Katie’s wrist pain caused by her repetitive strain injury or RSI
Katie, an administrator at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge, first noticed an ache in her left forearm and wrist at the end of her working week. Things would improve with self-massage and as she rested them over the weekend. She opted to stop her gym class that involved light-weights.
Over the next 3 months the aches became more persistent and Katie was aware that it was beginning to affect the other wrist too. Eventually the aches were accompanied with sharp pain on typing.
This prompted Katie to report to both her GP and Occupational Health at work. Both clinicians diagnosed her with Repetitive Strain Injury (R.S.I.). Her GP prescribed anti-inflammatories and referred her for X-Ray. The results found nothing abnormal. Her Occupational Health Therapist re-evaluated Katie’s ergonomics at her desk and supplied a new chair which helped.
With her symptoms showing signs of improvement Katie returned to her circuits class. Two weeks later the aches slowly increased and the sharp pains returned with a vengeance. Katie feared that she would have to leave her job. It was then that her colleague suggested she seek osteopathic help as it had worked for him and his elbow issue.
During the consultation we were able to get to the root of the problem by listening to Katie’s chain of events and by examining the joints and tissues of her arm.
Our examination showed that the joints of the wrist had stiffened and that her elbow was restricted. This meant that the muscles and tendons of the arm were put under increased tension even before she began typing.
We explained to her that the anxiety and stress of her being able to cope at work also played a role in her pain. Subconsciously the Brain would know it’s under threat and so would turn the volume up on her pain as a way of protection. As for the puffiness overlying the wrist we explained that an immune reaction encouraged by her brain’s perceived fear had influenced it.
Over a few sessions we increased Katie’s joint mobility and worked on the tissue health of her arm and hand. We liaised with her Occupational Health so that our role and management plan was clear. Our 5th session was at a later date so we could address any physical issues or concerns specific to Katie and her body. By informing her of what works and what doesn’t work for her body Katie is now in control of her problem.