Repetitive Motion Injuries and Treatments
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Treating Repetitive Motion Injuries
Living with a repetitive motion injury can be frustrating and can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and social well-being. Your quality of life can be affected because your injury may be preventing you from doing tasks and activities you used to be able to do with ease or without even thinking about it. More planning may be required when it comes to reducing the number of flare-ups, and doing ordinary tasks like cutting food, opening doors, turning on taps, or even getting dressed can become arduous.
Instead of living with the pain and resigning yourself to the fact that some tasks just won’t get done, find a doctor who can create a treatment plan for you and help get rid of the pain. If you are suffering from a repetitive motion injury and want pain relief, call our office today and schedule an appointment for an examination.
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Learn More Treatments for Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries, also known as repetitive strain or stress injuries (RSI), are common and caused by a number of different types of activities. A repetitive motion injury is a slow and gradual build-up of muscle, tendon, and nerve damage caused by doing the same motions and movements over and over again.
The most common repetitive motion injuries are:
- Tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis or golfer’s elbow
- Degenerative arthritis
- Herniated disk
Repetitive motion injuries are just that – injuries caused by repetitive movements without properly caring for the area of the body that is carrying out the movements. When the same movements are done repeatedly over time, your muscles, tendons, and nerves become damaged and develop microscopic tears in the tissue. If the tears are being made faster than the body is able to repair them, the area becomes inflamed and the sensation of pain is felt soon after.
Common activities that cause repetitive motion injuries can include:
- Stressing or straining the same muscles through repetitive movements
- Sitting or maintaining the same posture for extended periods of time
- Maintaining an abnormal posture for an extended period of time
- Frequently lifting heavy objects
Other causes of repetitive motion injuries can be:
- Crystal deposits, like those occurring in gout
- Systemic disease, like rheumatoid arthritis
- Not exercising enough and being in poor physical shape
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
Repetitive motion injuries are common injuries for those who have a previous injury or other medical condition, including an underlying medical condition as your risk of getting a repetitive motion injury is higher.
Some specific occupations are worse for developing repetitive motion injuries than others, including some you may not have considered. People who work at a desk all day commonly develop repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel or tendonitis, but other occupations that require repetitive movements could include:
- Construction workers who continually use power tools or hand-held tools that vibrate
- Dental Hygienists
- Taxi, bus and train drivers
- Assembly line workers
The different types of repetitive motion injuries will have different symptoms that all usually start as a gradual occurrence and over time become more constant and much more intense. Generally, people suffering from repetitive motion injuries will experience pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, weakness, tingling or numbness, sensitivity to heat or cold, and throbbing sensations.
For those suffering from tendonitis, the most common symptom is the pain felt in the area where the injury is. The skin may be red and feel warm when touched as the area is inflamed. Depending on where the injury is, the pain may feel different.
- Tennis elbow means pain in the lateral elbow when extending the wrist.
- Golfer’s elbow means pain is in the medial elbow when flexing the wrist forward.
- Biceps means pain is felt in the groove where your arm meets your shoulder when bending your elbow at 90 ̊ and flattening your palm up.
- Rotator cuff means pain is felt over the shoulder when your arm raises out to the side.
For those suffering from bursitis, the most common symptoms are pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness, as well as reduced motion around the areas that are affected. When the joint is moved, there may also be a crunchy feeling.
- Bursitis in the knee means the bottom part of the kneecap is swollen, red, and warm, and pain occurs when bending and straightening the knee.
- Bursitis in the elbow means the entire elbow is swollen, red, and pain occurs when the elbow is flexed or extended.
- Bursitis in the hip means pain occurs when walking or lying on the injured side, or when moving the leg away or close to the body.
When a repetitive motion injury is first felt and in the premature stages, the best treatment is RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This can be done at home, as long as you ensure you aren’t overworking the affected area.
When the injury becomes more intense, seeking medical treatment for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan is important. Chiropractic care is often part of healing and mitigating pain from a repetitive stress injury, as it can help your joints move better and more freely, removing any undue stress or strain from your muscles and tissues. Get in contact with our dedicated team today!