Success stories, anyone?

Question:  I am a 22 year old student who has been suffering from unspecific pain of the wrists for the past three years following a period of fairly intense weight lifting. I am very excited to have found this list, and have already learned a great deal as a result of reading the dialog between members. I have taken great comfort in the fact that I am not alone. I thought I was the only one who had trouble opening doors! I am currently seeing a chiropractor and massage therapist in an attempt to loosen up the muscles in my neck which they suspect may be clamping down on the nerves running from my neck down into my wrists causing my symptoms. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much improvement, and have been discouraged and am losing hope that I will ever return to a normal life. Is there anyone out there that has a success story they would like to share with me? I would love to hear that there are people who have actually returned to a normal life. Looking for some inspiration. P.S. I am an American and am having trouble with some of your terminology. Is a “physio” comparable to a “physical therapist” or are these two totally separate types of professionals? Thanks for any clarification.

Answer 1: I won’t say I am fully recovered, but I too suffered considerable pain following excessive rowing and visits to the gym. I had surgery two years ago, stopped putting unnecessary pressure on the hands and they are now bearable – not pain free – but I can now do simple tasks as peel vegetables, do washing etc. It was down to self help – the doctors were of no use.

Answer 2: Glad you found us. I found this list to be extremely helpful when I was first diagnosed 3 years ago. I have a success story of sorts; I am now living as normal a life as possible. Thanks to my work place, I can stay in work. They sent me to see a specialist very early on who simply confirmed what my GP said. He confirmed it in the medical term of “Work Related Upper Limb Disorder. He said I should not be working but I don’t know anyone who can really afford not to work. Since I spent years training for my job I decided to try and find a way to work with this problem. My workplace bought me an ergonomic keyboard and a touchpad instead of a mouse. I also have to take regular breaks from the keyboard. My colleagues watch me constantly to make sure I take breaks etc and not try to do too much. If my workload gets too much I, fortunately, have a great team which will help me. With regards to my home life, I simply have to remember what my limits are. Unfortunately, my GP warned me to stay away from any form of weight training. I was advised to find some other form of exercise which does not involve the use of my arms. I have since started cycling.

Answer 3: I’m not back to exactly normal yet, but going in the right direction. It’s been slow, bumpy, up and down progress – with the ‘ups’ getting a little better each time, and the downs getting not so bad and the recovery time from the downs getting a little shorter. I have to look back about a year to see clear improvement – if I just look back a month or so; it’s too up and down to tell. This has all taken 3 years. Deep tissue massage, Alexander Technique, stretching exercises, relaxation exercises, herbal anti-inflammatory medicine, getting enough sleep; and recently trying the magnetic bracelets that were discussed on this list a few weeks ago. They do seem to be helping a bit. And taking great care what I do and don’t do with my hands. The hardest thing is remembering still to be careful on days when I’m not in pain. But there is progress. I rather suspect that at my age (nearly 50) I may always remain ‘RSV‘ (‘vulnerable’), but I now expect to progress beyond ‘injured’, which 18 months ago didn’t seem possible at all. Hope this helps.

Answer 4: I am a journalist, as a result of sitting very long hours in front of my computer either at the office or at home, I started almost a year ago to suffer from severe pain in my left arm, especially my elbow, and my hand, then the pain moved to my forearm and my neck, with numbness in my shoulder and the back of my neck. My GP referred me to a Consultant who said after an x-ray that I suffered from 3 prolapsed disks in my neck, plus what they call tennis elbow. He referred me to a Chiropractor. I have been seeing him twice a week for the last couple of months and from the beginning of this month only once a week. I improve for one or two days after the session then I go back to square one, after one or two days of heavy work – which I cannot afford to stop – the days that follow the treatment are really good days. The pain is much better, so I believe that with some sort of rest and a good lifestyle one could recover. I am very optimistic, but until now I have not worked out how I can treat myself with this sort of rest. I am sure that something will come up and I am convinced that one is able to fight and return as you say to normal life.

Answer 5: Does anyone know if the description below is suffice for LTD (long term disability)-In the USA I believe you get paid 60-70% of your income if that affects your primary occupation-Any input would be appreciated.

Answer 6: I’m a writer too, and spend most of my time at the keyboard. The first thing that made a difference to me was getting an ergonomic keyboard. Later, I bought voice recognition software (ViaVoice 98 Exec), which has made a huge difference. I now spend much less time actually typing, which means less stress on my arms. I regret not buying it earlier and would really recommend trying it (if you haven’t already!).

Answer 7: The SOREHAND list users might be able to tell you. SOREHAND is the main US-based RSI list. You can subscribe to it by sending email to with the command subscribe sorehand yourfirstname yourlastname in the body of the message. 

Answer 8: Your pain of the wrists could be due to other causes, than your neck. It could be ANT.  See a physio (physical therapist) for the stretches and treatment. It could also be due to trigger points but I would have thought your chiropractor and massage therapist would have found these. The trigger points could be in any number of places to cause pain in the wrist. You could try the Alexander Technique as this is good for posture and neck problems.

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