Repetitive motion injuries are a growing problem affecting people in many occupations across the nation. People who perform hours of repetitive work-related tasks such as data entry, assembly line work, construction work, or painting are often affected. In addition to these injuries occurring in relation to an occupation, hobbies such as needlepoint, beading, sports activities, or even jogging can increase risks of developing this type of injury. If you are currently experiencing pain or discomfort in your hands, wrists, or shoulders and are concerned that you may be developing a repetitive motion injury, the following information can help:
What are some common types of repetitive motion injuries?
Repetitive motion injuries are often mistaken for simple muscle strains. However, these injuries go beyond simple strains, usually involving some type of injury to the tissue or tendons of the hand, wrist, or arm.
The three most common forms of repetitive motion injuries are:
- tendinitis - an injury involving inflammation that often affects tendons in the shoulder, elbow, or biceps
- tenosynovitis - an injury similar to tendinitis, that affects the sheath that tendons run through in the body
- bursitis - an injury caused by inflammation of the bursa sacs
While all three of these repetitive motion injury types can be very painful, people often attempt to treat them at home with OTC pain medications, while continuing to work or perform the repetitive motions. Unfortunately, doing this only results in more microscopic muscle fiber damage which worsens the problem and often results in a far more serious injury.
What should you do when a repetitive motion injury is suspected?
At the first onset of pain or numbness, it may be possible to find relief by immobilizing and elevating the arm. Also, applying ice packs to the injured area for twenty minutes several times each day can be helpful in relieving inflammation.
If the shoulder is involved, however, it is important that it not be kept completely immobile for more than a few hours at a time to lessen the risk of developing another painful condition known as an adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder.
When should you see your medical care provider
Pain, numbness, or other signs of discomfort that do not respond quickly to elevation, immobilization, and icing treatments should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
When medical care is postponed or ignored, repetitive motion injuries can cause serious damage that will be more difficult to resolve. Severe damage caused by repetitive motion injuries often must be repaired surgically by an orthopedic specialist.
Contact a company like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C. for more information and assistance.