Repetitive Strain Injuries

As its name implies, a repetitive strain injury is a result of prolonged, repetitive, and forceful movement. Such movements tend to be seemingly harmless at first — typing on a keyboard, clicking a mouse button, hand movements by assembly line workers — but become increasingly harmful as the same movements are repeated over and over, day after day.

These repeated movements cause damage (also known as micro tears) to the muscles, tendons, and nerves of the body part involved. The most commonly affected parts include the fingers, wrists, and forearms. Repetitive strain injuries are not a specific medical disorder but rather a collective term of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, and tendonitis. Most of us will have one of these to some degree at one time in their life or another.

At Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, we treat all types of these injuries.

Common signs and symptoms of repetitive strain injuries

    • Numbness and tingling sensations
    • Weakness
    • Loss of grip strength
    • Sharp pain
  • Restricted mobility in the affected joints, tendons, and muscles

Are you at risk?

There are three basic components that increase your risk for repetitive strain injury: poor posture, poor technique, and overuse. The following factors can further put you at risk for these injuries:

    • Your job requires heavy computer use all day
    • Infrequent breaks
    • Lack of exercise
    • A stressful work environment
    • Long fingernails (These put the fingers in an unnatural position, consequently putting stress on your fingers.)
    • Chronic lack of sleep
    • Overweight or obese
    • Poor ergonomics
  • Existing health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, thyroid disorders, or any condition that involves swelling

The team at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists can diagnose and treat these repetitive strain injuries, and just as important, we can help you make the changes you need to stop their recurrence. Call us at (432) 520-3020 to make an appointment.

Posted in: Strain Injuries

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