RSI - THE PAIN IS REAL
'you will get neck pain, loss of balance, lateral headaches, shoulder,
arm, head pain and muscle spasms...'
The pain was pretty
bad in my hand, neck and shoulders -it still is. I was sat feeling pretty
sorry for myself in the waiting room of the chiropractor with the words
You are old Father William echoing in my ear in the sarcastic tone
of my ex, whose sympathetic 'well what do you expect at your age
still fill me with dread.
So just as I was thinking that RSI - 'repetitive strain injury' is age
specific and I risk having to give up writing and just about everything,
a child entered with her father.
The girl was about nine, the father looked young as well and began reading
through the leaflets on RSI and backpain. He couldnt have been more
than 35 and I felt sorry for him that he had these troubles so early in
life, when they called out the girls name. I was astonished.
This cute nine year old girl was in as much pain as myself. How is that
It began with Pokemon, her father told me, she wanted
to be better than her brother's and then she was onto a different game
every week, swapping them at school. Now she can hardly lift a pen and
she cant sleep, her shoulders have seized up and she cries
at the slightest thing.
Well aside from he fact that it made me feel a bit better about my own
injuries, it is a sobering thought that there must be millions of kids
all over the world as obsessive as this child and are they all going to
have these problems? How common is it? How many adults are like me now,
conscious of pain all the time.
Does resting help? Well I took two weeks off editing Hacks and felt better
for it, but the very moment I started to use the mouse again the pain
returned and even writing by hand hurts.
It is easy for the chiropractor to tell me to cut out coffee, but what
do you tell a child to give up, milk and cookies?
It might be that in the future that speech recognition software will be
perfected and as in Star Trek we shall speak to the computer and
it will closely resemble what we say. (It truly doesnt right now).
It might be that employers will be forced to provide safe ergonomic workstations.
(In the USA I am sure this happens but it hasnt caught on in education
establishment in the UK for sure).
I could learn short cuts, but I have a number/symbol dyslexia. I just
cannot remember numbers or symbols. I have to look up my friends phone
numbers everytime, some I have been calling for decades. Its an
inconvenience rather than disability. I could learn to use my left hand
maybe, but I dont think with my left hand, if that makes
I wanted to talk to the kid when she came out of her session, but she
was crying, probably because shed discovered there was no quick
fix for this. I could have told her that it isnt the end of the
world. She could pick up a book and interact with the characters in them
and have a terrific and exciting time; but that is something she would
have to find out for herself.
what can I do? aside form giving up coffee (as if).
I am told I am Category 11.
Its when ligaments in the pelvis stretch and tear the sacro-iliac
joint separators and the sacram slips on one side. The spine then
becomes imbalanced, the vertebrae of the spine becomes misaligned.
Thus you will get neck pain, loss of balance, lateral headaches,
shoulder, arm, head pain and muscle spasm.
Well hello- yes. I get all of the above. Do I win anything?
The advice is :
Give up alcohol, caffeine and sugar. The three main food groups.
God I already dont smoke, drinking is limited to a about three glasses
of wine a week and I have two lattes a day. Give up that and what is left
exactly? Its enough to drive you to drink. Oh yes, the one thing
you shouldnt do is take lots of pills for the headaches and guess
what, you get a lot of headaches. Actually I had a scare two weeks ago
when after around four paracetamols I began to bleed. Its stuff
like that which drove me to the chiropractor. As they say, if you dont
look after your health, your body wont look after you.
If you know a child who is obsessed with computer games, or an adult who
is overworking on their web site or designs and they are experiencing
sleeplessness and pain, help them, they wont help themselves until
its way too late. When the pain comes it is already too late, make
them get a life now.
I am not sure how quickly Ill get better. but I do want to get better.
In October I am planning to go to somewhere warm for two weeks in the
USA and with luck I can tie it in with promoting my new novel somewhere.
It helped me last time, just swimming and walking in the Florida sun,
maybe it will again, but I havent decided where to go yet. Ill
let you know.
© Sam North 2001
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