I reckon I've actually had RSI of the top of hands for about 15 years. I remember seeing a doctor about it in 2002 who told me I had to not touch computers and that every keystroke was doing me damage. Freaked me out. There really aren't many occupations that don't use computers, even less that I can just slot straight into without going back to study, even less that could potentially provide a similar salary.
So, instead of giving up my day job, I just bought all the ergonomic squishy things.Kinda helped maybe... hard to say really.
A couple of friends I know also got hit with RSI stuff, so they gave me a hint. Grab a 3kg weight, rest your hand on a table so that your wrist and hand are hanging off, hold the weight vertically. Hold that for 90 seconds. Change your hand to hold the weight horizontally so that you see your top of hand. Hold for 90 seconds. Change your hand the other way so that your top of hand faces the floor. Hold for 90 seconds.
I haven't done this exercise for ages, I remember it took a couple of weeks to have an effect, and you had to be really persistent. I think it had a slight beneficial effect but it certainly didn't fix anything. I might start that up again though, can't hurt.
When I went to Brisbane last year, for the first two months I was putting in crazy hours, actually working hard (but not making any difference) and the RSI really became a problem... my hands were sore all the time, whether I was on a computer or not.
First I saw a Natrapath. She was lovely and always excited to see me, which was nice in a city where I didn't know anyone. The downside was that, she kept putting me on different pills and remedies that were crazy, crazy expensive.
Her approach was two-fold. RSI is an inflammation, so she tried to reduce the imflammation and also get my body in top condition to heal itself. She changed my diet and gave me rules on digestion so that my blood was good, so that I'd soon gain Wolverine-like healing powers.
She also did the Bowen Technique which is a form of deep tissue massage that I think is supposed to be good for scar tissue and the like. She worked the hands, arms, back and neck. She wasn't happy that I was a gym dude at the time, I guess it tightened everything up. The massage was quite nice on the back but painful on the hands, and the RSI would superhurt the day after. I'm not really sure if it felt much better in the following days.
After a while of that, I also went to Back School, where they taught me the Alexander Technique for standing, walking, sitting, etc... That was hardcore superhard exhausting. The technique is all about posture and using the right muscles for the right movements. The only time I felt relaxed and rested was when I could lie on my back. I did it for weeks and weeks and still hadn't trained the muscles to these new ways. Standing felt very unnatural so I had to concentrate all the time.
I gave them both a couple of months but didn't find any improvement.
Then I took up with an accupuncturist. That actually felt better the first few times, I definitely noticed an improvement in the first couple of weeks, my hands felt less sore, but after a while, the accupuncture sessions had no effect.
Around this time I moved back to Melbourne, and started seeing a chiropractor. I also had a job that was a bit less busy. I also got one of those pen tools at home that replaces the mouse. The chiro was good, it got to a stage where my hands didn't hurt at all when I wasn't touching a computer but I do think that was because he had me on tablets called Arthoguard (designed for arthritis) which specifically target inflammation. I went to the chiro for ages and ages, and the pains did come back, the tablets didn't work as well as they did and he didn't think there was much point in continuing.
My current options are to see a Rumatologist, an Oesteo my Dad recommended or an Oesteo INC recommended. To be honest, although my hands are in pain all the time, I'm just not really ready to go through the emotional journey of highs and lows, hope and disappointment that I've been through a few times already. Each medical professional I've seen has been totally sure we can fix it, I've handed over so many monies and then after a couple of months they break up with me. It's tough on a young man.
I did find a mouse thing that doesn't hurt me at all, it's design is quite clever, but IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY WORK AS A MOUSE, freakin. I sent the first one back as a defect, the second one developed the same problem and the support staff seem to bit over it. It's a bit crap. The mouse pen thing is pretty good, but I still get sore from using it, although in a different bit of hand.
So yeah, it's not debilitating or anything, but I guess I am worried I'm making things worser and worser, it's definitely become more painful in the last 2 years.