Penelope Stowe on 25 Aug 2014 05:52:05 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] [OT] Finding a good doctor for RSI / CTS

On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 12:44 AM, Rohit Mehta <> wrote:
Hi Bhaskar,

Recently, I went to a regular doctor in PA for a foot problem, and asked her to refer me to a physical therapist which she did.  Her first instinct was to refer me to an orthopedist, but as I was not interested in surgery, she was willing to refer me straight to PT.

If you're specifically dealing with RSI in hands/wrists and decide to avoid doctors, it's worth finding an occupational therapist who is a hand specialist. I think there are PTs who also have certification as hand specialists, but in general hands/wrists are covered by OT. At one point I was told that the general rule was lower body/back is treated by PT and arms/hands are treated by OT, but there's loads of overlap (my context for that, also, was an explanation about why I needed both).  

Orthopedists (good ones, at least) will have no problem working with someone who wants to avoid surgery (I've never seen an ortho who would even consider surgery before other options such as PT/OT had been tried). I have friends who've seen neurologists for hand/wrist RSI. I had luck with a rheumatologist (in Bryn Mawr), but for me RSI is caused by and secondary to a much broader condition. Finally, physiatrists (also known as physical medicine) doctors are pretty good. They're essentially rehab docs and will work from small things to overall functional body problems so may be able to ID if there's more than just hands/arms/wrists contributing to the problem. Most sports medicine specialists are either orthos or physiatrists. Unfortunately, the only rec I can give in the Philly area is the rheumatologist (I saw him about 10 years ago, but he's still in practice there). If you're interested, I'm happy to pass on his name.

Good luck!


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