Looking for an RSI specialist
November 17, 2006 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a specialist in Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) in West Los Angeles / Santa Monica?

I have serious neck, shoulder and wrist problems from excessive computer use. I've seen some doctors but they seem to have little knowledge of RSI. I'm looking for a doctor or physical therapist with experience in this area who can recommend exercises, etc. that might help.
posted by tabulem to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I would definitely recommend a physical therapist rather than a doctor. I had terrible near-CTS syndromes around 7 years ago -- severe tingling and pain in my forearms, the works. I went to a physical therapist and he--well, I'm not exactly sure *what* he did, it involved a lot of painful machinations of the muscles around my shoulder. In any case, I've continued working full time as a programmer and have had barely any tingling since, except when I go on 12hr+ coding rampages. Physical therapists will definitely know more than a normal doctor, especially in CA where I'm guessing over half of their practice must be RSI.

One exercise you can try right now works wonders to keep the muscles along your arm loose and relaxed::

Sit up straight, with your back/spine upright. Take your hands, and put them in a prayer position, palms touching. Slowly move them upwards in a straight line, until they are above your head and your arms are straight. Stretch upwards a little higher, then let the palms separate, rotate outwards (so that palms face forward). Now bend your elbows while lowering your arms at the shoulder (this is sort of like the breaststroke). The key is that your arms when coming back should be lined up with your shoulders (your elbows and shoulders should be lined up on the same plane as your torso). You may feel a popping sensations in your shoulders as the ligaments loosen up. Keep pulling inwards with your elbows, trying as much as possible to make them touch the sides of your torso.

IANAD, so you should confirm with a physical therapist that this exercise is safe and appropriate for you, but it does me wonders.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:55 AM on November 17, 2006

If you are comfortable ruling out any medical problem and are sure it is RSI you might consider someone who teaches the Alexander Technique. It is used by numerous professional musicians to manage and avoid RSI. While I have not used it myself I have several friends who are professional musicians who practice this regularly. As you can imagine RSI is a real and present problem for many musicians. The link will take you to local practitioners. Good Luck
posted by rmhsinc at 3:18 PM on November 17, 2006

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