Question: Hi there. I’m new to all this and not even sure if my problems are rsi related although having read much of the material on the Web much of it seems applicable. So are there any contact groups or recommended professional people (e.g. physiotherapists, chiropractors’ etc) in this area (Exeter, Devon) with whom I can make initial contact?
Answer: The RSI assoc (01895 431134) publish a list of existing groups in the country and there is one in Plymouth, contact Susan Taylor (01752 509794). (I’ve not been – not sure why, other than location). This list has been a lifeline! There are so many variations of work related musculo-skeletal disorders that it is very difficult to diagnose and decipher the symptoms specific to you – I often find I think someone’s injury sounds exactly like my own and then later discover differences – no wonder it is so complex for doctors when we are all so different and confusing.
Since moving from where my injury was caused, Swansea, and now working in Exeter, I have had positive and negative medical experiences. A rheumatologist Dr Rae at the R,D&E diagnosed ‘double crush syndrome’ (It all started neck and shoulder and is now also elbow, wrist and hand) but despite this being recognized by other list members and doctors as an RSI she stated it was not caused by work and offered no indication as to any other cause.
Occupational therapist was very supportive, Carole Rawson. However having made the best of a bad job for 3 years she did admit that I seemed to have developed most helping strategies by now anyway.I sometimes see her to motivate me to rest it as that is my major failing. GP and physio GP could only offer ibuprofen which I avoid as it tends to allow me to work through pain which in the long term is dangerous.
Physio was extremely supportive but bemused by it all! Alternative treatments Alexander technique – found a cheap teacher and this offered short term relief and I still lie flat on the floor when in dire situations which always helps – gaining understanding of the main principles of this is useful. Massage – I think helped but again short term.You can get cheap ones at Exeter College as they need people to practice on. I found this a daunting prospect and so didn’t.
The occupational therapy may be useful to you if you are in early stages as they are full of tips that can save you. Ask your GP to refer you to a specialist too as this takes months and if you get worse you will have the appointment and if you recover and think it was just a passing thing you can just cancel. DO take notes when you see anyone as they give such confusing conflicting info, advice and diagnoses!