Tenosynovitis

Question:  My problem started the end of 2000, so quite new compared to some, was told by gp I have tenosynovitis due to the job i do….10 hours a day data inputting for law enforcement!!! bear in mind I have 1 hour meal break!!! so 9 hrs all together took 5 weeks sick then went back to 6 hour days, then 8,then 10 again. All under the supervision of me works physio…however the only treatment I had was a bit of ultrasound…no help…anti-inflammatory…no help since then…back off sick for last 3 weeks…no surprise to me occ. therapist.she recommended 2 books for me to read…Repetitive Strain Injury, A Computer Users Guide by Dr Emil Pascarelli and Deborah Quilter and same author a book on recovering from RSI it’s a good read, apart from being American, gives some good exercises and plenty of advice and self-help. And as the Americans are well ahead of us on the RSI rehab front its well worth a read.
To Timbob….it appears are symptoms are very alike. My pain all in my lower left arm only, but no higher than the elbow, my knuckles are swollen between my first 2 fingers. weird really cus I am right handed and that one has no probes at this time, though I a aware this could change….I have been diagnosed by the dss doctor as having a prescribed industrial injury A8 tenosynovitis currently running at 6% disablement, though my occ. therapist says its more than that, but it saves them paying me i suppose, but then again i am still getting paid fully by work……currently suing for my injury but this could take at least 2 years or more…..
Have been trying to keep as positive as i can, but finding it hard as I can’t even do much housework, sounds like a good thing but having 2 boys its hard work!!!! The only thing i am taking now is St Johns Wort which seems to have chilled me out!!! better than some others i have been offered. It’s great, in a way of course, to find I am not the only person going through this hell and it’s nice to sound off to people I don’t even know!!! Keep Positive
PS…I found that wearing a sports splint just below my elbow totally stopped my night numbness maybe of help to some of you, having much better sleep now.

Answer 1:  I also was assessed as 6% for industrial injury A8 tenosynovitis. Is this their figure because they really can’t work out how much of the problem is tenosynovitis. ? I agree it stops them having to pay you and they don’t take account of the other conditions we have which go to make up the RSI. Very difficult to appeal based on that.

Answer 2:  I have tenosynovitis too. ….however the only treatment I had was a bit of ultrasound…no help…anti-inflammatory…no help since then… I didn’t even get the ultrasound!! — when I finally got to the PACT/DOE regional HQ, they were shocked; they paid for a private physio., he could not believe I’d been left without treatment for a whole 9 months. — For once it wasn’t the fault of the rheumatologist I saw, who would have been happy to see me again (and waiting lists there were very short).
Babs: try a local authority sports centre. Some of them have masseurs who specialize in sports injuries: they often know how to do the kind of massage that might help you. And I think they don’t charge that much. It’s a good read, apart from being American, gives some good exercises
and
plenty of advice and self-help. I only know the first book. I think it’s terrific. But be careful. Some of the exercises in it could hurt your wrist and make things worse. I have been diagnosed by the dss doctor as having a prescribed industrial >injury A8 tenosynovitis currently running at 6% disablement I don’t think I’d get A8 money as my job wasn’t _officially_keyboarding, but I may look into it: thanks. currently suing for my injury but this could take at least 2 years or more…..
Yes. But I am very glad you are. I hesitated just too long and at the last point I could have brought a case my employers started bullying me even worse than usual… — a lot of people on this List are against suing but I think if you can take the hassle, you should. have been trying to keep as positive as i can, but finding it hard as i can’t even >do much housework I just let the place go…! — my brother does the hovering now and again. (I had to take disability retirement; but I still can’t do anything but very light housework.) the only thing i am taking now is St Johns Wort which seems to have chilled me out!!! I’m afraid I take paracetamol. 🙁 it’s great, in a way of course, to find I am not the only person going through this >hell and it’s nice to sound off to people i don’t even know!!! That’s right. — I’d never heard of RSI; and I worked in a city whose largest employer made workers sign a waiver against suing for it….Welcome to the 🙁 club oh I forgot: splints help me too. Did you know you can get them on prescription?

Answer 3:  Hi! It’s a shame your physio only did a bit of ultrasound-it sounds to me as if he/she had had little experience of dealing with RSI‘s of any sort!!! I have physio 2x weekly, not just for rSI (my RSI is not caused by work but made worse by work-I have chronic bilateral tennis and golfers elbows, tendonitis in my shoulders, torn rotator cuff tendons and possible nerve impingement. I have an orthopedic consultant’s appointment next Friday to see if I need shoulder surgery, as they can’t work out what is going on inside the joints-i have arthritis in my neck and back and knees, so it could be arthritis in the shoulder joint too!!!) My physio does ultrasound on elbows and shoulders, but also treats my neck/back, and does very specific stretches-adverse neural tension I think they are called. The stretches are essential to release the trapped nerves and stretch my over tight muscles. I am a professional orchestral violinist, so the arms get a battering every day, and the physio, although not a solution, is a life-saver for me. I would have pain even if I were not working, because I also have Hypermobility Syndrome, which means the joints are more prone to injury anyway because of lax ligaments and faults in the genetic ligament make-up. So the physio really does keep me going, as the RSI is mainly due to the HMS, but also made worse by a several falls which were triggers for the arm pain-i already had neck/back/knee problems since I was a teenager… If you get the chance to go to a physio again, or are able to get a referral via a GP/consultant, ask them about adverse neural tension stretches-they do seem to be very effective in relieving RSI symptoms, but it is not a cure. Do you have a Union safety rep at your work? If so, ask them about hours of work and rest breaks; there are very specific European Laws now enforceable on hours and rest breaks. The maximum working week is set at 48 hours per week when averaged over a 17 week reference period. This means that workers can legally work more than 48 hours some weeks, as long as they work less than 48 hours in others. So if you are doing 10 hours a day for more than 4 days a week on a regular basis, they are breaking the law. I know that it can be a very delicate issue to raise, particularly when we have had time off sick, even if caused by work-the fear is that the employer will make life even more difficult. But it sounds as tho’ you have some sort of occupational health scheme at your works-is that the case?
I hope things improve for you soon, both interims of your pain, and in terms of your working conditions…maybe you could suggest more frequent rest breaks, because it sounds as if you are only getting one in 10 hours…if that is the case, I would very strongly suggest that you get your GP or someone to back you up and make sure you are able to have regular stretch breaks!…

Answer 4:  Tenosynovitis isn’t ANT, and treatment for that won’t help it. (I was tested for that, in case I had it as well.) It’s a more “sure” diagnosis than yours — I am sorry you are having all these problems and uncertainty about them too. That happened to a close friend of mine who, like you, had a nasty shoulder problem that couldn’t be diagnosed; she was taken ill in America and the doctors there told her she must have an operation. but also made worse by a several falls which were triggers for the arm pain-i already had neck/back/knee problems since I was a teenager… I’ve had back problems for ages too and knee problems have just begun!! — But that didn’t trigger the RSI in my case. (Thank goodness: I can do without rotator cuff problems; I’ve heard how very nasty they are.)
Anyway: tenosynovitis doesn’t get better unless it’s treated the right way very quickly (I have no idea what “the right way” is); after a while an op. is the only answer, that often is unsuccessful; and after a certain time without treatment even an op. won’t work. Do you have a Union safety rep at your work? If so, ask them about hours of work and rest breaks; there are very specific European Laws now enforceable on hours and rest breaks. The maximum working week is set at 48 hours per week when averaged over a 17 week reference period. This means that workers can legally work more than 48 hours some weeks, as long as they work less than 48 hours in others. So if you are doing 10 hours a day for more than 4 days a week on a regular basis, they are breaking the law. The job I used to do isn’t covered by working hours legislation but Babs’ must be: I hadn’t thought of that, thanks for raising it.

Answer 5:  I too have RSI and work in this field. My employers have offered token platitudes and done the basic legal minimum under Health & Safety. RSI is at epidemic proportions where I work. The employer knows what’s wrong, i.e. high workloads under continuous stress, i.e. taking “999”
calls and having to type in the incident ASAP, then no adequate rest periods, then the next call comes through, and so on. It seems that they are just waiting for the next one to burn out and then replace them with someone else, who will then go on to develop RSI, etc etc.
I have currently been on sick leave since the middle of February; of course after 6 months my pay drops back to half pay. I’ve been turned down for DLA – have lodged an appeal. I’ve worked for the police as a civilian member of staff for 20 years, so it would be quite costly for them to medically retire me, even though by their own admission there aren’t any jobs that don’t involve either handwriting or keyboarding so at present I’m playing a waiting game. As a Christian, I believe that “all things work together for those that love God” (Romans 8:28), but I’m not pretending this is an easy time! I’m wondering, if there are any other people out there, like me, who work within the emergency services, i.e. police, etc. I believe these are very pressured environments, and we all know that stress and RSI are linked. Maybe we could share experiences, and support each other. We need it don’t we?
I think a lot of the problem with RSI is that we do not fall within society’s expectations of a “Disabled” person. We don’t look different, we don’t have a guide dog or white stick, or hearing aid. Without wishing to denigrate anyone who does have such a disability, I think it is difficult to fully convey to employers, medics, DSS and others, the debilitating nature of RSI. On a bad day I can’t lift a cup of coffee. People think you’re over-dramatising when you say it but you all know what I mean. Anyway, thank you for listening. And if anyone DOES work within the police or emergency services, please get in touch.

 


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