RSI-UK Digest for 13 Apr 2000

Question: What is a rheumatologist going to do for all you ache and pains coming from the CTS surgery? I am in the same boat; I have wracked my brain as to who to see next. My ortho just does not seem to care. Please let me know what happens. I feel like I will have full fledged spasm at anytime all over my body. I’ve been up 3 nights in a row with aches in every part of my body particularly the shoulders, neck and fingers that were supposed to been taken care of by the CTS surgery. Gosh a whole 4 months. Is this the way it is to be, do I need to grow up and get a grip. Please tell me if I am a whiner, or just if this is the modes operandi for RSI.

Answer 1: A rheumatologist is the person to see if you have chronic pain. They normally run the pain clinics. Try getting your back/neck/arms massaged to see if this helps. Also try to get a physio to test you for ANT. The pains from ANT are very similar to CTS, in the past lots of people with ANT have had CTS release surgery with no improvement – because they don’t have CTS or they have both. Personally I would doubt that your shoulder/neck pain is due to CTS, more likely due to bad posture and/or nerve problems in the neck. Try a Chiropractor and the Alexander Technique.

Answer 2: Rheumatologists can also run tests to exclude “other conditions” (“other conditions” is all the extremely pleasant rheumatologist I saw said, I now know rheumatoid arthritis is one). I would say they’re a good initial referral. I read something relevant to this just today. It seems that in the US far more diagnoses of carpal tunnel are made than here (sorry, I know I’m writing really clumsily) and it’s thought it may be being over-diagnosed there. Thank you for suggesting the ANT (/AMT?) test — I’m glad I haven’t got that, I’m also glad I was checked for it. I think you have a disk problem — which could also be a nerve problem – yes; luckily that can sometimes be put right very easily, as it was in my case.


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