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I’ll do the best I can with this — as it happens I had this diagnosis once; it turned out to be wrong. There’s a certain disagreement, I found, about what it is anyway, but I was lucky: it was a disk problem and an osteopath (who was a qualified physician) diagnosed it and put it right.
I have had problems over the last 14years (since going back to work full time after a six year break). No one has ever called all of my symptoms RSI, and working for the NHS this is a real problem. I am now finding my job very difficult and I am working with Personnel (hopefully) to see how it can change. My problems have always been my arms, wrists and shoulders,(numerous operations, injections, physio etc.,) but now I am having increasing problems with what is called cervical spondiolosis, is this part of RSI or something new developing?
You must find out whether it’s cervical spondylosis — I imagine it is that; that’s what I was thought, wrongly, to have — or (ankylising?) spondylitis. The first is an osteoarthritic condition (except that not all arthritis specialists agree with that), the second a rheumatological one. (I just looked them up on the Web to make sure I had the spellings and the difference between them right.) I don’t know of any link between RSI and cervical spondylosis. My diagnosis — my symptoms were really very bad pain in my shoulders, spreading down from the neck: desperately bad — was basically one of “wear-and-tear” arthritis. I was told it was one of those things we get, and have to put up with as we get older (which would have been bad enough even if I hadn’t been really rather young to get something like that). It certainly wasn’t connected to the RSI I have now, which came years later. I don’t know of any specific connection.
As I said I was lucky. Very. A rapid counter-diagnosis and one quick manipulation, and the pain, which was associated with typing, went away. It didn’t even happen when I typed. I’m afraid you probably do have arthritis. But as there is a doubt about the condition and as more than one doctor thinks it might be a disk condition, you should check it out. I suggest you get in touch with Arthritis Care, and if possible with the other main Arthritis Organization. They know all about this kind of thing. They have a newsletter and leaflets, and doctors write for them regularly. They also have local groups. I joined when I was diagnosed — then of course I left! While I was a member, they published something about this particular condition and doubts about whether it actually was osteoarthritis. (The doubts don’t mean some people think it’s more serious than that.) I suggest that in addition to the List and the RSI Association, not instead of it! They should be in the London Telephone Book. I have a book somewhere that has the address of more or less every such organization — except the RSIA, I bet!¬† I’ll see if I can find it (I’m trying to move house).

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