any tips on helping RSI/tendonitis?

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  1. Rapidwriter profile image59
    Rapidwriterposted 15 years ago

    I've been off hubpages for a bit because of severe pain i my right arm which turned out to be tendonitis and possibly RSI.  As a professional writer I'm terrified of anything that'll get in the way of my writing.  so when I was advised by my doctor to stay off the keyboard as much as possible, I obeyed.

    So, firstly, sorry if I haven't commented on your hubs recently - and secondly, any tips out there on books, websites, remedies, exercises that could help control or heal the problem?

    Many thanks in advance.


    1. profile image49
      clam0391posted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Why not visit and enter tendonitis in the search box at upper right of the home page. You will find there some articles and reports which will interest you.

      If you want to ask questions about eft I will be glad to help if I can, visit my blog at or email me  gilgamesh0391 [at]

    2. profile image0
      Marc Davidposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      As a matter of fact, without sounding to promotional (I'll take my beating now if it is) I wrote a blog post about this.

      Being a bodybuilder, I've suffered from this many times and so far, have been able to cure the problem.  It really depends on the level of severity though so my tips may not work.

      The 6 Steps to Cure Tendonitis

      Again, depending on how bad it is, it might require a lot more than what you can do at home and if you have sought professional medical advice that's the additional step that I would advise if it persists or gets worse.

  2. Patty Inglish, MS profile image89
    Patty Inglish, MSposted 15 years ago

    How much in use are the computers that one can verbally dictate to (bad grammar) these days? Can you do that, at least for text?

  3. Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 15 years ago

    Ice Ice Baby. big_smile

    Although I made that a joke, I meant it - get the swelling down with ice.

    Having spent ten years as a massage therapist and seen this many times, DO NOT have the surgery. If you have already had it, sorry, that means you have found out it doesn't work. sad

    When you said tendonitis, did you mean Carpal Tunnel?

  4. gamergirl profile image87
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    My mother had the surgery done on both of her hands and is still 43% disabled.

    She swears by a product called Tiger Balm, and having been her personal massage person, I can tell you that the best advice I gave her was for her to stretch, keep her arms and hands warm as much as possible (to keep the blood flowing properly) and every week she abuses a crock pot to heat up paraffin wax which she then coats her hands in several times.  You can add camphor oil to the paraffin while it's melted to create a nice mentholated wax which helps take the swelling down when you get flare-ups.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, Tiger Balm is not a good idea for inflammation - It will actually make it worse. It is Great for relaxing muscles and making you feel good, but if your tendon is inflamed (and I don't know which one is) , you should not use it. Same with the stretching if you are talking about the wrist tendons - not good if inflamed - very good when the inflammation has gone down, but not if actually inflamed .

      Sorry gamergirl.

  5. gamergirl profile image87
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    Interesting, because the things I described always helped my mom's swelling go down.

    Snagged that from the Tiger Balm website.  I had always heard, and seen in application, that the camphor, menthol and mint oil helped reduce the inflammation and pain.  As well, the stretching was suggested by my mother's surgeon.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Unfortunately, they are misinforming you. Tendonitis literally means "inflammation of the tendon,"
      Inflammation is part of the body's built-in defense system and what it is doing is opening up the blood vessels to allow an increased flow of blood to an affected area to speed up the healing process. Along with this you get heat and fluid to the area. This is fine if you have an injury, but in the case of the tendon, you can only do do much of that.

      Without going into too much detail the tendon has a sheath around it. When the swelling reaches a point that the tendon is too big for the sheath surrounding it, it starts to hurt very badly. The operation your mum had was probably to split the sheath to allow the tendon to expand further. This just delays the problem, not fix it.

      Tiger balm is great but this ad is misleading - It is made largely (and I am dragging this from the memory banks ) from menthol or pepper depending on the version. Both provide heat, but if you are already inflamed, you want to reduce the heat in this case.

      Stretching is a good idea, but not if it's inflamed - this will also make it worse.

  6. Aprilfreelance profile image58
    Aprilfreelanceposted 15 years ago

    I have arthritis and peripheral neuropathy.  I don't know if it will help your problem or not, but I wear Smart Gloves when I'm on the computer.  They work better than any others I have tried.

    Also, switching to the Dvorak layout for your keyboard is supposed to help alot.  I haven't taken the time to learn it yet, but I have read from a lot of people that it did make a big difference for them.

  7. profile image0
    daflaposted 15 years ago

    The new ergonomic keyboards are super, and you can also wear wrist braces when typing.  Try to take a little break once an hour or so.

    I use something I get at Wal-Mart called "Sportscreme" for pain.   Aleve is good for inflammation.  Mostly you have to rest your hands as much as possible.  I've had two cortisone shots in my arm for tendonitis in my right arm from using the computer too much.

    Also, you can use a bag of frozen small peas as an icepack between computer sessions.  It always helped me.

  8. gamergirl profile image87
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    Err... menthol and camphor both cool, they are the ingredients that spurred the ICY in ICYHOT. tongue

    Guess this means I need to go research the components of Tiger Balm and similar topical anti-inflammatory balms and make sure the information I've had about them for about a decade is correct. 

    To get back to the OP, though, another suggestion my mother's surgeon had for her after her procedure was to give your hands a five minute break every two hours or so.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Exactly - menthol is a vasodilator, meaning it is supposed to increase blood flow which will not help to reduce the swelling smile .

      You do not want this in the case of inflammation. Your goal is to reduce swelling to relieve the pressure on the tendon sheath.

      And, not to put to fine a point on it - Is this the same surgeon who recommended and performed the surgery that has left your mother  43% disabled?

      Now, I am not saying tiger balm and stretching are not a good thing - they are, but at certain times, this can aggravate  the problem. You would get much more benefit rubbing Tiger balm and massaging your mother when she is NOT in pain. big_smile

  9. relache profile image72
    relacheposted 15 years ago

    Rapidwriter, in the end, you're going to have to do a lot to help your arm health.  You're going to have to modify how you use a computer (ergonomic keyboards and mice), how long you sit and write, and you'll need to do physical therapy for the arms too.  There's no healing it and getting to go back to old habits, as the arm injuries will just return.

    One thing which no one seems to have mentioned yet is voice-recognition software.  I've had a few friends who have such bad physical issues, they now use special software which translates speech to writing.  Those have their own user issues and you have to teach the software to understand you, and learn to speak a lot more clearly than most people are accustomed to doing, but they can be very helpful especially in instances where you really need to relieve the hands and arms.

  10. gamergirl profile image87
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    Hey! I never said she is 43% disabled BECAUSE of the surgery.  She would have been much much worse off had she not gone through the procedure.

    I'll stop hijacking the thread, sorry guys. 

    P.S. Mark -- If you don't believe that Tiger Balm is good for reducing swelling, I'd be happy to send you pictures of my mom's right thumb and forefinger before and after a treatment of tiger balm. tongue  Send me a message through the 'contact' link on my profile and we can chatter away about technique and trade talk that way so we don't derail any threads. big_smile Hope you don't think I'm trying to argue with you, promise I'm all smiles over here.

    1. darkside profile image70
      darksideposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      You're not hijacking the thread.

      But the post above is.

  11. Marisa Wright profile image90
    Marisa Wrightposted 15 years ago

    (Putting my little old lady hat on) I remember back in the Dark Ages (i.e. 10 or 20 years ago) when ice/hot balms like Tiger Balm, hot water bottles and other warm soothing stuff were always recommended for inflammation.  These days we know better - ice will always work faster.  It won't FEEL as good, but it is more effective.

    Is your right hand your mousing hand?  A lot of people think they've got RSI because of their keyboard, whereas in fact they've got it from their mouse.  Do you mouse with your wrist resting on the desk?  Try it now and look at the angle between your wrist and your hand.  There's a lot of tension that builds up from holding your hand at that angle, not to mention the way it pinches the nerves.  The pain often travels all the way into your elbow. 

    Find yourself a good physiotherapist or remedial masseur - doctors often underestimate how much they can do.  They'll probably prescribe a support - which confusingly, might be on your arm, not your wrist! - and teach you how to sit at the computer so you don't make it worse.

    Of course, if it is mousing that's the problem, then you may be able to continue using the computer if you switch your mouse to your left hand.  Just make sure you don't adopt the same posture!

  12. Rapidwriter profile image59
    Rapidwriterposted 15 years ago

    Hi Guys,

    I'm so grateful to all of you for your advice.  I knew I'd find the expertise, the willingness - and more importantly - the BIG HEARTS out there.  Thanks so much for taking the time.

    I've acquired an icebag, Mark thanks for the advice - and that terrific exposition of what's actually going on really works for me.  I find it easier to deal with things when I know what's going on. 

    Relache, bless you for warning me about the need to actually mend my careless ways - your message has come through loud and clear.

    Gamergirls, the massage sounds like a soothing and friendly idea - I'm allergic to something in balms, though. Can't use Tiger Balm or any of the Deep Heat type things.  I turn into a pumpkin, all orange and swollen...even my tongue and lips swelled up once.

    I'll follow up on the books, sites, hubs - and I'm grateful for it all.

    Lots of love, everyone.  I feel really lucky to have access to all of you.

  13. Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 15 years ago

    My pleasure.

    Welcome back. smile

  14. gamergirl profile image87
    gamergirlposted 15 years ago

    Goodness!! Well, I'm glad you're back at least. big_smile

    Edits to add the smilie

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      A new smilie! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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