Oxford area

Question: I’ve been reading this list with interest for the last couple of months. I have ‘RSI‘ in both arms and have been seeing a orthopaedic physician for 18 months. I have had the usual bout of MRI, nerve conductance, x-ray neck etc with no abnormalities seen but the of course the pain remains. I have been told to get fit and do regular AMT stretches – both have helped somewhat. But I seemed to have hit a block and not progressing any further – with no answers coming from the orthopaedic doctor, except try to get even fitter and if the pain gets too much take co-proximal ! I’m beginning to have my doubts about this treatment (or no treatment) regime. I would like to know if anybody has had any success with any specialists in the Oxfordshire area – thanks. Also – I’ve just hired a Maltron keyboard for 4 weeks to see if my pain can be reduced when typing using this keyboard. Any positive/negative thoughts out there regarding this keyboard?

Answer 1: I’m trialing a Maltron keyboard right now too. I’ve had it about 3 weeks. I’m not sure what I think – so many factors contribute to the pain and discomfort I feel on and off that it’s hard to tell what effect the keyboard is having. I am touch typing on it now, which I’m pretty amazed by. At first I typed more than usual so I got a bit worse. Then things settled down and I’m actually beginning to think that my back and arms do feel better, more relaxed. I did use a completely standard keyboard for about 10 minutes the other day and the aches started again almost immediately. As to how much better this is than my Siemens Nixdorp ergo keyboard…too soon to tell I guess.

Answer 2: HI there, I have been using a Maltron keyboard for three years now and did as you have hired it first. I have to say; through my own personal experience I have found it to be a life saver. I can now touch type again which when I first had problems I found very difficult and extremely painful. I have also discovered if I try to use a different machine for whatever reason without the Maltron keyboard it is extremely painful and I find it quite difficult. Just my own personal opinions though.
Good luck.

Answer 3: As another new Maltron hirer I wonder if you can tell me if you worked your way through the manual when you first received yours? I connected mine and had so much work to do that I couldn’t use it fast enough and had to revert to the ordinary keyboard for the time being!

Answer 4: I am new to this group and have just read some of the emails from the Maltron Users. I have had RSI for 6/7 years now, it is in my hands, arms and all the way up to my shoulders, and I can only use the Maltron keyboard. If I try to use an ordinary keyboard my hands seize up after only about 5 minutes. My company has also bought me a Cirque touchpad as I am unable to operate a mouse now and they have also bought me Via Voice Gold. Since the legislation came in they have done all they can for me but before that they couldn’t give a damn! I was told by our Personnel Director at the time that I would lose my job if I so much as considered suing for compensation and I have now learned that it is too late to try for anything anyway.

I had physio for months on end which was very painful and even tried acupuncture but nothing works at all for me. My physio has told me that basically I have this for life – not a nice thought! I have had to give up all my hobbies bar one and even that I have to take great care doing. The only thing that helps me now is to rest when I feel the tingling starting. I actually work for my husband now and he gets very cross with me if I don’t take it easy! There are so many things I cannot do now just because some manager refused me help and I must admit I feel very bitter and upset at times but I just think of those people who are a damn sight worse off than I am and that helps put things back into perspective. I now try to help make sure that none of my colleagues will suffer with RSI.

Answer 5: I’m very sorry to hear that nothing at all works for you. I presume you’ve tried the usual round of doctors, physios, specialists etc., but is there really nothing you can do for yourself? Please don’t take this the wrong way, but the best advice I had was from a physio who told me that, yes, I will probably have at least some of the RSI symptoms for the rest of my life, but it was really up to me as to how much that would affect me. Basically she said I would have to help myself, that it was my responsibility, particularly to carry on doing things that made me happy. I had stopped going out, and spent a lot of time sitting in front of the television. I stopped doing the house work, and any cooking, and psychologically I think that was very damaging. I had no control over my life. Now I’m much more active, I walk and dance, and cook, leaving the heavy bits, like chopping carrots, to my partner. I know I keep going on about it, but going to Alexander technique classes has helped me enormously to carry on with normal life as much as possible.

I am absolutely appalled by this: < snip> I was told by our Personnel Director at the time that I would lose my job if I so much as considered suing for compensation and I have now learned that it is too late to try for anything anyway. <snip> Can this be true? I must say, if I’d been told anything like this, I’d be pretty bitter too! Sorry I’m not much help, but just wanted to let you know I sympathise,

Answer 6: Is physio the only treatment you have had? Were you referred to a rheumatologist? Did the pain begin (as I suspect) in your hands and wrists, and then spread? — I can’t risk a diagnosis; I am not qualified to give one. But I do wonder whether you should have had physio at all. I hope your physio specialized in the condition. It sounds unlikely. Please try to get another opinion if you can. I’m not surprised. Some people on this list have had good treatment from their employers, some have been really kicked around. I’m only surprised your lot took an interest when the DDA came in, as a fair number haven’t. It is too late, yes. You have to bring suit within three years of realizing what you have. It is best to begin within two years. But it is not too late to look into Disability Living Allowance (e.g.) you may have an industrial injuries’ benefit claim case, too. That depends on the diagnosis. (My kind of RSI is a listed industrial injury.) *Good* acupuncture can help. I’m afraid you would need to track down a genuinely good very well-trained acupuncturist. Even then, yes, you are right, there are some people acupuncture doesn’t help.

(I have a lot of time for Chinese acupuncture. I had some “Western” acupuncture for my wrists but stopped after 1 session: the practitioner was just using it as a counter-irritant.) A lot of us here have this for life. My problem with suggesting something to help you is that I just don’t have a diagnosis for you. I do want to say this: a lot of people here are relating back posture or problems and RSI: mine are totally unrelated. You need to know whether yours are before assuming some of the suggestions here will help.

Having said that, things like yoga and meditation and relaxation classes – all of which I did before this do help. Ice helps! Cool water helps. I massage my hands. That helps. (That’s a symptom, apparently, as well as a “treatment”.) I understand more than I can say. I, too, have RSI caused by overwork. I couldn’t refuse; I too have known total indifference. And worse. **Terrific**. But I hope people on this list can suggest some things. You might find useful. When I say I have my condition “for life”, I mean I have injuries that can’t be reversed. I’m going to be in pain a lot of the time. But I won’t be in pain all of the time; and I won’t be distressed, necessarily, when I am in pain. I hope you can look at ways of lessening what really does sound like terrible pain, trying doctors etc. again first, then looking at some of the suggestions on the RSI page.

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