I have a huge problem with my neck and spine due to laptop overuse.

Question:  I’ve been reading your messages for a few weeks now and finally feel it’s  time to join you.I’m 25, a management consultant and live in London. I was diagnosed with  RSI six months ago and since then I’ve been off work. Mine is almost  purely postural.I have a huge problem with my neck and spine due to laptop  overuse.

I am in total spasm at the top of my back, only 1 joint of 7 is  doing most of the work in my neck, I have the usual referred pain down my  arm and tingling in my hand and I also have a lower back problem leading to  shooting pains down my leg. It’s definitely not been a fun 6 months and I’m  getting to that stage where I don’t know how long I can actually go on  dealing with the constant pain. from working 12 hour days, I now am almost  inactive, which is really destroying.

Anyway, I know now there is no magic cure and I know I have a pretty severe  case. I’ve tried a physio, chiropractor and acupuncture (which I had a  really bad reaction to never again) and am currently doing pilates.  Has anyone got the same symptoms as me? It all stems from the neck/upper  back. If so any words of advice?

The other question I have is whether anyone can tell me if there is a  specialist in UK or abroad who is the leading authority in RSI. I’ve read  various names who seem to have been pretty good, but is there one name (such as Dr Pascarelli was before retirement) who’s the best? I look forward to receiving your replies.

Answer: I can identify exactly with that, although I don’t have the pains in my leg. I have not been “diagnosed” however since my Doctor told me it was posture and I should get a higher desk. I’m 26 and have been working for 6 years. The problems really started becoming evident late last summer, 8 months after I’d transferred into a new position that required laptop use exclusively.

In March I went to see a physio privately who explained what mechanically was probably going on, and how high a desk would be required for me. At 6ft 4in I fall well outside the “usual” that desks and office furniture is designed for.

When he heard that I was a laptop user who was “mobile”, (working from different clients on a daily basis) he said that was the main problem. I luckily get a chance to work from home on a fairly regular basis and have privately purchased a high desk, chair and keyboard/screen which are fully height adjustable. This helps drastically with the tingling hands and aching arms.

I can only sympathize. The physio I saw was in Henfield, West Sussex,however he suggested a set of back extension and arm extension exerciseswhich allow me to “manage” the symptoms, although due to serious overusetoday, typing this message is pretty difficult…

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