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What Are Repetitive Stress Injuries?

April 9th, 2018 by Synergy Admin

At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ our certified chiropractors and massage therapists understand that many different conditions can cause pain and discomfort or impair your daily activities.  While the causes of conditions like ankle sprains, ACL tears, or lower back pain are usually obvious, other injuries may be much more difficult to identify.  Some of the most common of these “hard-to-diagnose” issues are repetitive stress injuries.  Although patients often dismiss them as minor annoyances, these injuries are actually America’s most common and costly occupational health problem.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive stress injuries affect hundreds of thousands of workers and cost more than $20 billion a year in workers’ compensation claims and lost productivity.

What Are Repetitive Stress InjuriesMost forms of injury result from a single traumatic event, but repetitive stress injuries are different because they develop gradually over time.  When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are subjected to stress, they suffer damage on a microscopic level.  Normally, this damage heals and the cells grow back even stronger, which is why “feeling the burn” is a sign that your workout is working.  However, if the muscles are forced to repeat the same motions over the course of several days or weeks, the damage that they suffer never has a chance to fully heal.  If the rate of injury is greater than the rate of recovery, the damage slowly compounds over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and diminished strength.

Repetitive stress often leads to injuries to the extremities, such as the wrists and elbows or the ankles and knees.  However they can actually affect nearly any part of the body.  Depending on the areas that are being overused, some of the more common repetitive stress injuries can include:

  • •    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrists)
  • •    Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow (elbows)
  • •    Rotator Cuff Tendonitis (shoulders)
  • •    Hip Bursitis (hips/lower back)
  • •    Shin Splints (shins/lower legs)
  • •    Achilles Tendonitis (ankles or calves)

 

Treatment for repetitive stress injuries generally involves therapies that reduce inflammation, such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Kinesiology Taping, or Trigger Point Therapy.  However, the exact course of treatment will always depend on the specific area involved and the patient’s individual medical needs.  Our certified Synergy Massage Therapists and Rehabilitation Specialists can also recommend simple corrections in posture and grip that will give the tissues an opportunity to rest and heal naturally.

Overuse Syndrome is extremely common, but it doesn’t have to stand in the way of an active and pain-free life.  If you would like more information about repetitive stress injuries, or about any of the ways that our expert chiropractors and massage therapists can help you, please contact the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today at (404) 352-8900.  Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.