Harvard RSI Action (click to go to home page)
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Severe RSI Problems
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If your problems persist, you should see a doctor. The advice below may be helpful, but is not a substitute for professional medical advice. While it is geared towards students going to University Health Services, it also contains information of more general interest.

One extremely important piece of advice is to FIGURE OUT WHAT KIND OF RSI YOU HAVE! There are several different kinds, including tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and so forth. These require DIFFERENT treatments. It is therefore essential to get a knowledgable doctor's diagnosis; otherwise, you will be in the dark about how to treat your problem.

(Chances are that if you have problems at this severity level, you will want to read the section on tips.)

You probably want to know how long it will take to recover from your problems. The answer depends on a lot of things, but probably won't make you happy no matter what. Typically, it takes a long time to recover from RSI, from perhaps 2 weeks if you are very lucky, stop quickly, and make all the necessary ergonomic changes. On the other hand, it is often much much longer, a year or more. Even then, this will depend on how well you do what your doctor tells you to do, how quickly you stopped, how good your doctor is, how often you cheat (a few bad hours or less can set you back weeks or more). Be prepared for the long haul. Have patience.

You may get pretty depressed at some point. Not being able to eat without pain can do that to a person. Most of us have suffered through this, and almost all have eventually gotten better. But it is still really depressing. Feel free to give us a call.

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