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Would love input on my case of RSI

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by QualityAssured, Mar 9, 2022.

  1. QualityAssured

    QualityAssured New Member

    Hello everyone!

    I have trouble organizing large amounts of information so I'm going to use a timeline for ease of reading. Relevant information about me is I'm a moderate-heavy computer user. Both my job and hobbies are computer based, I also enjoy weightlifting. It also may be relevant that I started stuttering when I was 2 years old and developed Psoriasis at 25.

    Jan 2020: Started to get a weird tingle on the inner side of the left elbow. This usually flared up after coming home from the gym. Started seeing a Chiropractor who did some light massage, acupuncture and gave me some anti-inflammatory cream. Around this time I was also spending more time than usual with my father.

    April 2020: My father moved into my one bedroom apartment because Covid hit. The gyms closed down and the tingle gradually went away. At this time I started taking anti-depressants because I was having trouble being trapped with him all day everyday (He has untreated Schizophrenia). I also got a nasty patch of new Psoriasis on my scalp which would drive me nuts sometimes.

    May 2020: I moved 2 hours away from my father after I got him situated in a rooming house type of situation.

    June 2020: Stopped taking the anti-depressants

    Summer 2020: At some point over the summer I started waking up in the morning with numbness in the pinky side of my left hand. I spoke to my family doctor and he said it was Ulnar neuropathy and to try and keep my elbow straight when I sleep. I bought an elbow brace and my symptoms went away. A few months later I started to get symptoms in the other elbow as well so I started bracing it as well.

    Winter 2020: My brother moved into a new apartment with my father. My brother has a history of dependency problems and can't seem to hold a job. This was the start of a somewhat stressful period as I was frequently used as a mediator between the two of them, they don't really get along.

    June 2021: Started going to the gym again and the elbow tingle gradually came back in the left elbow. It's important to note that I ramped my computer usage during this period. I started playing video games with a mouse/keyboard (I was previously using a controller).

    August 2021: Started seeing a physiotherapist who did massage and gave me some stretches. Around this time I also started to develop some carpal tunnel symptoms in both hands. Pins and needles sensation that would gradually spread to the forearms, usually at the end of the day on the computer.

    Sept 2021: Bought a new desk for ergonomics and split my time between sitting and standing. Around this time I also started to dial back the amount of time I would spend on the computer.

    October 2021: The tingle in the left elbow had turned into a constant nerve pain and spread to the pinky finger with some loss of grip strength. Stopped going to the gym and only used my computer for the 8 hours I needed too for work. Started to see a Chiropractor who did more massage and acupuncture.

    November 2021: Started to play video games with a controller as it didn't aggravate my symptoms and was a nice distraction from the elbow pain. Family doctor gave me the tinel test in both hands and arms which were negative along with blood tests. He diagnosed me with bi-lateral carpal tunnel with ulnar neuropathy and scheduled and EMG test with a neurologist for Feb 2021. I also used my short term disability benefits with my employer as I was unable to work for more than an hour without nerve pain.

    December 2021: Despite being off work the pinky in the left hand started to curl in a bit even though I had no numbness or tingling in it. I also started to develop ulnar nerve symptoms in the left hand and elbow, although I still had full grip strength.

    January 2022: The carpal tunnel symptoms started to creep into my everyday activity. Stopped playing video games and doing much of anything with my hands. Things like shoveling snow or cooking became a bit of a struggle. My chiropractor ordered some x-rays of my cervical spine which showed some thickening of the tissue but nothing major.

    February 2022: EMG results came back negative for both carpal and cubital tunnel in both arms. Tinel test showed mild positive in left elbow only. At this point I knew if I didn't start making some progress I would have to quit my job. My mental state took a bit of hit, started lying in bed most of the day trying desperately not to use my hands. It was at this point that my symptoms were actually the worst. I attributed this to side effects of the EMG but it persisted for weeks after. I also started to develop what I assume is some sort of tendonitis in my right thumb, which I attributed to my increased use of my cellphone since I wasn't using my computer.

    March 2022: Follow-up with my doctor after the EMG. He suggested anxiety or stress could be playing a factor in my struggles with recovery and suggested I go back on the anti-depressants for three weeks and we would re-evaluate. Since taking the medication and having a few sessions with a massage therapist I have noticed that the symptoms in the left elbow have improved somewhat. It's no longer a constant pain and I can bend the elbow further before the pain starts.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I just finished the mind body prescription and I am very excited at the possibility that this might be TMS and not some crippling disease that the doctors can't identify.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. dabeclipse

    dabeclipse Newcomer

    Hi there,
    I've had a bit of experience with RSI. For me, it seemed to develop on toward something like Radial Tunnel Syndrome, which has been intermittent and often vague and indistinct. I found all physical therapy on my arm was unhelpful - it just took me backwards.
    One thing I have certainly noticed in my case is that my mood can affect any discomfort I might feel when I'm typing. Yesterday, for example, my right hand felt a bit fatigued. But later in the day, I got really focused and motivated on writing my first post for this forum - which took a good couple of hours - and the discomfort simply disappeared. Counter-intuitive if you think these things are physical or structural in nature. It sounds a bit basic, but you might like to get yourself in a really good mood / focused on a particularly interesting task, and then try typing. This may well reveal some patterns of improvement for you. It may not be consistent straight away, but sometimes it's glimmers of progress that give you hope!
    I wanted to flag up a video for you by Howard Schubiner:
    You may have seen this already. I found it a very powerful talk. He talks about RSI from about 8:00 minutes - you might want to take a look at that. If you like what you see, do try and sit through the whole thing - it's fabulous.
    All the very best.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. MedicineWithin

    MedicineWithin Peer Supporter

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