1. Guest, the 'News in Brief' for the week beginning 26th July 2021 is here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Welcome! To read the Core Purpose and Values of our forum, click here.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Contribute to feedback on the CDC Evidence Review, for more details click here
    Dismiss Notice

Repetitive strain injury (RSI)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by svetoslav80, May 6, 2021.

  1. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Likes Received:
    I wish I was aware of this threat earlier: I spend 14-15 hours a day lying in my bed, mousing, so I developed repetitive strain injury at my right arm and biceps. I can no longer use it so I'm mousing with my left hand now. I also bought a trackball so I can switch from mouse to trackball, but my left hand is not used to any of it and it started to hurt as well (blah). Not rsi but my bones hurt... So has anyone come across this type of nastiness and have you got any advice?

    p.s. I forgot: I haven't gone to a doctor about it so this is more like a self diagnosis, but I don't have any sign of inflammation or swelling, just pain, so I believe it's a type 2 RSI
  2. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Likes Received:
    UK London
    I've found over the years that putting the affected area (generally my wrist) in water as hot as you can bear for a while is a good way of easing the problem. Also, trying to hold the mouse or whatever as loosely as possible, rather than tensing your arm, tends to help.
  3. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Likes Received:
    I developed the same problems as you back in the 1980s and 1990s. I started off using my first mouse in my left hand, then switched to my right. All I succeeded in doing was making both wrists hurt, although my left is by far the worst. I have never completely recovered from the problem but have found that using a fairly rigid wrist support every night that keeps my hand and wrist in a neutral position helps to keep my pain fairly low.

    I use one of these for my left hand, and may buy one for my right wrist if it deteriorates further :


    It has a strong removable metal splint in it, shaped to fit the palm of the hand. Because it is made of a slightly stretchy mesh it doesn't make my hand sweat as much as some of my earlier purchases for the same problem. It is supposed to be washed by hand, but I just chucked mine in the washing machine (having removed the metal splint) and it survived with no obvious damage.


    Another thing I use is a mouse mat with a slightly soft wrist support - there are various models, but this is very similar to what I use :



    I wrote a thread about what I thought was a bone spur a while ago, and there is a post from @Mij about the difference between braces and splints in the thread :


    There is also a post in that thread from Jonathan Edwards referring to De Quervain's Point. I found this link which seems to fit one of my wrist problems :


    The NHS, naturally, recommends exercise, but that just makes the problem much, much worse for me, so I just stick to my own self-help measures.
    alktipping, svetoslav80 and Trish like this.
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Likes Received:
    I battled this for way over 20 years. I will give some thoughts about what helped me.

    First, in my case I thought it was RSI, I was diagnosed with RSI multiple times, but when I joined a research study into RSI I found it was not RSI. They did find elevated muscle enzymes indicating damage, but the cause was not identified.

    In my case I think its a complication of ME. Muscles need rest. Continuous use for me resulted in pain that kept getting worse the more I did. STATIC muscle stress was even worse. Continuous low level stress. If I was holding a position by muscle tension it made things much worse over time. This included postural muscles.

    Almost nothing helped early on. I tried ergonomic furniture, muscle rubs, anti-inflammatories, painkillers, and so on. I had acupuncture and Chinese herbal liniment. Actually the liniment helped a little, just not enough. Back then I was not even diagnosed with CFS, and the only time I had heard of ME the media got it so wrong I was sure I didn't have that. The only drug that helped was Vioxx, but I knew enough biochemistry to not take that very often, just to take the edge off when it was bad, and warned my doctor the drug was likely to be banned. Six months later it was. It kills synthesis of critical hormones, and that is very dangerous.

    I did physiotherapy for a year, exercising and icing my muscles almost every day. Things got worse, and stayed worse.

    I am right handed but was forced to use a mouse in my left hand. To this day I still do that.

    Then I was diagnosed with CFS. A little later I discovered a menthol muscle rub, that gave me immediate relief but was no cure. Along the way I fell into pacing without having a name for it. It helped.

    Fifteen years later, when I was much better at pacing and had made many accommodations the pain started dying down. Five years after that it was gone on a daily basis, but if I aggravated my muscles then it got worse again.

    My hypothesis is this might be due to low mitochondrial reserve. When we have a sustained effort beyond the muscle capacity it gets damaged at the subcellular level. Its only an hypothesis though.

    If I was doing this all again I would find alternative ways to use my muscles, get more rest, find supports that stop me having to hold my arms or anything else in a specific position. Light stretching as the only exercise. I switch up my activities, putting different strains on me, so I am alternating or rotating between different muscle and brain stressors, and I should have started that earlier. Even now I have a menthol muscle rub on hand just in case, but the tube is starting to look old now.

    In my opinion its better to try to deal with this now before it gets worse. Twenty years is a long time to wait for recovery.

    Another possibility is I started taking inositol hexanicotinate. Its a niacin equivalent. I am doing this to raise my HDL. The therapeutic dose of niacin is between 2 to 3 grams a day in clinical trials. At a bit under 2g per day I noticed two things, both in the last few days. The first is my residual muscle pain issues have greatly lessened. The second is I went from under 5 hours sleep a day to over 8. The usual caveat applies though, this is the last thing I tried and so is associated with at least temporary improvement, but that does not mean its the cause.

Share This Page