Repetitive Strain Injury/Do I have RSI...


QUESTION: I play on my laptop daily from between 2-6 hours depending on the day. Recently I played on it and later that night when I got off my wrist started hurting when I would lean on my hand. The next day which would be today 3/26/14 it hurts worse when I do many things like writing, putting my pants on, wiping after using the bathroom, etc. It doesn't hurt much when I bend it forward and backward but more when I do at any degree of side to side. I don't know how to explain the type of pain but if I had to guess I would say shooting maybe? Hope you can help!

ANSWER: Hi Kaitlynne,

Yes, I would say you do have a repetitive strain injury of the muscles of your forearm. If you go to you can read a lot of information by going to the sections titled "What is RSI" and "What's Happening Exactly."  They are talking about RSI's through the entire body, but the problem is exactly the same for your arms and hands. While you are on the website you'll also see links to information about carpal tunnel syndrome that should be of interest to you.

The muscles of your forearm all control the movement of your wrist and hand.  While you are feeling it in your hand, it's actually coming from forearm muscles, specifically a muscle called the brachioradialis, and your flexors and extensors.  All of these muscles are responsible for every movement you make with your wrist, hand, and fingers.

If there is shooting pain, burning pain, then the nerve is being impinged at the same time. A medical professional may tell you that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, and many will recommend surgery to release the tension on the nerve. I suggest you explore self-treating the muscles before you consider surgery. When you release the tension in the muscles, the burning/shooting will be eliminated.  You can learn how to self-treat each of these muscles. If you are on the computer for so many hours every day, it's worth your while to learn how to self-treat so you can relax the muscles at the end of the day.  

The bottom line is I don't think you need to be nervous about this current wrist situation, you just need to release the tension on each of your forearm muscles.

Wishing you well,
    Julie Donnelly

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Today I am experiencing no more pain in my wrist. Why would this be? Was it something else wrong with my hand? Why is my hand all of a sudden not hurting anymore? It hurt a little on the 25th, a lot on the 26th, a tiny bit less on the 27th and today I am feeling no pain that I can tell of.

ANSWER: Hi Kaitlynne,

The odds are that while your hand was hurting you didn't use it. It's pretty normal for us to rub where it hurts so you may have even been massaging the muscles of your forearm, wrist and hand.

I'm so glad to hear that you're now out of pain, that's the most important part. I would suggest that when you have a long day on your computer that you massage your forearm muscles at the end of the day.

Thanks for coming back and letting me know how you are.

Wishing you well,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Sorry to bug you again but I would like to let you know that yesterday I used an ice pack on my wrist and tried to not use it as much as I could. I am very happy it is all better but I would like to thank you for sending me a response! THANK YOU!

Hi Kaitlynn,

You're welcome, I love helping people eliminate their aches and pains.  I've been doing that for 25 years at this point, and it's a wonderful career that is fulfilling for me, and for my clients.

Isn't it nice to have the weekend coming up and you're back to being yourself again.  :-)

Have a great weekend,

Repetitive Strain Injury

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Julie Donnelly, LMT


I can accept questions that relate to chronic or acute pain caused by muscle spasms and contractions. Repetitive Strain Injury is actually Cumulative Trauma to muscles. Releasing the spasm &/or contraction will relieve the strain that is felt at the insertion point on the bone. I am the co-developer of the unique safe-stretching program "Focused Flexibility Training," which combines easy instruction for self-treating spasms throughout your body with proven yoga stretches. I have recently authored two new books: "The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution," and "The Secret to Your Best Golf Game EVER!


Since 1989 I have been working with endurance athletes and individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. I have authored seven self-treatment books and three self-treatment DVDs and I have developed the Julstro System for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, Trigger Finger, and other Hand/Wrist pain. I am a national and international presenter at conventions, seminars, and workshops. Principle topics are "Work Shouldn't Hurt," and "The Pain Free Athlete." In 2005 and 2006 I was the massage therapist for ultracyclists competing in the Race Across America (RAAM) 3000+ mile race from San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ. I've taught the Julstro techniques to physical therapists at the Cleveland Clinic, to massage therapists in areas around the USA, and I've taught Julstro self-treatment clinics to dancers at Juilliard School of Performing Arts (NYC),the sprinting team at NC State, and I am working closely with several Olympic-hopeful. We have successfully eliminated the repetitive strain injuries that could keep them out of the Olympic Games, and the best part is they know how to do the self-treatments so they can stay pain-free and flexible.

Triathlete Magazine, Endurance Magazine, multiple national and international trade journals.

Swedish Institute of Allied Health, NY, NY - Initial education in massage therapy Licensed NYS Massage Therapist since 1989. SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY - B.Sc. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Education I was an Associate Professor helping to develop the massage training program for SUNY Rockland Community College

Past/Present Clients
Privacy prevents me from filling in this section without prior consent from my clients. Life Experience: I have been specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries since receiving my NY massage license in 1989. A personal bout with carpal tunnel syndrome was the catalyst to my developing a self-treatment that heals the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome quickly and without surgery. My work with endurance athletes was the inspiration to teach people how to self-treat so they could stop pains even during a race or heavy training day. Both of these situations ultimately became the products that are sold on my websites: and I currently treat people in my offices in Sarasota, FL, Cary, NC, or Pearl River, NY

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