Question: I have been suffering with Tendonitis in my right elbow and shoulder and this has caused me to be absent from work for 12 months. After resting, physio, acupuncture and osteopathy, an x-ray, MRI scan and 3 cortisone injections my treatment seems to have come to a standstill. I have seen 2 Consultant Rheumatologists (one of whom was suggested by the RSI Association). The latter proved expensive and very unhelpful – “Get married and have 6 kids to take your mind off it” was one of his suggestions. All I want to do is to return to work – at least in some capacity. Operations have been suggested such as shaving the shoulder bone to reduce irritation but with no guarantee of success. Pain control with Amitryptiline has also been tried – unsuccessfully. If anyone has any suggestions regarding the treatment or pain control of acute Tendonitis, I would very much appreciate it.
Answer: Could you ask your GP to refer you to a pain clinic? They have various ways of treating pain. One or more might help you. Shaving the shoulder bone sounds horrific. I haven’t heard of anyone who has had an operation like that. I’ve heard of a *lot* of people for whom cortisone injections didn’t help. A number of people have had good results from bodywork therapies, such as the Alexander Technique or Rolfing. Trigger point therapy is also helpful to a lot of people. There’s a book about it which is available from the Hale Clinic (0171-631-0156), Pain Erasure by Bonnie Prudden, ISBN 0-345-33102-8. You might be able to return to work by using voice recognition software instead of a keyboard. You might be able to get assistance with buying the VR package through PACT. Ring your local Job Centre and ask to speak to the Disability Employment Advisor.
Hang in there, there *are* things that can help but sometimes it takes a long time to find which one helps in your own case. I have shoulder tendonitis. I was helped by my physiotherapist and some rather clumsily self-administered trigger point therapy, also by getting my workstation set up correctly, also by abandoning use of the mouse in favour of a trackball.