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RSI issues: How I reduced my chronic neck pain?

About 2 years ago, I had successive bouts of flu in a matter of 3 months. Each episode would leave me weaker and the body pains would continue for a longer period. At the end of the 4th episode, I had persistent neck pain and I went to physiotherapist to get it checked out. He seems to have accidentally claimed my shoulder and that seems to start a cycle of chronic myofascial pain that was severe enough to prevent from opening doors,taps and even hold a spoon to eat. Of course in hindsight, the flu episodes were probably precipitated the problem of poor posture and weak neck muscles.

It has taken quite a while for me to be able to even look in a particular direction continuously including of course the computer screen. Though the treatment was long and still continues, here are few of the points that help

  1. Have a good physiotherapist who can gently reduce the myofascial trigger points. One of the side-effects of myofascial therapy for me was inflammation and it took some time to find a physiotherapist who was gentle yet persistent. In between I had to experience several bouts of inflammation and had to skip physiotherapy several days because of that. 
  2. Take pain medication to break the pain cycle. I found Flupirtine maleate very useful as it did not affect the stomach.  Since the pain was severe, the usual NSAIDS did not help much. I was also an antidepressant medications for example the tricyclic antidepressants but not sure if they helped
  3. Use cold and hot packs. I have reviewed some of the products that I have used in this post
  4. Use kinesiology tapes. These were very useful and reduce the pain a great deal making it possible for me to start gentle exercises. However, if I change them every alternate day, the skin would get affected. So if the physiotherapist was not working in one particular area, I would leave them on for several days until it started peeling off by itself.
  5. Complete avoidance of computer and mobile. This was very important because muscles that seem to have got affected are the ones that are used in this kind of work. Specifically, I seem injured more of my anterior muscles like sternocledomastoid and scalene rather than the usual trapezius muscle that people usually complain of pain from.
  6. One of the rules that I learned from a doctor which helped me a great deal was that for neck pain, exercise the neck and shoulder pain, rest the shoulder. I also suffered from shoulder tendinitis and this principle helped me focus on what exercises to do while dealing with the tendinitis.
  7. For the neck, the pain reduced only when I started using up till one KG of ankle weight that I would tie on my forehead and then do a chin tuck while lying down. Doing this exercise with a theraband did not make much of a difference but it gave me a clue on that I really needed to increase the strength training for the neck.


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