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Question: I have just joined the list and am hoping to pick the brains of the people on this list as I am at my wits end with whatever is wrong with me. Briefly in feb last year I started waking at night with numbness and tingling in both hands having had no physical problems whatsoever. within 10 days I woke to crippling pain in both hands and my left arm and remained that way with absolutely no let up or respite for seven months. I was diagnosed ( I was in the US) with Cumulative Trauma Disorder, splinted from shoulders to fingers and had to return home to the UK totally disabled as I am a journalist and could no longer type or do anything at all for myself.
Because I knew of the RSI controversy in the UK I went for treatment direct to a chiropractor. who discovered injuries to my neck, back, pelvis and collar bone consistent with whiplash and the seatbelt coming across my chest and hips. had had what I had thought to be a minor car accident a couple of days before the numbness and had no idea I had been injured. A couple of crunches to my neck did indeed relieve the permanent teeth grinding nerve pain that had been present constantly in both my hands for eight months by this point and I was delighted that they had at last appeared to have found the cause of the problem.
Alas three months on from this, I am still in severe pain in my neck and shoulders and can feel both the ulnar and median nerves being trapped through the shoulder and where my arms join on. I am in despair as my chiropractor doesn’t seem to be hearing what I’m saying or understand adverse nerve tension which is clearly what I have no matter what caused it; I think it boils down to the same end problem.
Firstly, Maybe some of you should consider getting your neck checked because if the nerves are trapped at the root in the cervical spine, the problems may vanish with just a couple of treatments. My chiropractor advised me that poor posture can do the same thing as a whiplash in that respect!Secondly, I desperately need to find a physio, chiro, shiatsu practitioner (anyone who has helped or cured anyone on this list) in the London area so that I can get this fixed and get on with my life.
If you have any contact numbers please let me have them so I can try some different specialists. I have had to live with my parents in Warwickshire since returning from the states in August and am feeling that the knowledge up here may be a little less current.
I have so many questions. If I do have cumulative trauma disorder or rsi is it fixable, how quickly etc?Because no-one helping me can agree on what I have I feel that I may not really understand what is going on and am subsequently becoming frightened as this problem doesn’t seem to be going away. Also I have been unable to work for 11 months and desperately need to get back to earn some money so i can continue treatment. But if I do have RSI and not whiplash am I going to do permanent further damage. anyone can offer any advice at all as I’m at my wits’ end with it and wantto resolve it as soon as I can. I am planning to try to return to work in London at the end of this month so I want to get a team of therapists lined up down there. Please excuse the poor typing – I’m sure you understand.

Answer 1:  I AM A FRUSTRATED PERSON LIKE YOURSELF. I HAVE NOT POSTED BEFORE BUT FELT THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THERE ARE LOTS OF US OUT HERE. MY SYMPTOMS STARTED IN JAN ’96 WITH TINGLING IN FINGERS AND I HAVE STEADILY PROGRESSED TO PAIN IN THE NECK, UPPER BACK, AND BOTH ARMS. I AM A CIVIL SERVANT WHO HAS BEEN OFF SICK FOR A VERY LONG TIME! I HAVE TRIED WRIST SPLINTS,COMPLETE REST( NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE!), PHYSIO BY NHS AND PRIVATE, CHIROPRACTOR, OESTOPATHY, ACUPUNTURE AND FINALLY HAD TO GO PRIVATE TO GET A DIAGNOSIS!
I HAVE BASICALLY BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS AND TOLD THAT I HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT! I HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO ST THOMAS’S IN LONDON BUT THERE IS A HUGE WAITING LIST. I HAVE BEEN TOLD TO AVOID COMPUTERS (HA HA!), NOT TO SIT TOO LONG, OR STAND TOO LONG OR DO ANYTHING REPETITIOUS. OH, AND GET A DIFFERENT JOB! BUT SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE SUICIDAL TENDENCIES AFTER READING THIS, I REFUSE TO GIVE UP HOPE THAT THERE IS SOMEBODY OUT THERE THAT CAN GIVE ME AND THE REST OF US SUFFERERS SOME HELP. I DO HOPE THAT SOMEONE WILL BE ABLE TO HELP YOU OUT WITH SOME THERAPISTS IN LONDON, NOT MY AREA I’M AFRAID, AND I HOPE YOU WILL BE PAIN FREE SOON!

Answer 2:  MY SYMPTOMS STARTED IN JAN ’96 WITH TINGLING IN FINGERS AND I HAVE STEADILY PROGRESSED TO PAIN IN THE NECK, UPPER BACK, AND BOTH ARMS. I AM A CIVIL SERVANT WHO HAS BEEN OFF SICK FOR A VERY LONG TIME! I HAVE TRIED WRIST SPLINTS,COMPLETE REST( NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE!), PHYSIO BY NHS AND PRIVATE, CHIROPRACTOR, OESTOPATHY, ACUPUNTURE AND FINALLY HAD TO GO PRIVATE TO GET A DIAGNOSIS! I HAVE BASICALLY BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS AND TOLD THAT I HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT! I HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO ST THOMAS’S IN LONDON BUT THERE IS A HUGE WAITING LIST.
I was told I had this and would have to live with it. An osteopath who was also a GP put it right for me. But it had not spread beyond my neck and — pain — upper back. I was told it was arthritis. It seems that that isn’t obvious, and in my case, it was a disk problem. (The doctor who treated me no longer practices — and didn’t usually treat people free, I was lucky. Sorry.) I think the reason you’ve been referred to St Thomas’s is that they have always done a lot of work in this field. (I now have tenosynovitis, that’s why I’m on this List. It seems I just have to put up with that too! Its hands/wrists, occasionally arms. I do get shoulder problems that are RSI but they go away.) Just a couple of weeks ago I met a woman with cervical spondylosis. She sees physiotherapists and osteopaths. She told me the condition is very difficult to diagnose. What concerns me about your version of the condition is that it’s spread: she has to be very careful how she holds her neck, but put my coat on for me (!). Have you had advice — I know you must have spent a lot of money by now — on posture? Have you talked to Arthritis Care? — their number is in the ‘phone book. They know about the condition.
I HAVE BEEN TOLD TO AVOID COMPUTERS (HA HA!), NOT TO SIT TOO LONG, OR STAND TOO LONG OR DO ANYTHING REPETITIOUS. OH, AND GET A DIFFERENT JOB! At least I haven’t been told not to stand too long! Jackie, have you talked to PACT (the Dept of Employment Disability people)?  Have you looked into speech recognition software for computer work? — that can help with more than simply avoiding typing, as you can move around as you dictate, sit more comfortably, and so on. I had to leave my job but I still use the software. Then there are chairs and worktops — PACT know about all of that


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