Question: What? No swimming? Then how am I supposed to get any exercise? Walking when the weather is decent, I suppose, but that isn’t very often in London and anyway it doesn’t do much for the all-important upper body. More important, let me ask for some general advice. I finally started taking what I assumed to be RSI symptoms seriously last August. I saw my GP a couple of times, but he had little more to say than “do less of what hurts”. Nothing about possible treatment beyond suggesting anti-inflammatories. Later he referred me to a physical therapist, who examined me, said I had hypermobility of the joints, and dismissed my pains as typical for people working with keyboards. They’ll probably pass after a few years, he said. The occupational nurse at work made some recommendations about my workstation setup, which have partially been implemented. Meanwhile, I’ve read Pascarelli and Quilter, along with Sharon Butler’s book, and I’ve started some basic exercises on my own. On my GPs advice I’ve started using voice recognition software, but which helps somewhat. I’d really like to get a reliable diagnosis from a doctor with expertise in RSI who might have some constructive suggestions for recovery. I do believe that recovery is possible, from everything I’ve read, but I have little faith in the individuals I’ve consulted until now. Advice of any kind is more than welcome.
Answer 1: Do backstroke, and try exercising in the water (to increase the resistance to movement). Breast stroke is definitely out, its like walking around looking up at the ceiling all day. You have to think of exactly what you want to get out of seeing a doctor – surgery?, anti-inflamatories? As you don’t say exactly what your symptoms are i would start by finding a good physio who has experience of treating RSI. Phone the Chartered Soc. of Phsyios. The Chartered Soc. of Phsyios is now supposed to have a list of physios who can treat RSI properly, but whether they use it or not is another matter. Then phone up the physios and ask them what experience they have. You will probably have to see them privately, but they may see NHS patients. The key things to ask them about is do they know about ANT/AMT physiotherapy, what do they know about trigger points, even ask them about Jane Greenings research – to see if they keep themselves up-to-date! The physio can then suggest if you need to see any specialists, normally rheumatologists/neurologists are the type you would need to get referred to. Orthopaedic specialists are only really interested in cutting you up! Other than that try ‘alternative therapies’ – Alexander technique, massage, etc. Don’t forget to take regular breaks from your work, even if you are using voice recognition, you are still using muscles and you don’t want to end up with RSI of the throat.
Answer 2: I am recovering from very severe RSI and the doctor that gave me my diagnosis and then helped me get better was Dr Richard Pearson who is a rheumatologist who has a specialty in RSI, he can be found, of all places, in the hypertension clinic at St Barts Hospital. Ring him direct he will give you advice. I had to pay for my first consultation, but he has helped me immeasurably so it was worth it. He knows a huge amount about the condition and how to get well