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Repetitive Motion Injuries. – NW Fitness Magazine
Get the help that is needed to take care of the pain, tingling or numbness. By Dr Jason Matthews Proline Chiropractic
Do you have a job, activity, hobby, or exercise routine that keeps you repeating a certain movement? If so then you could be on the track in creating a repetitive motion injury. This type of injury is a soft tissue injury that occurs in the area where there is a repetitive type motion that is continuous. These types of injuries can remain longer and even get worse overtime due to stresses and strains of everyday life.
Most people think of repetitive motion injuries being more associated with athletes, like golfers who have a golfer’s elbow, or the tennis player with tennis elbow. These types of injuries consist of more than half of the stress related injuries that athletes are accustomed to. With repetitive motions more common with athletes due to their workout routines and competitions, it is also among an injury that the average person can get just by doing something repetitive daily. Everyone does simple actions throughout their day like walking, running, using a keyboard and mouse, turning door handles, throwing a ball, cleaning the house, etc. All of these ordinary daily tasks that seem to be on a repetitive cycle, create problem areas in your body, which could lead your body to have a repetitive stress type of injury.
When you are thinking of repetitive stress injury symptoms, what are you looking for? There are warning signs that create pain in the upper and lower extremities, which is the primary warning sign that you may have a repetitive stress injury. This pain that you experience could be in the form of burning sensation, aching, shooting pain, it could be local pain with a pinpoint center, or it could be more diffuse where the sensation is over the entire arm or leg. Now if there isn’t any pain that you are experiencing, could you have a repetitive stress type of injury? Below is a checklist of sensations that can help determine if you have sustained a repetitive stress injury.
– Do you have Fatigue or a problem with endurance?
– Is there weakness in the upper or lower extremities?
– Do you experience any Tingling or Numbness?
– Do your hands or feet feel heavy, or feel like they are dead weight?
– Are you becoming clumsier when using your hands or feet?
– Is your grip strength diminishing, where it is harder to use utensils, open jars, cut food?
– Do you experience a lack of coordination and control?
– When you feel your hands and feet, are they cold all of the time?
– Are you feeling more sensation thought-out your touch, almost becoming more hypersensitive?
All of these different types of sensations that you could be experiencing may indicate that you have a repetitive stress type of injury. These injuries are created due to an overuse of a certain muscle, ligament, tendon, joint or connective tissue. This repeated micro-trauma, due to the repetitive motion or activity, causes damages to your body, nerves, muscles, and tendons. When looking at muscles or tendons, tiny tears can be caused by use and overuse, which creates micro inflammation around these injured tissues as the body attempts to repair the damage. As a result of this repair there is a type of scar tissue that forms over the area, and with repeated use of this muscle the pain never goes away, and the healing can’t keep up with the repeating damage. This causes your body to break down in this area where the tendons are becoming looser and not a tight-knit structure like before. Then the muscles become weaker in this area, causing you to feel more pain with losing the ability of strength in and around that area. When you are looking at how the nerves are damaged from the repetitive stress injury, you can feel the tingling sensations that are caused by the damage. Due to the injury of the muscles that surround the area of injury, these nerves have to pass though the muscles to continue on to the rest of the body. With these trouble spots due to the injury that was sustained, the nerves can’t move freely throughout the body as they become tighter and tighter when they pass through and around structures and muscles. When these tighter nerves are made to move with the repetitive motions, they become inflamed and sore and if the motion doesn’t stop these nerves cant repair themselves and become even worse and cause more problems than before.
People who are more susceptible to repetitive stress injuries have three common risk factors among them. These risk factors are bad or poor posture, poor technique, and often overuse of a certain muscle or joint. There are also multiple other risk factors that can give you more of a chance to acquire these repetitive stress injuries. Below are other risk factors that may lead you to becoming more vulnerable for a repetitive type of stress injury:
– Bad / Poor Overall Body Posture
– Poor Technique when doing repetitive tasks
– Lack of correct training to correctly carry out tasks
– The joints in your body are loose or stretchy
– You’re not exercising regularly
– High pressure work environment
– Overweight / Obese
– Problems getting a good night sleep or just not being able to sleep well
– Computer use during the day is greater than 2-4 hours
– Heavy repetitive tasks with intense work
– Holding the muscles in your body in a constant fixed position for long periods of time.
– Working too fast, or on consistently tight deadlines
– Don’t allow yourself to take breaks during the workday
– You already have Arthritis, Diabetes, or any other serious health conditions
– Lead a sedentary lifestyle
– Having a very stressful life or lifestyle
– Accepting that you are at Risk due to the work or repetitive tasks at hand
With having a multitude of activities that can create this type of injury, below is a small list of injuries that are related to the repetitive motion type of injuries:
– Tendinitis – Inflammation of a tendon, which connects the muscles to the bones and allows for motion to occur at all of the joints in the body.
– Bursitis – Inflammation of the Bursa Sac, which are sacs or pouches between certain tendons and bones that alleviate friction and cushion this connection.
– Tenosynovitis – Inflammation of a tendon that is more specifically in the wrists and hands.
– DeQuervain’s Syndrome – This is a tenosynovitis of the two tendons that surround that nerve tunnel that controls movement of the thumb.
– Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Inflammation that occurs in the median nerve that runs down to the wrists, causing pain and tenderness in the palm side of your hand and fingers.
– Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – Compression of the thoracic outlet, between your armpit and the base of the neck, where nerves and blood vessels have compression upon them causing neck, shoulder, and arm pain along with numbness and tingling down the arm.
– Trigger Finger / Thumb – This is also known as Stenosing Tenosynovitis, and this is when your fingers become stuck in a bent position, which may cause your finger or thumb to snap when straightened.
– Tennis Elbow – Overuse of the arm, forearm, and hand muscles creating pain in the outside part of the elbow.
– Golfers Elbow – Overuse of the arm, forearm, and hand muscles creating pain at the inside part of the elbow.
As you can see there can be multiple factors that have lead you down the path to be more vulnerable to these repetitive stress injuries. The underlying first signs of having a possible repetitive stress injury is the pain or soreness, tingling or numbness that are accompanied by a repetitive task with your neck, shoulders, arms, hands, wrists, and fingers. There are several different treatment options that are available to help alleviate the pain, tingling and numbness. Some of these therapies are Myofascial Therapy, Therapeutic Exercises, and Chiropractic Care. Here at Proline Chiropractic we provide all of these therapy options. Myofascial therapy is a soft tissue type of therapy that aims to relax the muscles, improve circulation, stimulate stretch reflex in the muscles, and improve lymphatic drainage. Therapeutic exercises are very specific for the type of injury sustained, as it allows for the rehabilitation of certain muscle groups that were injured to get back to normal function. These specific exercises are geared to helping the scar tissue to form properly, restore the normal range of motion, and help strengthen the muscles around the injured area. Chiropractic care is a very important part of the repetitive stress injury, as the injury has created a problem within the joint where the nerves and blood vessels pass through. Chiropractic care helps restore the proper and normal range of motion within the joint or joints that are injured, allowing full range of motion without any limitation of movement. When the joints in the body are able to get back to fully functioning without any impingement, then the nerves will not have that additional pressure that gives you the sensation of pain, tingling or numbness.
When you come to Proline Chiropractic for pain from
your repetitive stress injury, we will review your history, and perform an in-depth examination. The doctor will provide you with an individualized treatment care plan, one that is specific and right fit for you, your lifestyle, and your needs. The sooner you can get the help that is needed to take care of the pain, tingling or numbness, the sooner you will start to feel better again. Call us TODAY at (425) 531-7228 to setup your initial appointment and get your life back, free of pain and limitation!
Dr Jason Matthews Proline Chiropractic