Treatment plans

The RSI treatment that helps everyone affected best does not exist. RSI is too complex, there are different causes and consequences. The severity and duration of the pain can vary enormously.
I have divided the healing process into five phases and created corresponding treatment plans, so each sufferer can pick the most suitable exercises. No matter which stage you have reached, you should consult a doctor and discuss the measures proposed on this website with him.

  Phase Duration of pain Pain intensity Swelling of the forearms
arrow First phase Permanently Very strong Yes
arrow Second phase Regularly to permanently Strong None or slight
arrow Third phase
Regularly Medium to strong -
arrow Fourth phase
Sporadically to regularly Low to medium -
  Fifth phase
- - -

Most visitors are likely to fit into the fourth phase. "After a few hours of intensive computer work my right wrist often hurts and I need to shake out my arm or apply a massage. When I arrive home after work I usually don't have any complaints. But I'm a bit concerned that the pain eventually won't go away that quickly."

All exercises / activities on this page are only suggestions. For your individual complaints some will be more useful than others. Print out this page and discuss all the information with a doctor or physical therapist before trying them out. You do everything at your own risk!
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Prevention
Treatment   /  Phase >
1
2
3
4
5
Ergonomic workplace
x
x
x
x
x
Work habits
x
x
x
x
x
Read other personal stories
x
x
x
x
Pain diary
x
x
x
x
x
 
Minimize workload
x
x
Reduce workload
x
x
Erase pain memory  
x
x
 
Stimulate blood flow  
x
x
x
x
Relaxation techniques  
x
x
x
x
Deep friction massage    
x
   
Stretching
x
x
x
x
Trigger point massage  
x
x
x
x
Nerve mobilization    
x
x
x
Strengthening      
x
x

The following treatment plans only list exercises and activities that are not general in nature (e.g. ergonomic workstation, proper work habits).

First phase

If your pain is very strong and you are in the first phase, you should as a first step minimize the strain on the affected body part (often the right forearm). Before proceeding to the exercises of the second phase, an existing swelling should be almost completely subsided.

Second phase

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
  Running (at least 30 minutes)     Running (at least 30 minutes)   Running (at least 30 minutes)
Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching
Trigger point massage   Trigger point massage     Trigger point massage  
Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching
Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques

Third phase

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
  Running (at least 30 minutes)     Running (at least 30 minutes)   Swimming
Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching
Trigger point massage Nerve mobilization Trigger point massage Nerve mobilization   Trigger point massage Nerve mobilization
  Deep friction massage     Deep friction massage    
Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching
Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory
Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques

Fourth phase

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
  Running (at least 30 minutes)     Running (at least 30 minutes)   Swimming
Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching
Trigger point massage Nerve mobilization Trigger point massage Nerve mobilization   Trigger point massage Nerve mobilization
  Strengthening     Strengthening    
Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching
Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory Erase pain memory
Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques

Fifth phase (please see the summary for further advice)

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
  Running (at least 30 minutes)     Running (at least 30 minutes)   Swimming
Trigger point massage     Nerve mobilization      
  Strengthening     Strengthening    
Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching Stretching
Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques Relaxation techniques

Note for TMS-Sufferers

If the cause of your RSI is psychological, then you can largely do without all the advice on this page. But a few stretches won't hurt and might protect you from possible future physical strain.

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