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Old 08-12-2015, 04:48 AM #1
Workaholic Workaholic is offline
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Default RSI and my Personal Story

I am male, and 27 years old. My height is around 5'9" and my weight is around 88 kg. I started using computer at the age of around 14 – 15. I have a degree in software engineering but my problem is not due to that. I was an introvert and spent lot of time on computing (chatting, gaming, et cetera). My symptoms (pain in wrists) started appearing around 6 to 8 years back. During this time more or less they have remained same except for the last few months – when the pain exacerbated.

I have several other pain problems; I checked them all with professional doctors and no cause has been found. (1) I have knee pain (on and off, increases with exertion and SPECIALLY driving) – I have even done MRI and it was a normal. It has lot of crepitus. (2) I have Ear ache (occurs with headphones or continuous loud volume (Cinema). Once I showed it to the doctor and he found nothing – no infection or wax. (3) I have Difficulty in seeing (happens when in front of computer for a lot of time – this itself increases because of me using speech recognition software– Right now the text you're reading is written with the help of speech recognition software). (4) I also had pain in my right ankle for very long (around 5 to 6 year) – this pain has virtually and suddenly disappeared. In this also, doctors did not find anything substantial.

As far as my RSI is concerned, For very long, the pain would appear when I would type (sleep has almost no correlation with my pain). When I would wake up in the morning, there would be no pain. Rest would also decrease the pain. Exercises made me feel better.

I visited many doctors but these were with no avail. Many considered the problem insignificant. Some just suggested some exercises.

In the last few months, frequency and length of pain have increased. Pain has also started appearing in my elbows. With some particular type of working (holding shaving razor, holding cellphone, holding a page, et cetera (I have noted that these symptoms do not appear if I do all these things applying a lot of pressure in holding), there also appeared numbness.

Since I got new type of symptoms, it worried me and I rushed to a doctor. This was first time that a doctor conducted NCS; I guess electric shocks were passed from my wrists and elbows to my fingertips. My doctor said that they are normal. He also did some physical examinations; he put my hands in prayer position (both of palms facing and touching each other) for some time, asked me to spread my fingers and then tried to force them closed (and asked me to put pressure against that), slightly hit my wrists. All these weird tests proved negative except for the tapping on only one spot of my left wrist (MY RIGHT WRIST has always had more pain). Later after reading, I also learnt about some other tests and did them personally: Phalen Test, Tilen Test, Hand Elevation, Durkan Carpal Compression Test.I did all of them myself personally in my home – I did not feel any difference.

I'm still not sure what exactly is my problem. It has HUGE IMPACT pact on my career, mood, and productivity. I use speech recognition software. It has helped me a lot but it reduces the speed by manyfold and is very frustrating.

My main reason for writing this here in this form is to know what exactly is my problem? And if I will ever get permanent solution to this.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:12 PM #2
Hiker Hiker is offline
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Hi Workaholic,

RSI can't usually be seen on tests like NCS, EMG or MRI so all these tests will come back normal.
The pain is likely due to nerve injury above the site of pain. Since you have pain in the elbows and ears the injury is probably in the neck. I think neck can also affect vision.
Did the doctors do imaging of the neck and excluded herniated disks or stenosis?

If so, you problems may be due to tight/spasming neck muscles which can be because of a poor posture and muscle imbalance related to excessive computer use.
If exercises made you feel better, it is because they engage different muscles and take the load of the overtaxed muscles in the neck.
Rest is helpful for the same reason: takes the load off the muscles.
Unfortunately, doing exercises while continuing computer work may not be sufficient.

I have many of the same symptoms you described which developed slowly over 20 years.
Headaches, ringing in ears, neck pain, pain behind eyes, shoulder pain, wrist and elbow pain.
I was doing PT and various exercises for years with no improvement.
A couple years ago my symptoms suddenly got worse and within a few months I was unable to work on the computer even for a short period without triggering bad pain which lasted for days.
Like you, I have knee pain which I think is also caused by nerve irritation.

What will probably be helpful in your case is to take a break from computer.
Like not touching it for 6-12 months and invest some serious effort into improving your posture. If you have a head forward posture common among computer users, it needs to be fixed.

In my case I am seeing some major improvements with reduced computer use and lots of exercise and stretching during the past year. I can now work on the computer for a few hours a day without triggering bad pain.
My knee pain is also better. A year ago I could not kneel or squat for any length of time without pain. I can squat all I want now. Still getting some pain after prolonged running though.

Check out the TOS forum posts, there is a lot of information there on exercises.
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