A lot of people with RSI find a brisk walk helps (keep hands in pockets to take the weight off them) as it increases the blood flow, endorphins etc. This reduces the pain and gives you something to do.
Comment 1: For me the motion of my arms swinging naturally when I stride out actually helps. If it’s really cold (like recently!) then sometimes I have to put my hands in my coat pockets, but it’s not ideal. I’m walking about 2 miles a day, more or less, which was recommended to me by a good physio. I agree that inactivity is NOT a good idea – I rested all last summer and just found myself deteriorating. LOTS of moving around seems to be the best thing for me. When I get the walking just right, with everything relaxed but poised, I feel really wonderful.
What Doug said about the weight, however, is true for me when I’m seated. I spend a lot of time moving my arms around, trying to get the ‘right’position, meaning the one where the arms have most support, with the least pressure on any one point. Btw, has anyone noticed an increased sensitivity to pain sensations (and I suppose this goes for pleasant sensations too)? I feel that when I knock my hand or bash my elbow, I suffer more these days. Also recently had some bites on soft part of upper arm and they not only itched a lot but seemed to produce similar sensations IN the arm of tenderness/weakness, as if my nervous system was just GAGGING to scream and shout about something, anything.
Comment 2: Oh only TOO familiar! Oversensitivity was worse in the early days (1992 for me) but is still there. Sitting still in meetings is EXTREMELY difficult, among other things. I’m one who needs hands in pockets or “propped up”, however. I walk between 4 and 6 miles per day and LOVE it!
Comment 3: Me too. This was the single activity (as opposed to treatment) that helped me most. I especially found it helpful to let my shoulders go as loose as possible and then run or skip down a hill, so that even the swinging rhythm disappeared and my arms just flailed about any which way. It sounds bizarre, and I’m sure those watching me out of the corners of their eyes would have testified that it looked bizarre, but it did so much to loosen up my back. You soon stop caring whether they think you’re insane – fear will deter them from approaching you to ask.
Comment 4: Yes I’ve definitely noticed that if I bang my wrist or elbow these days it’s much more painful than before.