Question: Sorry for another email, it appears I have been completely misread. I don’t believe that RSI is completely in the mind – far from it, and I am suing my employer to show for it. Thinking happy thoughts will not make it go away, but it may make the physical treatment far more effective, and reduce some of one’s symptoms. For some people, I understand, it was not the stress of their job/activity that led to them getting RSI; merely excessive work/time spent doing whatever it was. I think mine was a combination of both high stress and work overload. And I personally feel I was more likely to develop RSI than the ‘average’ person under those conditions, because I have had a history of anxiety which made me perhaps tense up more anyway.(And yes there are also varying degrees of stress – yes everyone has some level of stress, but at least let’s admit that some people endure far higher levels than others.)
And finally, if I can sign off (probably for good, given the negative reactions of most replies) on a good note, I personally know of 2 people who, having suffered for many years with RSI, with all the classic symptoms, completely recovered – the treatment – a few months with a good psychologist. This is not a cure for all, but a possibility for some – and I for one won’t rule out anything so definitely as some of those who have written back today. I wouldn’t dismiss something that may help me recover. Another thing to think about is that it is highly unlikely that many people who have fully recovered will contribute to any of these discussions and would not wish to. [And on Dr.Pearson, I have no firsthand knowledge of his success, but from reliable medical authorities I was told to ‘steer clear – he’s bad news’, and was wondering if anyone knew of him being sued for negligence on a few occasions?]
Answer 1: Me too. I also think there’s a link here with the often observed fact that people who get RSI tend to be — not exactly workaholics, but working excessively long hours to try to get the work done. I put my hand up to not taking enough breaks and beavering on for hours, long after all the sensible people had gone home. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but I know I often kept at it out of sheer stubbornness. Not admitting defeat, or something. The trouble is, some people would like to argue that the next logical stage on from that is that you give the jobs to the ones who can endure very high levels of stress — rather than changing the work environment so that it’s less stressful for everyone.
I’m afraid that US people with RSI come up against this attitude much more than we do here in the UK — just as screening for drug use is more common in US working environments. I myself think that while stress is undoubtedly a factor, personal capacity for enduring stress is not such a big factor. It shows up first in those of us who tend to react tensely, but Dr Lynn’s studies showed that damage is also being caused in those who don’t have pain and aren’t aware that anything is wrong. Paying attention to the ways we cope with stress can help us recover and avoid re-injury, though — on that I agree.
The reactions to your comments don’t seem to me to have been negative. It’s a subject people understandably feel strongly about — perhaps you’ve mistaken the strength of feeling for negativity. Indeed. Just about the only advice I usually feel able to give, about RSI, is “If somebody else says it’s helped them, consider whether it might also help you.” Most probably sign off the list once they feel RSI is no longer a problem for them. No. I’ve never heard anything of the kind, and I do think it’s important not to suggest this about a named individual unless you know it to be true. Everything I’ve ever heard about Dr Pearson has been positive, except that a number of people have posted here recently that he has an abrasive manner. Several people have said how much they felt he had helped them.
Answer 2: There is still not a lot known about RSI (though more than when I got it 1994). We, the RSI recipients, probably know more than anybody. We must reach out and help one another. She picked up on a good debate, (and as Ellen points out, it’s not peculiar to RSI, Breast Cancer List, for example, has had many posts about this) and several of us had our “two cents”. Nothing wrong with that! I don’t think any of us got nasty with her. For myself, the discussion has reminded me to watch my stress barometer. I am declining things, stopping myself doing stuff that might exacerbate…. just watching program on brown bears in US parks, people being attacked, must lie dead, etc., became aware how tensed up I was relating to the people who were mauled!! So I switched off and am feeling better now.
Answer 3: At the risk of addressing such a sensitive subject, I offer that RSI and myofascial pain are very real and very physical. It must be considered however, that the mind cannot be separated from the body, and at some level, the mind plays a part in everything that occurs with the body.