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Old 05-06-2010, 04:23 PM #1
luna11 luna11 is offline
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So I am curious what types of jobs do people do that have RSI chronically? I find when I use my hand to pick up things and just normal use - not gripping items, just picking up it hurts and aches. My hand is always stiff, tight - now achey that I am using it under the supervision of a physical therapist. No heavy lifting. I have RSI in my dominant wrist hand and have just been diagnosed with tennis elbow. I got it from overuse at work with mouse work.

Does anyone else have this issue with picking up things hurting their hand or flaring it up? What types of jobs do people do with this condition?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:13 PM #2
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Jobs is a tough one..
Each has their own sources of what flares them.
I can do a little bit of anything, but need variety of uses so I don't flare.
I do best with large body uses and not with handwriting or fine detailed , precise work.

I have some questions about your RSI, maybe we can come up with some ideas on it too.
Have you read anything about TOS on our Thoracic Outlet forum?
I really think it is a part of the puzzle when it comes to chronic RSIs.

How long have you had RSIs?

Is it in the new stages or has it been years ?

I had hand/wrist "strains" {RSI} in 1999, my fingers pretty much quit working for fine & detailed work & I also had wrist and forearm pain & tension, so I was off work right away.

It took a year to recover back to 75% of my normal work & uses.
Was 85% for a year and then my shoulders, neck and upper back started showing signs of issues {"strains" as called by work comp} then another year later my hands & arms joined in again.

Does PT focus on whole body & upper body - posture also?
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:49 PM #3
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Jobs: so it seems I cant do much for long and like you need to change often. I have not tried out too much but I know I wont be able to go back to my normal work - and most jobs seem to be all computer work. Which... seems to harm my hands. What do you do?

To your questions: I have read about TOS. I have been in contact with Cyndy - off another board who told me to come here and talk to you I plan on mentioning to my therapist Wed AM this week. She found my tennis elbow last time I saw her and gave me a theracane to try to get the trigger points in my neck. So far she is just on my hand/wrist area. I dont have all of the symtpoms that TOS says.... I walked a lot in March and got a nerve in my hip/leg flared up and mad at me.

I have been trying alot of stuff but its still there. I am not sure if its related so I will ask her about this The doctor who saw me, orthopedic has not seen me yet past the first time. I will see what she says - she is a hand therapist. She dont like to tell me things - I sometimes feel like I am being psyched out. I asked why she put cortisone in ultra sound gel and she didnt answer till I got annoyed the 3d time. Its all a freaking game, IMO. Are all RSI's caused by TOS?

How long have you had RSIs?
I had a major flare up in August 2008. I had it beofre in JUly but I went on a vacation and it went away. didnt think much of it. Came back to work and it flared right up bad! Worse its ever been. I stop before it gets that way. Even now. If you have a personal email I can send you more of an explanation - I dont want to post all the person info online. sorry.

Is it in the new stages or has it been years ?
Uh.. I guess a year, going on 2. when I pinch my fingers together it cramps up asap. I wake up and my hand is tight, stiff. I have aches now cuz I am using it. before I was not as much. I dont work, since I was laid off while having a w/c claim. so its hard to test it out. I know i cant use a mouse. Tried that. Touch pads work - but my hand gets tired hovering over the mouse pad and keyboard. Then I just get this tightness in my neck and upper back. Its intense at times. I have to stop. Its like its bunching up. I try to keep my posture straight.

I have had shooting pain - which was dull and not sharp, like an ache up my arm when working. Now, I had it one night. laundry, cleaned up a bit, vaccumed and then rested. In bed it was hard to get comfy. Never had this before from what I could remember. Also my pinky and ring finger was numb one day waking up now that I am using it I am seeing my symtpoms increase. I wished this crap was inthe workers comp claim.... no doctor ever looked past my wrist. never touched my elbow.. nothing more.

So.. any help is greatly appreciated. I dont think i will get SSDI since I am 33. I just don tknow what type of work to look at. Everyone just shrugs their shoulders. No one seems to know anything. The therapist wants to try H wave therapy on me this time around. Any thoughts? I read on this stuff and nothing seems to really help others - then Cyndy told me it put her down for weeks. =?

Thanks
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:48 PM #4
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No, not all RSIs are caused or related to TOS.

I just feel that some chronic RSIs could evolve into TOS.

My thinking is if it was only in the hands and arms then plain old RSI would most likely be the culprit.

But you say "Then I just get this tightness in my neck and upper back. Its intense at times. I have to stop. Its like its bunching up. I try to keep my posture straight."

That's why you need to press for more & better evaluations, to make sure it is only RSI and not cervical spine or TOS.

If they only treat the hands and arms - and if the symptoms are from the collar bone , top rib or triggerpoints...you'll never get anywhere near being healed.
I had to try about 6 different PTs to find a couple really good ones. I will say that the advanced ones knew much more than the MDs!

I didn't give you the link to the useful stickys yet - there is a ton of info, saved threads , polls, videos links...-
http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/thread84.html

If you have ever been in an car accident/whiplash, sport fall or hit, concussion..anything to bump your head or shoulders fairly hard - you might have gotten your c1 c2 {c spine} knocked out of alignment.
If so it's something else to look into - http://www.upcspine.com/self.htm

Do you have a wc atty? {a good one ??}

complicated and hard to prove cases pretty much require one. and RSI or TOS are both hard to prove - since no actual test will show it.
unless you have an extra cervical rib or large bones or other anomalies that show on imaging..
but then they could try to say it was not the work that caused the injury...

There should be a way to get the other symptoms added on to your claim, so all injury is accounted for.
We have a wc forum too - they might have more details on that sort of thing... I didn't know much about wc at the time so I didn't press my doc to add the neck & shoulder symptoms.. and my atty was not the best at returning calls or messages- I think he just wanted his % of a settlement.

But I wasn't taking pain meds and tossed the advil/motrin away after being off work, I wasn't in high pain, so I figured - if I need to keep working to mess myself up so bad that i need to take meds why do that!

Even being off work with the chiro & good PT - it took me a couple of years to get back to 75% of my previous normal.

I don't know how the H wave compares to Inferential stimulation {IF stim} but I sure like the IF stim on my upper back.
Chiro uses IF stim & low level laser along with adjustments, so he helps me maintain..
I have a EMS stim for at home.
also have a far infrared heating pad - i think it is way better than a regular heating pad.
a foam roller for posture & shoulder relaxing work
an inflatable exercise ball for more posture & stretches/bodywork

I'm wondering if this chart makes any sense for some your symptoms?
http://www.pressurepointer.com/pain_reference_chart.htm
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:16 PM #5
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I have had whiplash at least 2 times. Rear ended a total of 3 times. I will ask more when I see the PT. PRess her and ask.

Right now I am not happy with my WC doctor. I was told to be careful and to not do anything much. So I didnt. Now that I am using my hands I have been very achy and stiff... sore and now more numbness today while holding a fork. So I got rated P and S - and my claim was closed based on that. Now that my condition is getting worse or is what it was but not showing cuz I was not using my hands I was paid out for a lesser condition. I am ****** to say the least. I had a good WC atty. He felt since the insurance company was denying everything that I would settle and actually get treatment. So I took the sum of money. So my case is closed. He said that I shoudl start SSDI cuz my situation will only get worse and he felt I will keep getting fired for this. This is what hes seen. So far hes not been wrong with anything he has told me. He told me to start the SSDI process sinces its long - and if I am declined 2 times then I can contact someone in his office for help. So I filed SSDI in March. Didnt realize it will take years though. Makes sense though. I figure I wont get it from my reading cuz I am 33 and I am college educated, have lots of skills, even though most are computer related. I would like to know info on that. I read I can do sednetary jobs so to just skip to the qucik I wanted to know what to do so I can get a job in that when they start to open - if they do. So I will at least have a job. Since my hand went numb today its feeling funny - very weak and just feels odd. I remember this feeling. Its what I had before it went into full blown pain.

Thanks for the stickys and other links I will look into them.

Yes I do get the tight neck and head, upper back. I will address this with the PT and then the doctor if she blows it off. I am pretty mad by now....

so right now I am attorney less and looking for treatment. so if these cases are hard to prove what does normally prove it? Just a lot of trials in treatment or ?

I was told once the claim was closed thats it. I cant do anything else. Why would I add other injuries to it if its closed and I will never ben able to reopen it?

I bought a TDP lamp - infared heat. I think it helps. What type of heating pad do you use? I have seen those gloves but dont really have hte $ to put into all these devices that might not work. I am sure you know what I mean.

I looked at the chart and it keys on some of the muscles that hurt especialy in my back and neck. I was shown 2 weeks ago the pressure point in my arm - for tennis elbow. That thing was painful when she pushed on it. Never knew it was there till that moment.

I will read the stickies... Thanks agian. I will post more if I have more questions and will update with what I am told tomorrow and how H wave works.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:23 AM #6
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I have looked at ads {like on craigslist} for something like part time office assistant , small office receptionist/helper, hotel desk, activity director at elder or kids care places .. of course those aren't high pay jobs...

Jobs that would give some leeway/freedom to move around and not require me to be stuck at a desk or doing long stretches of production, quotas or writing/typing. I can't sit for very long anymore either.

Oh, so your case is closed and done..
I don't know if you can reopen it to have new worsening symptoms/injury added at this point.

but then again it is very hard to prove either way, many that are in extreme pain are still fighting wc and trying to prove a work injury. For years...
All the time getting denied or too late treatment - if they had very good care right away they might have been able to recover some amount of normal.

So finding care on your own might just be best for you .. all you need to do is find a really good doc, chiro, & some advanced PTs, oh and learn a whole lot about self care & awareness..
But at least you don't have to hassle with wc and that system ...
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:36 PM #7
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Hi, well I saw the PT today and she and I discussed the increase of symtopms now that I am using m hand for stuff around the house. The tingly and numbness. She, after looking at my arm/hand and doing some tests said I have the starts or actually the disorder of Carpal Tunnel and Ulnar tunnel syndrome. This ontop of RSI and tennis elbow. So i asked her about my tightness in my neck and back and how I have it alot. I have headaches almost every day - when I work they are more intesnse and dont go away. So she told me to ask for a referral to a head and neck PT. Done, calling tomorrow for an appt. I told her that I had been online speaking to some people with TOS and that I should ask. Her face lit up - and she said that is a possibility. She then noted that in teh computer. So - this is what brought up the head and neck pt. She was leading there talking about the place in the neck where this all goes thru - so I piggy backed on it with my questions. I think she knows about it - so well see. I know she will talk to the other PT I will be seeing since she said something.

She set me up on the H wave too - that was interesting. She had me on 5 and told me to increase it to 6. I was on 5 for 15 min and started to increase. This is not for me past 5. I had horrible pain and cramping in my forearm on hte underside. I turned it down and would not go away so I turned it off - then put it back up. We did alternating baths in warm and cool water. She decided to not do the ultrasound after my hand felt great but got more stiff as time passed the last time she did it.

Any thoughts? Oh.. and she told me to sleep with my entire arm(s) straight - and to wrap a towel and duct tape them into a splint. Any ideas on how to do this so I can acutally sleep and go to the bathroom when needed ?

Thank you
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:50 PM #8
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I did the elbow/arms straight thing...luckily I didn't need it for too long..

I took a kitchen towel and wrapped it around my elbow area can't recall if I had folded it once or not- I guess play around and see how it works best for you,
I used some large safety pins first and then got some stretchy elastic medical wrap - that was better.

I wa sable to slip mine on & off so I didn't have to redo it all every nite.

I just used enough padding to keep it semi straight- not super straight- just as a reminder to not bend.
plus my elbows were sensitive to touching the bed- pressure so padding helped for that too.


For sure don't let them press you into turning anything up if you feel it is too much already, they don't know how it feels.

Do you get delayed pain?
like a hours or a day after something extra strenuous?
quite common.

oh and ask PT if she knows how to check your top rib & collar bone.


After I was mostly recovered, I would still flare up easily after using my arms very much.
I finally went to an advanced PT guy that i found on my own, and he did an evaluation for me and when i mentioned how I was feeling like my collarbones were pulling into my throat- he did this maneuver that dropped my top ribs back down to where they were supposed to be!
The severe spasms pulled them up and they stuck like that... made the area much more closed off and caused the uses problems.

I went home that day and did some yard work with no problems at all! It was heaven finally. Now my chiro checks it at every appt, he only need to adjust if a few times after that and now only if I do some extra strenuous projects - now I can pretty much tell if it is acting up.

part of the hyper mobile thing...
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:55 PM #9
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Thanks for the tips on the elbow wrapping. I was looking at a towel and was thinking about that medical stretchy wrap stuff too. Then I can still use my hand sort of. My elbows havent been sensitive - unless its in contact with a hard surface or in bed holding my head up too long - which has stopped. SO I just sleep there and try to do nothing else in my room since I cant seem to sleep till 3 am.

Delayed pain.... do you mean after the H wave or just in general? If in general I think so. Its all dealyed - I dont feel it till later sometimes in that day or the next. Right now my hand, right, has a lot of aches and pains since I have been using it. So I think its all cumlative. As for my left hand its tired, heavy and getting stiff in the fingers really. when I bend those fingers they kinda hurt at the joint, or knuckle, but on the underside so it feels. I really dont want to loose my left hand either - but I think this is just somethings thats going to happen I have a friend who broke her right wrist a year and ahalf ago. They put in a metal plate - she had carpal before this in her right hand. Shes been using her left hand for most things and now shes got carpal in that hand. Shes a house wife. Dont look to damn promissing for my left hand -

I havent been doing anything strenuous with either hand. I am trying to keep the weight lifted under 10lbs - no more than a book usually. I was told to not " go whole hog". So I guess the hog comes later lol.

Thanks for the tip about the colar bone to ask the PT about. I will do so for sure. I would like to try to stop this now and or reverse it - both.

I have a question. A flare up for me seems to be that I feel more ahces and pains - and stiffness, dropping thigs more. I have not had the burning pain since I worked and was made to work wtih it. Do you mean a flare is the burning pain or what is a flare to you? or anyone? How is that defined? I know the burning is soon after the aches and increased pains and tenderness. It feels funny and then it starts.

Thanks again. I am still tryign to find out about work that acutall pays more than minimum wage. ... its worth a try. I dont think I can support my bills on just 7.45 an hour - and most places here dont seem to want to really pay you anymore than 10 to do a boat load of work. I cant stock a shelf.. so I am at a aloss. I dont want to work hard for 10 when I can skate by. I knwo its a bad attitude but I need to take care of me now. czu nothing and no one will do it. Which has been proven with past employer and WC.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:07 AM #10
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I think for most of the RSI & TOS members a flare is when the symptoms & pain, gets increased, from where it was at usually.

say someone one is at a 5 pain level usually, but they do something a little more than usual or if the weather changes drastically {usually to the cold /wet} and the pain level goes up to a 7/8 for a few days or weeks for some.

that's what I call a flare. Eventually the pain will decrease.
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