Repetitive Strain Injury

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by DaveR, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Has anyone on here suffered from RSI before?

    I'm convinced I have a mild case of it in my right arm at the moment, and I think it has been caused by using the touch pad on my laptop too much. It's quite painful doing lots of things at the moment, including driving and playing percussion :(

    I can use the touchpad left handed, and I've swapped the mouse on my PC at work to be lefthanded for the moment.

    Does anyone have any tips for a speedy recovery? Or at least, not letting it get any worse? I'd go and see my doctor, except I won't get an appointment for about 6 months :(

    Thanks all
  2. tinytimp

    tinytimp Member

    Not quite RSI, but I've been suffering from tennis elbow for over 6 months (from years of flute playing) and it's agony sometimes!

    Obviously, trying to limit what you do with the affected arm is a sensible start, although this can be quite frustrating, with me it wasn't even an option - I've got a music degree to get!

    I was prescribed loads of different anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen), they helped a bit but not loads. Worth a try though. If you're not keen on taking too much medication, Glucosamine Sulphate supplements are good for joints, and arnica is a natural anti-inflammatory (comes in tablets or gel). You could try acupuncture, it hasn't worked a lot for me but a friend who has RSI in her wrist swears by it.

    Good luck!
  3. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    I was diagnosed with RSI 5 years ago...

    You just have to be sensible with usage of computers etc... and as a percussionist myself I know how frustrating the playing can get!

    Both wrists/arms were pretty bad.
    My father took me to a muscle specalist type place and initially I was told to stop playing or else have perminant damage for the rest of my life... both my writsts were put in splints, I was given painkillers (although, I didn't take them 24/7 as it's important to know where your limits are) and I stopped playing for 6 weeks, missing out on a band trip abroad, the band at the times 25th anniversary concert, etc....

    After 6 weeks I started playing again, and after a week was worse again.. so resigned from the band and had a proper break from perc playing- did cornet instead... after 6 months or so went back (new band by then) to playing perc and seemed fine... taking things easy and not overdoing things helped a great deal....

    Watch your posture etc and have regular breaks... if it hurts, stop.

    Doctors will prolly blame lifting heavy equipment, playing it and lifting it again as one blame for RSI (they did with me)... I thought it was a load of nonsense myself...

    I had chiropractic adjustments to try help... my spine was slightly curved, etc, but whether that was relavant or not to the RSI I dunno... I then had physio in 2003 and well, I won't get into that too much... it just hurt what they did to my spine and they didn't think it was just RSI I had! (and they were right)....

    This did not stop me however from going to university and getting my degree etc... It was tough but had so much support from the uni it didn't seem like an issue to worry about.

    Anyhoo... I wear a magnetic braclet on my wrist to help with pain... and haven't had any bad complaints for ages now. I'm a distributor so if you'd like more info on that, PM me. :) It may very well help you.
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    I used to get tennis elbow back in the days when I did a lot of knitting. I was prescribed Traxam gel then, but it's now available over the counter. I bought some a couple of years ago when I was suffering with wrist pains from over use of mouse and probably repetitive moves on a pc game I was hooked on. :redface: It worked well for me. :)
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - I had RSI in right wrist and arm using a normal PC keyboard. Changing to a split-key ergonomic version has cleared up the problem. Shame that you use a laptop!
  6. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Thanks for all your advice so far guys - sounds like a trip to Boots is called for, and maybe one of Naomi's magic magnets too :)
  7. Jen

    Jen New Member

    I've had it on/off in my right wrist for a few years - the only thing I'd add is to use one of those 'tubi-grip' support things (from chemists), it might just have been the additional warmth that helped me. They make you look like an invalid too so then other people do things for you!
    I've also got a wrist rest for using the keyboard and mouse at work - I'd be in lots more pain without. And the drugs worked for me! ;)
    Hope it goes away soon
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - I would warn against using elasticated support as it tends to only temporarily allieviate symptoms rather than repair damage done. If things don't improve visit a doctor who might plan some exercises to rebuild natural support and strength.
  9. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Thats what I did last year, not for RSI, my lower vertebrae are fused together pressing on the nerves (or so the physio tells me) but its the longest time that I havn't been on painkillers since I was 15. Coincedince? Maybe. Worth a shot? Definetly!
  10. richardhall

    richardhall Member

    Unfortunately, whatever the benefits of a laptop computer it is from an ergonomic point of view, undesirable to use it for extended periods of time. Due to the low position of the laptop screen and the fixed keyboard, most laptop users maintain a hunched over body posture while working. Intensive laptop use can cause musculoskeletal pain and injuries.

    Laptops should be used with a docking station - separate keyboard and monitor - or a specialist laptop stand and suitable egonomics. For example it is important to position the keyboard at elbow height so that the arms are level and straight when keying.

    If you have a suitably trained health and safety advise at work, her or she should be able to supply further information.
  11. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    I cant believe no one has posted what we are all really thinking. RSI in your right arms and wrists indeed :rolleyes:
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - until you, that is! ;)
  13. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    For the Tennis Elbow (Lateral epicondylitis) sufferer, go and see a qualified Sports Massage Therapist, (preferably someone trained at the London School of Sports Massage (they have a web site) and not by a mickey mouse evening class at the local college). They will be able to treat it successfully and show you some self treatment techniques. Normally cured with only one or two treatments. ;)
  14. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Now now... F.F.F remember ;) :D
  15. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions so far - I have an appointment at the Quacks next week to see if it is anything serious.

    That said, it seems to be a bit better today. Hopefully that means it is just a sprain or something.


    Have had RSI in my elbow for several years now. It started from too much repetetive work with the mouse and keyboard. I was off sick for about 5 weeks and had two hydrocortisone injections into my elbow, they helped quite a lot and then had physio for a while. Now I mainly get twinges when I'm driving or if I have been working extra hours. I was told that in the elbow it comes from the muscle or ligament being stretched or slightly pulled off of the joint and was recommended a bandage that goes just below the elbow, when tightened it helps to stop the muscle/ligament from moving in the bit above the bandage so stops it pulling away from where it is supposed to be.

    My main advice would be to make sure what you do isn't repetitive and rest it as much as possible. I now have a pen and tablet at work (see here: as well which helps a lot.
  17. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    F.F.F????? Nope, dont remember!

    Dont generally remember ppp / pp / p / mp / mf / f either though :p
  18. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    but you're a baritone player all you have is on and off!!
  19. Jamie

    Jamie Member

    I worked in a kitchen for about 6 months a while ago, and spent most of that time (8-10 hour shifts) hoiking stacks of plates and trays of meat around the place, as well as turning the fryer baskets over to empty them. Being as small as I am, I could barely lift the baskets, never mind turn them over, so I had shooting pains from my wrist to my elbow, until I started to feel nothing at all because it had gone numb! I also do a fair bit of commuting from Nottingham to Cornwall, and am a lazy driver, so I'll only have one hand on the wheel, and thats usually at a funny angle... its only when I need to turn it that I realise I've lost the feeling in my wrist ten miles back, and as I'm heading straight for a grass verge, curse those fryer baskets and my limp wrists!

    Noticed the other day thatI can only play a game or two when bowling now, before my arm starts to pack in (same pains, and floppiness!)... trouble is, everyone assumes you're making excuses for your poor performance! (No jokes about wrist action and performance, thankyou!)

    Have I actually damaged myself, or am I just a wimp?!
  20. BOB_

    BOB_ Member

    i got one after i had just swithched from trumpet to bass i played in a long rehersal and was doing um-chucks throughout

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