Do you use the same Splints as they use for arthritis?

Question:  Do you use the same Splints as they use for arthritis? My GP gave me those and they are helpful. You can only use them for a short length at any one time (maximum of 4 hours I think).

Are there any other splints available – if so where and how much?

PS For the record I have used a Maltron keyboard for approximately 18 months without a problem and I wouldn’t dream of going back to a flat keyboard.

Out of interest, I have recently changed to windows 95 and the keyboard I use doesn’t have a certain control key which I apparently should be able to use (the windows symbol – not sure of its real name). Does anyone know how I would go about changing this and if there would be any extra cost involved.

Answer 1: When I was given my splints I was told to wear them at night, and I wasn’t told a maximum time to wear them. I’ve actually stopped wearing them for the time being because I was worried that it might increase my muscle tension and restricting the movement seemed to contradict all my stretching exercises but I don’t really know.

Answer 2: I’d agree with you that you were wise to stop wearing your splints for the time being. From what I have heard from other RSI sufferers your concerns are justified, and in my experience when I was giving people spiritual healing with a group we found that after an individual received healing, the process was promoted by gentle movement within the range that the individual felt comfortable.

I’d continue with the stretching exercises. After all, as we found in the healing sessions, the object of the exercise is to encourage movement back into muscles that have been idle for some reason.

It is also a well known fact that toning up the muscles helps them perform, except that in the case of RSI sufferers I think we have to be a little bit careful of what exercises we indulge in to ensure that we keep within reasonable limits that encourage the healing, and don’t become
counter-productive. It seems to be a matter of seeking and finding a comfortable balance.

Like everything else in life, it’s not black and white, best wishes towards your recovery.

Answer 3: First of all, if you have got a Maltron keyboard, then obviously ignore my crude marker pen idea that I use to reduce finger movement. My problem is so severe, that I could never touch type with all fingers in the way that so many people talk of. Also, I have no money, so cannot buy things like Maltron keyboards anyway, even if I knew how much they were. If ever I get the damages to which I am entitled as a result of my former employer’s scurrilous behavior towards me, then I would buy a high-tech computer, Kurzweil, and fancy keyboards etc. Until, (or rather if) then, there is only the worry of whether we can survive at all. Splints cost nothing in UK. I do not know if they are the same as used by Arthritis sufferers. They are certainly the same as used by people with fractures and sprains. Velcro fastenings with an aluminum support inside. They make your hands and wrists feel very comfortable. I wear mine when it suits ME. If my arms and hands “shut-down” ( so that I cannot use them at all to do anything, and they lay slumped on my lap whilst I just sit), I will
wear them all day. If they are not so bad, then I do not wear them so much. It depends on how I am.

With regard to stretching exercises, it is a case of “been there-done that”, and it was just a waste of time. I have had every manipulation you can imagine, and as I discussed with my former physiotherapist, the result was “like picking scabs off”, and was in my case extremely detrimental and of no benefit whatsoever. It was at that stage that the Rheumatologist ordered the Physio. To do spinal work against my wishes, which left me temporarily unable to walk. I then refused any further treatment, as it cost me money that I didn’t have to get to the hospital, and resulted in me being in more pain than before I went. A total waste of everyone’s time all round.

I wish I knew all the answers. I think that maybe Hypnotherapy would do more good than Physio. if you can afford it. I am not suggesting that RSI is Psychosomatic in any way, but I do believe in the power of the human mind to instigate the body’s own healing mechanisms from within. I wonder if it would work or at least assist? (Just a thought.) From what I’ve seen so far, the medical profession don’t seem to know anything about it whatsoever. You can’t X-ray it, see it, or operate on it. I have even come across one doctor who denied that it even existed, and I sincerely hope he gets it himself one day, in a large helping!

Carpal tunnel syndrome is supposedly operable, but I have heard of people being in a worse state after the operation than before. We all need to see what the results are from the 2 year study that is currently going on at the (Royal Middlesex?) hospital in London. They are doing something constructive, and studying about 50? people with varying forms of RSI, and actually trying to learn something about it.

PS, somebody spoke of damages being awarded recently. Can you elaborate on this story? Does anyone else know of any recent awards?

My solicitor thinks that £10,000 seems to be all that is paid for RSI conditions – if at all, for people like me being registered disabled at 35, and now unemployable.

Answer 4: Wearing splints all the time is not a good idea as your wrist will start to stiffen up in exactly the same way when you have your wrist in plaster when you break it.

I wore my splints for five weeks non-stop. It took about 18 months before my wrist no longer hurt when I bent it – due to the splints, not the RSI!

When my physiotherapist first did the AMT/ANT stretches on me they made my arms hurt for about four days afterwards. As a result I did not to the stretches myself. This I feel prolonged the pain I suffered. When I finally did the stretches the pain reduced reasonably quickly.

The physio did the spinal manipulation on you as the spine can be the cause of the pain in the arms.

I, personally have found the Alexander Technique to be very good for the pain in my arms and shoulders.

“I have even come across one doctor who denied that it even existed, and I sincerely hope he gets it himself one day, in a large helping!”

Personally I would not wish it on my worst enemy, even the particularly arrogant orthopedic consultant I saw on one occasion!

“Somebody spoke of damages being awarded recently. Can you elaborate on this story? Or does anyone else know of any recent awards?

My solicitor thinks that 10,000 seems to be all that is paid for RSI conditions, – if at all, for people like me being registered disabled at 35, and now unemployable.”

Currently the average award for RSI is £2500. This is because with any higher amount, you have to pay back some of the money you have received from the DSS. The highest awards in court have been in the region of £85000.

Answer 5: Physiotherapy was the thing that helped me the most. I think a lot depends on the skill of the physiotherapist. If the physio persisted against your wishes, and put you in more pain, and left you unable to walk, it doesn’t sound as if you got a very good one.

Did you ask your GP to refer you elsewhere after this disastrous episode? I wouldn’t give up on getting medical help, it does vary a lot from one doctor to another. If you’re not happy with your GP, you could consider changing.

“PS, somebody spoke of damages being awarded recently. Can you elaborate on this story? Does anyone else know of any recent awards?

My solicitor thinks that £10,000 seems to be all that is paid for RSI conditions – if at all, for people like me being registered disabled at 35, and now unemployable.”

As I understand it, the big problem with compensation awards these days is that any DSS benefits you have received are reclaimed from it. How this affects the situation obviously depends on the size of the award and how much (if any) benefit the person has claimed, but it
sure doesn’t help. But your solicitor has probably discussed this point with you; if not, you might like to ask him about it. There is a leaflet available from the Benefits Agency, “Social Security Recovery of Benefits Act 1997”, PSG13/461913/0997/25M(NP)

Answer 6: Everything depends on individual circumstances. I had no remedial physiotherapy. It was thought that I’d recovered, then I returned to work and had to type and my hands got bad again, then my wrists.

After months of pain, I got splints, suggested by a specialist physio.. I realized that while they warded off the pain, they might also be damaging me. So I got another pair and got someone to take the iron bits out, and wore the first only when resting. And I don’t wear them at night.

Voice software cannot do all my “hand work”; and I can’t go back to that pain.

The physio who recommended the splints saw me because it was thought I had AMT. My doctor didn’t think so, but a different physio did.

He’s an AMT expert, I was told. He’s also a remedial masseur. He told me I showed no sign of AMT.

Stretching exercises of a minor kind seem to be instinctual, and does self-massage of hands and wrists. I do both, with care. They seem to help.

“I, personally have found the Alexander Technique to be very good for the pain in my arms and shoulders.”

I fell in June and got concussion and seem to have injured my neck. I’m thinking of trying Alexander for the tension headaches I’ve had since then.

I’m not sure it would help the initially localized RSI I have.

“Currently the average award for RSI is £2500. This is because with any higher amount, you have to pay back some of the money you have received from the DSS. The highest awards in court have been in the region of £85000.”

Do the higher award cases involve people who can’t work at all any more?

Answer 7: We have to make a clear distinction between AMT (wrist pain that is not actually caused by damage to wrists, tendons etc. -but is the result of nerve tethering and damage to the upper spine – the pain is simply “referred” to the wrists) – versus actual damage to the wrists, tendons, arms. These two things seem to be very different animals.

Whilst stretches, physio, spinal massage, Alexander etc. seem to benefit me, I guess that’s because I seem to have AMT. (my own diagnosis – does stretching of upper spine, neck and
shoulders help relieve the pain? (yes) – am I aware of having maintained a lousy shoulder / neck posture for 30 years? (yes) – therefore AMT seems a very likely cause of the pain).

I can quite believe that if I had tendonitis I might take a very different approach, possibly involving more rest.

Answer 8: “I fell in June and got concussion and seem to have injured my neck. I’m thinking of trying Alexander for the tension headaches I’ve had since then.

I’m not sure it would help the initially localised RSI I have.”

It should help. Also try trigger point therapy (Bonnie Pruddens book). I find it very good for tension headaches. I always find TPs in the top of the trapezius muscle (just to the side of the neck) and near the inside top corner of the shoulder blade, about two inches from the spine.

Have you had your neck checked out for whiplash injuries as you fell and banged your head?

“Do the higher award cases involve people who can’t work at all any more?”

I believe so.

Answer 9: “Have you had your neck checked out for whiplash injuries as you fell and banged your head?”

No. But then, the hospital (Casualty) missed the concussion and recommended a “slap-up meal”.

(I’m not thin: I just hadn’t eaten much since I fell, and asked for some glucose.)

My doctor picked up the concussion and the neck problem. I am going to see him again to try to get a complete check – the hospital didn’t even x-ray me.

(That isn’t too worrying as if there were anything seriously wrong it would probably have been found out by now, ho ho; my neck and the headaches are worrying and I’ll push to see someone.)

Answer 10: There was a story published in the Daily Express a couple of years ago and referred to a crippled typist aged 48 years who retired and was awarded £82,000 in damages.

It appears that this was an exceptional award. I am presently awaiting a copy of the full story.



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