in the following I want to provide a few personal experiences with RSI. I've had several tendonitis, which are caused by an overload with the PC mouse. The more and the longer you perform an overload, the longer the healing. The more often you have an inflammation, the more the repetitive strain injury develops. Therefore, one should not ignore an inflammation, but allow relief simply by immobilizing the aching hand.
I noticed that the healing goes through different phases. These phases you get to know through different "pain states". You can rejoice when you have left a phase behind.
Phase 1 - inflammation
Once an inflammation has formed by a prolonged overexertion, you realize that in a burning, prickling sensation. The intensity is fairly constant throughout the day.
In this phase of RSI it only helps to stop any movements. You can use a splint or just do not use the relevant hand . You should not carry heavy objects and do no recurring movements such as tapping, clicking, screwing, cutting, peeling, rotating, etc.
If the RSI is not too bad or the cause of the inflammation was a one-time process only (such as cutting a hedge with the old secateurs) it takes this phase about 3 weeks and leaves no impairments. If the inflammation caused by repetitive motion, which was not immediately stopped by the advent of inflammation, this phase may last for several months.
The edema is visible on the ultrasound machine.
Phase 2 - pain remains
If the burning sensation does not disappear, you're in the 2nd phase of the RSI. In the morning the pain is less than in the evening. You should use the affected hand as little as possible here.
This phase can last several weeks.
The edema is more than minimally visible.
Phase 3 - movements remain painful
In the third phase pain is present only in movement. However, it has formed a pain memory. This phase is the actual RSI. You should now try to slowly stress the affected hand. But not with the movement that has caused the inflammation! Best with positive experiences, such as light sports or community activities. The goal should be to forget the pain.
This phase can be very tedious. They usually extends over several months. Eventually, it just makes click and you've made it. Then you can carefully begin to use the hand as usual.