The RSI Grey Area
RSI type conditions are often complicated for the medical industry and sufferer alike as each case is unique; the scope of different symptoms and timeframe for recovery can vary dramatically from person to person and the knowledge about it from doctor to doctor, even within the same specialty, can differ radically.
A lot of cases seem to fall into a grey area where a neurological (nerve) condition has resulted but help/advice from doctors, such as neurologists, could be limited as their knowledge of neuro-muscular pain may be small. On the other side, physiotherapists without a good understanding of how peripheral nerves function and operate in a musculoskeletal framework may offer unsuitable recovery programs.
So often sufferers are confused as to who to turn to for proper advice. Advice from different camps can seem contradictory – exercise, rest, use splint, don’t use splints, stretch, don’t stretch and so on. It can get very frustrating, especially if you have to quit work and want to find a quick path back to it.
What I learned through my experience is that you should find a specialist with an excellent understanding of muscles and proper muscle movement. Despite pain being normally felt in the extremities or around the shoulder/neck region, the real problem area most often occurs around the core section of the body where all movement derives. Repetitive Strain Injuries are bio-mechanical injuries and the first thing to do is address the muscle imbalances that are causing dysfunction.
Severe RSI cases will often necessitate vast changes in the sufferer’s behaviour, lifestyle and attitudes. In my discussions with many people who have suffered overuse injuries, a ‘quick’ magic bullet solution has never, ever been present. It takes patience, persistence and perseverance to restore proper function to a body that has been misused for a long time.