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Question:  I doubt member is the right word to use but I am new to the group. I have had what I call RSI on and off for about three months. Yesterday was bad and decided to do something about it. Any advice for stopping any more damage would be appreciated. I have a wrist rest for keyboard and mouse. I have had wrist damage before and I play a lot of racquets sports.

Answer 1:  I doubt member is the right word to use but I am new to the group. I have had what I call RSI on and off for about three months. Yesterday was bad and decided to do something about it. Any advice for stopping any more damage would be appreciated. I have a wrist rest for keyboard and mouse. I have had wrist damage before and I play a lot of racquets sports. Go to your GP, get referred to a physio who knows about RSI. Take lots of breaks – micro breaks every 15 mins, longer ones every hour. Reduce the amount of key boarding you do, avoid the mouse. Look at the RSI-UK web pages and the TIFAQ pages for more information. You don’t say exactly where you are getting the pain so i can’t be more specific!

Answer 2:  I have been getting severe pains in my right shoulder as well as “pins and needles” in my wrist and hands, since my job spec changed (I am right handed). The changes to my job mean I am doing a lot of data entry which I didn’t do before. We had a “trial run” last May and I had some pain then which was reported to my supervisor and was bad enough for me to see my GP who advised me to cut down on data entry at work. The pain went quickly once I stopped using the computer at work.
Once we went live on the new system the pain started on the first day and by the fourth day I was in so much agony I was actually crying on my way home. My GP signed me off work for a month with “frozen shoulder”. I don’t know if this is RSI or not. I go to see a chiropractor but have to admit that so far it hasn’t made much difference. I’ve been off work almost 2 weeks now and although I have regained some movement in my shoulder and hands I am still a long way from being back to normal.

Answer 3:  I too started with severe pain in my right shoulder. Nobody advised me to stop working even though I was in agony. I know that you have seen a chiropractor but I suggest you see a physiotherapist for working on the inflammation in the shoulder. Take some anti-inflammatory and rest. In the long term you can look into voice recognition and job changes but for now you need to bring down the inflammation in your shoulder.

Answer 4:  Frozen Shoulder is definitely one of the symptoms of RSI, I assume that you use your right arm for mousing. I have had this in both shoulders to varying degrees, but mainly in the left, because I switched from right handed mousing to left hand due to tennis elbow in the right. Sometimes it got so bad it used to keep me awake at night, my G.P. prescribed Diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and I think this helped, but mainly rest.  It does get better but can take time, you need to rest and get your workstation setup looked at before returning to work.

Answer 5:  I am a chiropractor who has been reading the list for over twelve months, my patients benefit greatly from your experiences, thank you for sharing them. I t is most unlikely that you have frozen shoulder. As the word says it would be frozen with hardly any movement due to adhesions of the inferior part of the capsule which attaches the head of the humorous to the “shoulder bone”. Obviously it is work which is causing the problem now, but this has probably been building up over some time, so do not expect the chiropractic adjustments to remove the nerve irritation immediately. Your neck has adapted to something else which has now caused a cycle of; stiffness/muscle spasm/pain/inflammation which has compressed the nerves which supply the muscles in your arm. I am not very good with computers and I cannot do an e-mail attachment. I will forward the e-mail I sent to Polly in February to the list she had a similar problem to yours.

Answer 6:  As a sufferer of RSI i would like to hear from anyone , especially in Scotland, who has been diagnosed as suffering from any form of RSI related injury. I would also like to know if any of you have been dismissed from your job as a direct result of sustaining this type of injury at work. Also I would like to hear your comments regarding the responses or support you received (if any) from your employers. I would also like to hear from anyone who has tried to claim compensation against their employers and the results of any successful claims. Any feedback greatly appreciated

Answer 7:  Where about in Scotland are you? I ask because I have just found  out about the RSI Association’s support group in Edinburgh, and plan to attend my first meeting on 14 November. That is the sort of forum where you might find the information you are looking for. If  Edinburgh is not suitable, the association may have details of a group nearer you.

Answer 8:  I reside in the Tayside area of Scotland. I was led to believe that Edinburgh RSI was disbanded a few years ago. I say this as I did in fact contact Ms Swan who was the chairperson of this forum some 2 years ago.I am merely interested in finding people within Scotland who have taken legal action against their respective employers regarding any RSI related injuries which may be related to work.

Answer 9:  I am new on the mailing list and I’m not quite sure of the format. I have been suffering with RSI for a year now which started in my left hand with CTS after a bout of heavy typing on computer at work for about 6 weeks. Following a cortisone injection in the left wrist with a view to make it better, it did quite the opposite with excruciating bone pain (on a scale of 1 to 10, it was often in the 8 or 9 bracket) at the top of my left arm, left shoulder, upper part of my spine (from my neck down to mid-back) and my neck (obviously with allodynia, swelling, tingling, blue/greyish color in my left hand and unable to grasp or hold a small spoon in my left hand. I made sure I kept my hand out of the way of possible knocks from family around me. I thought I was getting better as for the past 2 months the pain has not been as severe (max 5 at most) as that before the New Year. However, I find it very frustrating because there is still very little I can do at home (such as only some cooking) before I find myself overwhelmingly weak, difficult to walk for more than 3/4 of a mile before all the pains in the neck, shoulders and upper back return with a vengeance and tightness in the upper chest and a feeling as if my left arm is going to fall off. I have been on sick leave now for a year (they had to fill in my position at work due to the length of my illness but have agreed to take me back in when I am well again) and I am starting to come to terms with all the frustrations that it brings as well as coping with moments of being tearful and not wanting to see people and feeling isolated and misunderstood as my doctor is not very sympathetic, and the sadness I have that even a cuddle from a loved one can be painful.
Perhaps someone can reassure me I am not going crazy. Both my doctor and my consultant rheumatologist are not very easy to talk, they told me that my illness will take time to get better but at the same time I have the impression I’m more to them a nuisance with a problem they cannot solve. Even asking for a repeat medical certificate appears to be like asking for a favour although they know I am ill and I find this stressful. Have the above descriptions of the illness and the general lack of understanding or information been your experience? Sorry about the length of my email (it won’t be long next time) but I feel you are my lifeline and that I’m not on my own now. Thank you in advance for your support and advice.

Answer 10:  You are right I think, the lack of belief or even back-up from health professionals <let alone veiled/open disbelief from family/friends/colleagues> is very hard to take and isolating. To some extent I think some health professionals find this reaction useful as if  one then becomes so tense and anxious it affects one’s health, some of them can <and will> say/imply the stress/anxiousness came first and caused the RSI <therefore it could not possibly be the fault of one’s employer>.
On the positive side, I have found that this list is a wonderful way to regain a sense of humour/fellowship, air a grievance <whinge/whine/blow one’s top>, and feel that one is not alone – even if there’s nothing concrete the list members can do, we all recognise the sorts of situation you describe and sympathise. And IF you can think of something positive to help a fellow-sufferer, or share some useful information, you feel a real lift! I’ve not been a member too long, but if you don’t mind a relative newcomer advising, I’d say definitely have a look through the archives for some very useful information <if you haven’t already, of course>.  And Numero Uno advice I’d give is, if you possibly can, get voice-recognition software fitted to your computer at work and home.

Answer 11:  Hang in there! I really sympathize – coping with RSI can be a lonely  struggle. I’ve had it for years and find there are many ups and downs. A couple of suggestions: unsympathetic doctors are really demoralizing, maybe think about changing. Also if you are in are regularly in a lot of pain it might be worth getting a referral to a Pain Clinic. Some people find them useful, some not, but my philosophy is that everything is worth a try.

Answer 12:  I am new to computers and have just discovered this site. I have learnt more in the last few days than I have in the four and a half years since I first started with RSI.It is a comfort to know I am not alone. Over the years my pain has extended from my hand to my neck, scalp, shoulders, elbow, fingers, heel and toes.Physio made a difference at first but not for long. I have tried numerous treatments the last being epidural injections into my neck and back. These were done at Adden brooks pain clinic, but unfortunately didn’t make much difference. I have now been told that it is just something I will have to live with. I do not think that I will ever accept this so I keep looking for possible answers. I am hoping to find a doctor who specializes in RSI. If anyone knows of a doctor in the Cambridge area I would be very grateful.

Answer 13:  Spooky weird!! I too am a JaYne and live near Cambridge – Royston! I’ve had RSI for just over a year and gone from not being able to hold a pen to being practically pain free. My solution started with Stopping! then Pilates and recently and most successfully with a new type of Physio. Though I’ve had physio all the way through this is different. His name is Steve Varney and he works in Enfield. Basically he sticks needles in me to traumatize and therefore heal the bad areas. Its agony sometimes and just painful others but its working….

Answer 14:  Thanks for your advice. Surprisingly I was forced to stop work four years ago . It seems as though I was one of the unlucky ones who has been wrongly diagnosed. Up till now I keep being told that it cannot be diagnosed and that I should just accept this .I am not a typist ,my  injury started whilst using a photo processing machine. I don’t think I am ready for any more injections just yet, but I may do in the future. Do you have family to give you support. I am very lucky to have two great daughters and a very supportive husband,[although I wouldn’t tell him, he’d get big headed]. Thanks for answering; it’s nice to talk to someone who understands.

Answer 15:  I suffer from RSI and live in Cambridge. I don’t know of a specialist doctor but I have been seeing a lady who teaches the Alexander Technique. I think she has been a great help and has enabled me to be able to stay at work when I thought I was going to have to give it up. Her name is Jane Staggs and her telephone number is Cambridge 312374. If you want any more details let me know. I’ve also been attending physio sessions at the Cambridge Lea so maybe the combination of physio and Alex Tech has been good for me.

Answer 16:  Hi, I am new to the group and was wondering if any of you could shed any light on this problem I have had for 3 years. I have a “work-related upper limb disorder” which doctors can find no physical evidence for. The only physical evidence I have is that my arm goes purple like I have an elastic band around my shoulder. When my friends see this happen they order me to the doctor, but the doctor says just don’t worry when it happens. I have had a 2-year typing break and still have the problem.
My muscle strength is fine and I have supple joints, I have a strong heart beat and nerve-conduction tests prove there is nothing wrong. But there is a lot of pain either down one arm or the other, but never both at the same time! I have had exercises which I still do but these also do not stop the pain. If anyone knows the problem I would really appreciate some support, because the doctors are now saying I need counseling and it is psychological. I don’t agree with this – I am stressed because of the pain, not in pain because I am stressed!

Answer 17:  I’m a new member of the list with tenosynovitis in my right wrist. I have just finished my A-levels and got through the exams with extra time and rest breaks. I am starting university in 2 weeks and am worried about how I will cope with the writing. I had physio for six weeks but it didn’t make any difference. I have been referred to a consultant who has put me on the 34 week waiting list for an MRI scan. Is this a waste of time.

Answer 18:  Does anyone recognise my symptoms. I have been diagnosed with functional thoracic outlet syndrome. My symptoms match much of what I have read on diffuse RSI -sore/aching arms, shoulder and neck muscles constantly sore, occasional severe upper back pain. I have worked on my posture and breathing, cut down computer use, and am having physio. The problem has got progressively worse throughout this year and I have had to take some time off from work lately. I am currently coping OK but still have a nagging constant pain. Would be grateful for any help / advice.

Answer 19:  Well 6 months ago I was diagnosed with that also, and I have spent the past 6 months trying to find a surgeon who was capable and confident to carry out the only form of treatment that they considered would provide any relief at all, namely first rib removal. They should have done the following on you to check this condition however, as it is normally diagnosed at the end of a long period when other diagnosis’s have been discounted. X-rays to check for a bone nodule, often referred to as an extra first rib in the shoulder/neck area. (They have a number of treatments for this), a mri scan of your neck and shoulder to see exactly what and where is being affected, a nerve conduction test to determine if the nerves are also being compressed and to what degree, and a Doppler test, where they check the flow of blood to your arms whilst moving them around etc.
However, in my situation this diagnosis was made on the first or second appointment with my rheumatology consultant, who admitted that he didn’t think this existed , and I was his first conclusive proof of it. He sent me for the Doppler tests, on which at that time I had a rather spectacular loss of pulse to a very spectacular high blood flow I believe the exact numbers were 0-280 and the “normal healthy person is around 60-70, nerve conductive tests where inconclusive and the x-rays showed no extra bone nodule on my rib cage. I was told that my situation was too severe for any form of physio, neck stretching/lengthening exercises and that surgery would be my only hope. It then took forever to find a surgeon to consider performing this, first rib removal from the point where it leaves the sternum to the waist. If you get told this, make sure you insist on seeing a very good surgeon indeed. Luckily for me I got referred and referred until I eventually ended up with a thoracic surgeon from Southampton Hospital, who wasn’t convinced of it, and insisted on doing the tests again before he would even consider it.
He informed me that they would only consider surgery in people they were 100% convinced had this syndrome, and in his experience of those definite only 60% ever showed any form of benefit. This did not mean complete recovery either. The operation is a big and long one and many many things can go wrong and they have seen disastrous results in the past. To cut a long story short, all the tests they did again disproved the original diagnosis, and now I am referred back to the pain clinic, further physiotherapy. and back to the rheumatologist who made the original diagnosis. He has just written back saying as his diagnosis was disproved, he had no idea what was wrong with me, saw no point in me seeing him again and couldn’t think of anyone else to refer me too. All praise to the NHS eh, I know they aren’t magicians, however a wee bit of compassion or deeper thought might have been more appropriate.
Anyways I have heard that St Thomas’s do a 2 week intensive inpatient pain clinic which has been most successful and their website is also very well laid out giving the names and specialties of all the doctors working there, I am either considering getting my GP to contact them as they seem to have a phone/advice system or writing myself to the outlining my symptoms and asking if they know of someone in this field in my area who may be able to help. You may be interested to note, that following all my tests, my surgeon said the chances of me improving from this rib removal would be under 12%, even just poking around and looking can cause extreme damage and therefore he wouldn’t recommend it .
My symptoms do not include the back pain though, but do consist of icy cold arms, inability to lift my arm above my elbow, inability to spread my fingers apart or straighten them without physically moving them with my other hand, severe and continuous pain throughout my arm and hand which does seem to increase when my stress levels increase. Due to the delays in getting physio and into the pain clinic, and due to the fact I spent the last 6months + and all I managed to do is get 1 diagnosis rejected, I have bought myself a tens unit and am now playing about with it to see what type of effect or relief I get with it if anything. However if put by C7 or C6 vertebrae, ( not totally sure here which one it was) and down the bottom of my arm and sending a short and low pulse through it it does seem to relax me, and as a result as I am less stressed the pain either seems more bearable or I am coping with it better.
One thing I can say though is that the mental effect is most unproductive and damaging. I now take antidepressants to help me with stuff, and they do work, I have had 6 months of therapy, with 2 therapists and now although I have no idea what is the matter with me, at least now I can appreciate and recognize my own limitations and be happy to reach them, even though they are a pale imitation of me in the past. One thing I am considering though, and considering quite seriously is that I may have got myself into a pain cycle, so for me, until I can find something/someone else to investigate my problem, I am working on improving and maintaining a healthy non-destructive mental attitude, not comparing my performance now with what I was at full health, but realising that I have just as much to offer it’s just my expectations and my abilities are different. Sounds too easy don’t it, but it is hard work. Yes I can get upset when I try to do things I previously could do with my eyes shut, and don’t match my expectations or memories of my ability before, but now I try to think of it and compare it to what I was like at my worst, and also think of all the skills I have developed since.
Its a difficult thing, but sometimes these things can be a blessing, and give a new start to your life, if treated as an opportunity rather than a disability, ( and this is coming from someone who is about to lose her job after being off sick for over a year, with no pay for most of the last 9 months, being unable to drive a car and with a new one sitting outside my house basically unused for the past year, etc etc, and that’s without delving into the effects it has had on my personal life) So be prepared if after these tests they change their mind if they don’t find what they expect, if they do though please make sure you are aware of exactly what they want to do, what the likely prognosis is and what percentage the chances of benefit is. For me, when I was thinking through this I was in a quandary, I desperately wanted this to be sorted but the percentage of risk was too high. However your symptoms do seem quite different to mine, the upper back pain for instance.
PS When I had my first bout of physio, the exercises etc. I was recommended to do went against my works occupational health doctors advice. This is also a frequent problem. Information is power and one thing there seems to be in this illness is a severe lack of information throughout the NHS etc. Hope this helps ya, I am determined not to read this back as I can guess I have just wittered on for ages, one of the downsides of voice recognition when you get used to it is that you can have a normal conversation with someone and providing you have enough spare ram, it keeps up with you. And therefore you never have to wait (and draw breath) for the programme to catch up.

Answer 20:  I have just read your post – so sorry to read about what trauma you have been going through. What a terrible time for you. But – I have recently discovered the most wonderful Orthopedic Consultant – and I wanted to share the news with you. I don’t know where you live, but the incredible Mr Michael O’Driscoll, Ch.M. F.R.C.S. is at the South Cheshire Private Hospital, Leighton, Crewe, Cheshire. You can contact his secretary Mrs Jane Croft on 01270 663930. He charges approx 200 pounds for a consultation and report. X-rays are extra. I can highly recommend him, and he came highly recommended to me by the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre. He is an expert on WRULDs and also spinal pain. I really can’t praise this man highly enough. And an added bonus – he treats you like a human being, and also, he actually listens  to you! A rare thing nowadays.


New Member — 1 Comment

  1. Mr micheal o’driscoll was absolutely amazing.
    I’ve been suffering from a wruld for over 2 years,as anyone who has had a wruld knows it is the loneliest road to be and the one of the biggest battles you have is being believed!!!
    I have seen numerous doctors some ok’ish and others absolutely shockingly cold.
    On going to see mr o’driscoll he instantly made me feel like he cared,he put me at ease instantly and listened to my story.I can not thank him enough for being so kind and caring.
    Thank you mr michael o’driscoll

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