My Story: I'm a 50 year-old male. I've been a software developer for 17 years and an avid computer hobbyist since my early 20s. Video games are also a hobby of mine and I've been playing regularly since 2005. (I would love to make computer games, but alas I ended up with a lot of job security doing a very different kind of back-end data processing work.) My problem started in early summer last year (2017) when I began to develop overuse pain in my hands from an insane project schedule plus gaming on top of it. At first the pain was pretty normal for doing "too much" and most importantly it didn't happen when I was working (the intensity of work is a lot less than gaming). Still, I tried to back off of gaming and give myself more opportunity to recover. With some assistance from PT I seemed to be doing really well from late September through October. But I returned to full gaming activity perhaps a bit too quickly, and it was at that point that more unusual pain patterns started emerging. This is when I began to get scared and started trying to cut back severely. In particular I was playing a game with a controller that only required my left hand to operate a thumb-stick mostly pressing to the right and my right (dominate) hand to occasionally press a single button. Compared to many games out there this type would fall into the top 5% of games in terms of ease of play -- virtually anyone of any age could manage it. But for me, my hands hurt like crazy for a whole day after finishing it. Suppressed panic. Swore off games for a month. I'd been on vacation for a week during this. Upon return to work the pain finally invaded my job, causing my right hand to burn after extended mouse use. My only solace was that I would go to the gym and even though I would occasionally have to grip weights or machine handles to exercise, my symptoms always seemed to subside when I did this. Just before Christmas, an orthopedic doctor diagnosed me with bilateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on top of RSI/tendinitis. This despite the fact that I had no tingling/numbness or pain along the median nerve pathway, and stretching tests produced no discomfort or obvious signs. I could still type quite comfortably -- it was gripping actions that caused flare ups. And for my setup the mouse is vital for the applications I use. I started doing PT working specifically on hands. The doctor also recommended NSAIDs to help control the pain but they had zero effect even at the highest dose. Then a curious thing happened. I had two weeks off from Christmas through the first week of January, and because I'd had a few days of low activity I decided to test gaming again with the intention of backing off the moment it got uncomfortable. It was an old favorite of mine that required a lot of constant movement and button pressing on both keyboard and mouse. To my surprise I played for nearly 5 hours without any breaks or discomfort at all. The next day I didn't have pain when I woke up and decided to finish the mission I'd started, so I played about 3 hours more. After that I had some discomfort in both hands but nothing alarming. However upon waking up the next day, the back sides of both hands ached for three days straight. The weird thing about that ache is that it wasn't like normal pain. It was more like "hypersensitivity", constantly present but no soreness if I rubbed the skin or flexed my hands and wrists. After it dissipated I tried another game for a few hours and it re-appeared. I renewed my resolve to avoid gaming for the near future. I spent the last week hardly doing anything on my home PC at all. It all kind of went downhill from there. The day I returned to work my right hand gave out before lunch (excruciating pain on the pinky side of my wrist) and our on-site medical office slapped a brace on my hand and said no computer work for the rest of the week. I took several days to calm down. I started researching about self-treatment for RSI and bought a tool to help massage my forearms. While I found many trigger points and tried to work them out, I started getting more and more pain presenting along my ulnar and radial nerve pathways that would start near my elbows and go down into my pinkies or across the backs of my hands. These would be most present in the morning after I woke up. I was also trying ice dips, wrapping my hands in a heating pad, braces at night, but nothing really seemed to make a difference. Although I had returned to my duties at work along with a restriction of only 30 minutes on the computer every hour, I still had a burning mouse hand by midday. Then around the third week of January I managed to injure both shoulders. One was from weight training that tweaked an old injury from many years before. The other was from over-stretching. These were distressing but far easier to understand as I've dealt with similar issues over years of being in the gym. So I took some time off from training. Almost immediately a new pattern started. Both shoulders -- with very different injuries -- started exhibiting a kind of itchy/ticklish sensation on the rear deltoid that extended down into my triceps. This began to merge with the nerve pain in my forearms and hands. And to top it all off, when I went to the gym after two weeks off to do a very light workout to test my shoulder recovery, my hands hurt like hell for two days afterward. The RSI had finally caught up with the last activity that gave me solace. I was in full freak-out mode now. I went back to the orthopedist and she ordered a nerve conduction study. It covered every major nerve path from my shoulders down to the tip of each finger. The neurologist told me on the spot it was clean; virtually every nerve performed well above the threshold for normal. At my follow-up with the orthopedist (one week ago), she was clearly baffled and called me her "mystery man" patient. She suggested most of the pain might be originating in my neck and upper shoulders. Without a clear diagnosis of nerve damage, we worked out a plan: four weeks of no computer use at work, PT, biofeedback and low-dose gabapentin in the meantime, and re-assess after that. And Here I Am Today... This is the first week of my new "hands-off" restriction. Work is accommodating and I am consulting/advising the junior developers on my team. I also found Dr. Sarno's book a few days ago. I bought and read The MindBody Prescription. Then I bought and skimmed The Divided Mind, paying the most attention to the therapy/treatment chapter. The character types match up. I am a classic good-ist, perfectionist, introvert, notoriously self-critical and my own worst enemy, and have faced many confounding life issues related to health, aging, and anxiety that I've largely suffered on my own with no significant other to sooth me in times of distress (so add extreme loneliness to the list). My childhood was not abusive but was incredibly difficult emotionally. I'm often angry inside because happiness and joy seems elusive despite being successful and being told by so many people over the years what a great catch I am. I've had a history of stress reactions that lead to panic attacks and/or chest pain that doctors could never trace to actual cardiac problems, but that in the past several years has led to a condition now where I get a lot of sensation of skipped heartbeats. One counselor a few years ago even went so far as to tell me that it was evident listening to me talk about my health experiences that I have an extremely sensitive mind-body connection. Needless to say, I'm open to the idea of psychosomatic induced problems. So I started making a list of my issues, but haven't written any essays about them yet. Instead I've focused on writing this introduction. I will mention one experience I had last night. I went back to the gym to try another workout. I was in a "to-hell-with-it" attitude after all the reading I'd done lately. I did a short full-body workout and then thew in wrist curls with barbells at the end. I had avoided wrist curls since last summer due to all my hand problems and because of the warnings of physical therapists who predicted it would make the problem worse. At the conclusion of the workout and heading home, I grew more and more distressed because not only was the tickling sensation from my shoulders spreading down my arms into my hands like crazy but they were also spreading through my back, my groin and the outsides of my knees. I kept thinking to myself. "How the hell can this be from RSI in my hands? THIS IS MY HEAD SCREWING WITH ME!!" I got home and resumed my reading on the TMS Wiki and started composing my story. An hour later, all the body discomfort had vanished. Only a small amount remained in my hands, and even though using a mouse would bring on the burning sensation, it would retreat very quickly after stopping. This morning I have some normal delayed onset muscle soreness from the workout (the good kind of sore). My hands feel a little worked over but not much different than any other day lately. The normal pain patterns are there but very subdued. On the last two workouts they didn't start hurting until 24 hours later. I guess we'll see. But it does feel like progress. My Goal: Complete remission, of course. I want to be at full capacity at work, and I've got a couple of games I'm dying to play -- the kind I like getting lost in due to engaging stories. It's encouraging to see so many success stories on here. It also looks like there are some additional resources for how to approach therapy? I'm not certain yet if I'm going to need psychotherapy, but I'm open to that possibility. In the meantime will try to follow the protocol as best I can!