How to Avoid Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries, also known as repetitive strain injuries (RSI) or repetitive stress injuries, can affect people of all ages and occupations. Whether you play sports, do physical work or sit behind a computer screen for several hours a day, you can develop this type of injury.
The most common types of activities responsible for RSIs include:
- Using a computer mouse
- Playing instruments
- Repetitive motion like sweeping, raking, scrubbing, grasping objects, etc.
- Participating in sports like jogging, cycling, swimming, tennis, football, golfing and more
Repetitive motion injuries are especially common among athletes. It’s believed that approximately half of sports-related injuries are RSIs. Unlike trauma-related injuries, repetitive motion injuries take a while to develop. Sufferers may not realize they’re injured until the gradual buildup of pain becomes chronic.
Repetitive Motion Injury Risk Factors
Depending on your occupation, it may be difficult or impossible to avoid activities that involve repetitive motions like typing, exercise or manual work. However, there are many strategies you can adopt to minimize the risk of injury.
If you enjoy working out or playing sports, stretch beforehand and avoid overexerting yourself. You may benefit from working out every other day instead of every day. Exercising every day may help you stay in shape and hit physical milestones, but it may not give your body adequate time to rest and heal. If repetitive movement is part of your everyday work, try to take frequent breaks, stretch and stay hydrated. These preventative strategies can make all the difference and shield you from an injury.
Types of Repetitive Motion Injuries
There are many types of repetitive motion injuries. However, these injuries are generally caused by either tendinitis or bursitis. The former occurs when tendons (tissue that connects muscle to bone) become inflamed. The latter is a result of inflammation of the bursae (cushion-like pads that protect joints).
Some common repetitive motion injuries include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist)
- Tennis elbow (caused by tendinitis of the outer part of the elbow)
- Runner’s knee (common among runners and joggers)
- Intersection syndrome (inflammation of the forearm muscles caused by repeated extending of the wrist)
- Stress fracture (repeated stress cause little hairline cracks)
There are many other distinctive repetitive motion injuries. If you begin experiencing unexplained pain even though you haven’t suffered a traumatic injury, you should visit an orthopaedic or sports medicine doctor.
Treatment and pain management for a repetitive motion injury is unique and depends on the nature and severity of the injury. Once the doctor diagnoses your injury, they will likely recommend one of the following options:
- Elevating, resting and/or using ice on the affected limb
- Anti-inflammatory drugs and topical ointments
- Steroid and/or pain management injections
- Personalized physical therapy
- Wearing a splint to protect the area from further damage
- Modifications to your workstation, like raising your desk or adjusting your chair
How Non-Surgical Orthopaedics Can Help Patients in Carrollton and Marietta with Repetitive Stress Injuries
Our dedicated orthopaedic specialists have extensive knowledge and experience in treating repetitive motion injuries. Our philosophy revolves around finding the most effective and minimally invasive treatment and developing a rehabilitation plan tailored to your unique needs. We know how much patients dread the idea of surgery, and we’ll strive to find a non-invasive treatment plan for your repetitive motion injury.
If you’re in or near Carrollton or Marietta and are suffering from an injury that just won’t go away, consider scheduling a consultation with us. At Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, we offer a number of minimally invasive and regenerative therapies to heal your injury. Our doctors can also administer steroid injections, help you develop and execute an effective physical therapy plan and recommend at-home exercises and stretches to help strengthen the relevant muscles and prevent future RSIs.
If you’re looking for a personalized and non-surgical approach to your injury, call us today at 770-421-1420. You can also schedule an appointment online.