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RSI Recovery

My doctor came into the room, tested me for CT, and after determining I didn't have carpal tunnel told me I had RSI, wrote a presciption for Diclofenac and left. It took him all of five minutes and I didn't even get to finish telling him what was wrong. My finger joints are stiff sometimes, from typing and my wrist is tight/stiff. When I flex, I can feel a numb pain (not numbness as in can't feel) move along the back of my hand, in the pattern of my veins. If I make a fist and move my hand, the wrist pops. Grabbing it and throwing it back to force it to pop gives temporary relief. My hand hurts when typing, but doesn't prevent me from it and the locking isn't permanent; just when I've had my hand in a fist for a long time and then only once. I sleep fine. It hurts when I'm not typing, but only as a dull ache, no numbness, pins/needles, etc. My joints aren't worse in the morning. My shoulders also feel tight. He never said specifically what type of RSI.

I agree with him it's RSI, but I don't want to cause lithium toxicity or gastrointestinal problems just for pain relief. Would it be healthier, and work  (I've no allergies) to use/take cayenne pepper, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6+B12 to improve circulation. cut soda (I don't think water now, dehydration?) and drink exclusively water, rest my hand and use ice packs? Additionally, I was going to continue sitting in my computer chair for an hour or two a day and work through the pain of using proper sitting until my muscles have regained strength. I intend to do stretches. I've considered glucosamine therapy for my joints in case it's osteoarthritis.

Is any of this helpful? Harmful? Should I see another doctor? It's difficult to wade through the inaccuracies of the internet. Can I ever recover from RSI? I don't know whether or not I'm advanced.
7 Responses
535089 tn?1400677119
Hi Ardixan:

You should do what makes you comfortable. If you don't feel that pain meds are the right way to go then by all means, take the more natural way. What your proposing to do doesn't sound harmful but I'm wondering why you wouldn't want to treat the more traditional way and ease the pain for even a short time. Your body isn't in danger if you treat with pain meds on a short term basis. It might actually help the process heal quicker.

What ever you decide to do is good, you know your body better than anyone. You have to be your own advocate. Please take care and good luck in the future.

547368 tn?1440545385
Hello Ardixan,

I am sorry to hear that you are having pain issue n your hands. I had CT and know how painful and frustrating the condition can be. However RSI, (repetitive stress injury or repetitive strain injury) isn’t a specific disorder. It is a loose term for a group of multiple more specific disorders. CT is an RSI. So which RSI condition are you experiencing?

You would have to know what specific RSI you have been diagnosed with to determine the prognosis. NSAID's are just part of the treatment. Usually treatments such as PT, OT, rest, heat, ice and support devices or a combination of them are typical treatments of RSI.  

If you are concerned with a Lithium toxicity it can be caused by any NSAIDs. And obvious you have to be taking Lithium in order for that to be an issue. Usually Lithium levels are monitored frequently when a patient is on a combination of NSAIDs and Lithium concurrently. As I am sure you know it is easily monitored.

In my opinion you need to speak with your physician again and request that actual diagnosis instead of broad diagnosis. Once that has been discussed than ask for more than just medication therapy. If your physician is unwilling to go into these details than in my opinion it is time to find one that will be more thorough and take your questions and concern seriously and address them.

Before I would begin an alternative treatment I would discuss with with a physician. Certainly as Mollyrae said it probably wouldn't harm you but it is always best to consult with your physician. There is always the concern that left untreated or not properly treated your condition can worsen or any possible nerve damage become permanent.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. Please take care and keep in touch. I will look forward to your updates. Tuck
Avatar universal
I don't have carpal tunnel. That's the one thing he did confirm. He didn't diagnose anything else, though. Checked for CT, wrote me a prescription for Diclofenac and sent me on my way. He wasn't in there more than a few minutes.
Avatar universal
I've been told most RSI is a circulatory issue, though, because your nervous system is trained to shut off the blood supply to stressed areas, such as hunching to play computer games. I'm certain I've a vitamin deficiency due to no nuts, fruits or vegetables in my diet, so put together a list of circulatory-aiding vitamins to see if that's what's causing the pain. That said, I've used a computer daily for 4-6 hours daily, with admittedly improper posture for four years.

Can excessive clicking/typing cause osteoarthritis?
547368 tn?1440545385
Can excessive clicking/typing cause osteoarthritis? Yes and no. Arthritis can set into a joint that has experienced trauma in the past. It is not clearly understood why this happens but it can and does happen. Arthritis shows up on an x-ray.

I understand you don't have carpel tunnel but again RSI is not a specific condition. It is like saying I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease. There are several conditions that come under that umbrella name.

Your physician can test you for vitamin levels and if you are concerned I would request he test for those values.  Often our body is very good at taking all the vitamins and minerals that it needs from minimum food intake.
Avatar universal
Is RSI a circulatory issue?
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