Hi All, The reason I post this, is because I have acquired a serious case of Tennis Elbow over the last 6 months of working.
RSI, or Repetitive Strain Injury, is nothing to be sneezed at. Sure, a term like Tennis elbow sounds like it is acquired by people that play the occasional little game of social tennis and have weak arms the rest of the year.
Believe me, it isn't, I've found it to be seriously debilitating, I can't even pick a cup of coffee up in the morning with my left hand. I've also dropped a few cups when I've forgotten it's there and it reminds me with a shot of pain down my left fore-arm.
Now, the thing is, I'm right-handed, but I can't work to 100% at the moment and that really gets my goat. All the doctor can say to me is I need to rest it and the bit that really annoyed me was "it's because you are getting older", this from a 26 y/o locum! I've tried pain-killers, but these don't work, it is a tendon that is damaged, you could take morphine and still feel the pain.
Does anyone else here have the same sort of situation, electrical work is repetitive, I know guys with bad wrists, knees, you name it. If you have a story, lets hear it!.
Sometimes, I think the medical field is not willing to admit just how little they know. We have all manner of 'conditions' with fancy names, that all boil down to 'we have no idea, but something isn't right.'
Sounds like what you are calling "RSI" is a variation on what we call 'carpal tunnel syndrome' when it appears in the wrist. That particular ailment has had an interesting history. Discovered - given a name - popularized - some minor workplace improvements - plenty of lawsuits - and now a conviction (based upon management 'pulp press' BS) that the condition is a fake.
Why? Because nothing is obviously broken. It can't be 'proven' to exist, let alone attributed to any specific cause. We'll just ignore all those poorly arranged things at the plant, etc. The folks are making it up, and are a bunch of whiners!
More to the point, Mike ....
First, I'd suggest the doc start experimenting a bit. There are a number of meds (Clinoril is one) that MIGHT work. Generally, you will know within a day or two if the med is the right one. We've all seen this ... where one works, while a similar one has little effect.
Secondly .... we're also learning that meds have some unusual side effects. For example, pains as you describe can be caused by taking antibiotics - for reasons no one understands.
I used to attribute my aches & pains to "Electrician's" elbows, shoulders, knees, back etc. At the end of my day, I could barely get out of the truck (I'm 55 years old). I thought everybody that worked hard in the trades was that way. Last November, I got a numbness in my buttocks, and in about a week it spread to my leg. I stumbled twice on the job, still in denial, and decided finally to see a chiropractor.
To make a long story short, it was my spinal column...I still am seeing my chiropractor twice a week, but feel better than I have for the last 20 years. He's treated my shoulder, knees, elbows, & spine. I feel like a fool now.
I have a wrist problem that I have been in and out of doctor's offices for since February (Xrays, MRIs, blood tests and whatever). I have seen my internal medicine doctor, dermatologists, orthopedic surgeons, a neurologist and a rheumatologist. What I have come away with is if this is only tendinitis, rest and a good wrist and elbow brace might fix it, if you also have joint damage or arthritis, the tendon problem is just a symptom. Testing your blood for the sedimentation rate will tell you about inflammation. That in itself might respond to Ibuprophen, Naproxen or Dichlorflenac AKA Valtoren. The next step is to draw fluid from the joint looking for crystals and a uric acid test to see if it is gout. If you have no joy there they will want a RH factor test looking for rheumatic arthritus (not good news) or psoriatic arthritis (same symptom, negative RH test and some red spots on your skin somewhere) hence the dermatologist. If you have either of the latter problems they will want you to take a chemo drug called methotrexate (real nasty stuff with a warning label like crack) and I said no to that. Good luck brother, lets hope you just pulled a tendon, that be fixed by rest and rehab with some physical therapy.
Thanks for all the replies here, Guys. I thought I was on my own, in having this problem. I think it might be a call for me to slow down. If anyone else has a story, please by all means, post it below, there is advice here to be had, we aren't medical experts, but maybe we have been through before, what you are going through now.