Question: I wondered if anyone has any advice on a difference of opinion I am having with my employers. I started work for them at the beginning of January and roundabout April developed RSI due to constant mouse use and to my belief a particular document I was working on. They sent me to a rheumatologist who has told them that they have not caused my injury as RSI is a long slow gradual progression before any pain is noticed and I have not been employed by them long enough to cause that build up and this pain. As far as anyone is aware, is it true that this would have been going on for much longer than 3½months or is that plenty of time in which to develop problems? I would be grateful for any advice as due to a disagreement over sick pay I am considering my future with this company!
Answer 1: Any rheumatologist/GP/physio who KNOWS what they’re talking about will tell you that RSI can be caused in a matter of days. The onset of symptoms depends upon the type of work and the person. Doing the same thing as you are, the majority of people will never be affected. Some people will be affected but to a lesser extent, and unfortunately some will be affected almost straight away. I was in an identical position, BUT my GP, physios and rheumatologist ALL agreed that RSI can be caused very quickly depending on person/work and ergonomics. BUT you have to take the WHOLE picture in to account. That is, you have to look at the whole ergonomics of the way you worked to be able to tell whether this particular job was the trigger or not. It is quite possible that it was. To categorically deny that it was is just complete nonsense and you should avoid seeing that rheumatologist again… in short, seek a second opinion.
If anyone out there would like an opinion regarding whom to see and get treatment from then I have no hesitation in recommending Rosemary White. She has about 20 years experience in dealing with work related problems. She is also on the register of expert witnesses. She is based in Nottingham and is definitely worth seeing. At the very least do yourselves a favour and give her a call… she will be happy to talk to anyone.
Tel Rosemary White 01636 611150
Answer 2: I do feel this job caused it as my workstation was set up with the monitor and computer at an angle to me so I had to sit at an angle and had my keyboard and mouse at an angle. In my previous job I had a lovely big desk and was able to sit straight onto my monitor with plenty of room for the keyboard and my arms at the front. So seeing as my RSI is caused by compressed nerves in the right hand side of my neck and I sat twisted to the left of my desk, I feel this will have caused the tension in the right hand side of my neck and was the start of my problems! So thank you for your advice and I will seek out a specialist who is working for me rather than my employers.
Answer 3: It does sound as though the ergonomics of the new job have contributed to your condition. It’s just such a shame that nobody takes the side effects of using this new technology seriously enough to stand up and make a big noise about it so that everyone is aware of the problems it can cause. As I said in the previous message I do recommend that you at least speak to Rosemary. She is very understanding and has a great deal of experience in diagnosing and treating work related injuries. I wish you and everyone else with this problem the best of luck.