condition worse. I am having my girlfriend wash me and dress me as I am so terrified of the effect that my body movements are having on my nervous system. What do I do? Do I ( 1 week and 3 days to go of holiday left) come home and seek immediate neurological advice? Am I damaging myself to the extent that I may not be able to recover?

Answer 1:  Sounds like you are in a bad way. If I were you then my doctor would be my first visit upon your return. Do not wish to worry you further but what you are reporting is very similar to the sensations I developed about a year ago but all down my left hand side. A feeling of being hot down that side and then constant numbness with tingling lasted for about 2 weeks before settling in to left leg below knee and left arm from elbow downwards and is still with me14 months later, but mine has been put down to the early stages of MS. So go and get checked out with some sound advice upon your return, and with luck it will only be something else like a flare up within your rsi. All the best.

Answer 2:  I have been having physio once a week for some time, which relieves the symptoms but I doubt will cure it by itself. I have found vigorous walking and jogging to be very helpful in relieving the symptoms on a day to day basis, and wish that I had started doing this every day (as I do now) at an earlier stage. I walk/jog about a mile a day, and plan to increase this as it is beneficial, but does not aggravate my symptoms. Also, in my experience at least, not lifting anything is crucial to stopping the spread of the symptoms to other areas. I often feel that I am just controlling the symptoms/slowing the spread down, and not much else, which has been very worrying. I know that if I want to get rid of this, I have to show total commitment in terms of being disciplined about exercise and in terms of putting my health first, taking regular work breaks from typing/admin.
I got some info from the RSI Association yesterday which was informative/comforting and made me very determined that this is not going to get the better of me. You should be able to get their number from Directory Inquiries. Of course, this just my experience, and you may find that the above is not suitable for you. Anyway, hang on in there.

Answer 3:  It will be impossible for you to identify the real source of your pain, much of which could be referred pain, without professional help. If my experience is anything to go by, the more you tense up as a result of your worry etc., the worse the pain will be. Do your best to relax and focus on some positive thought whilst still on holiday and decide to get some help urgently when you return. A combination of GP and physiotherapist might be your first port of call as a “first aid” measure. I am sure most of us reading your message can identify with your concern, and send you all the best.

Answer 4:  It depends how severe your rsi is – but you can’t just alleviate the symptoms with a holiday – presumably from work and the cause of it? A holiday is a valuable time to rest, and get to know your symptoms better. Doesn’t sound like you’d be better off coming home. You have someone to help you which is great, take the time as calmly and caringly of yourself as you can. It is very hard to discover symptoms are so varied and don’t clear easily, but you are not alone!
It can take quite a while to get the symptoms to calm down, but do not despair they will… Use the time to get to know what particularly aggravates yours, note how long the delayed reaction is to something you’ve done. Trying to work out what may have caused the particular symptom is not always possible, in my experience, but often is with practice. It is part of looking after yourself through this crisis which has its own pace and can’t be forced. Plan to get good advice and help when you return. Find a specialized physiotherapist with plenty of experience in rsi who can treat and advise you on management of the problem.
Meanwhile try to learn what calms the symptoms, and if it does mean doing very little for yourself and having a lot of help – take the opportunity to rest and take care of your overworked and stressed limbs. Back pain is part of it as the muscles that operate your arms have their attachments deep into your back, and the stressed nerves enter the spine in the upper back and neck. You will have pain in these regions if you have rsi.

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