Are you suffering from recurring pain in one of your joints? You may be experiencing a repetitive strain injury and this painful ailment may become chronic if it is not treated properly. Your joint may also suffer long-term effects if it does not heal correctly. If you’re experiencing chronic joint pain due to a repetitive strain, a licensed physiotherapist may be able to help you experience less pain and better manage your discomfort.
Repetitive strain injury is a collective term that is used to describe pain in the tendons, muscles, or nerves of a joint that has been overworked due to repetitive movements. It is also referred to as non-specific upper limb pain or work-related upper limb disorder.
The hands, wrists, forearms, neck, shoulders, and elbows are most commonly affected. Furthermore, the following conditions may develop due to repetitive strain injuries:
The typical symptoms of repetitive strain injuries include:
Poor posture, or almost any posture that is sustained over long periods and over many months or years can lead to adaptation in your tissues (shortening or lengthening) that can lead to muscle imbalance. Individuals who repeat specific movements such as those who perform manual labor (e.g., stockers, assembly line workers, cashiers), work at computer desks for long periods, or play certain sports (e.g., baseball, golf, tennis) are highly susceptible to repetitive strain injuries. These types of activities result in the overuse of tendons and muscles in the joints or the irritation of nerves.
Temporary pain may be treated with heat or ice and relative rest, but if the condition persists longer than a couple of weeks, a physiotherapy assessment is indicated to address the issue before the condition becomes chronic,
If a repetitive strain injury is suspected, resting the affected joint by avoiding the movement that is causing the pain (relative rest) is an important step that starts the healing process. In addition, exercises that are guided by a physiotherapist have been shown to help improve repetitive strain injuries by helping nerves, muscles, or tendons that have been injured to heal properly. Guided exercises are also useful at restoring the mobility and strength of the affected joint. Furthermore, certain strategies are usually more effective than others depending on the type of strain that has occurred.
For example, hand braces are typically beneficial for relief with carpal tunnel syndrome, while eccentric resistance exercises are more helpful in lateral epicondylosis/epicondylitis. Clinicians and physiotherapists often recommend the use of a brace to help support and rest the joint and promote healing of the nerves, muscles, or tendons. When repetitive strain injuries are treated early on, most people can avoid having to undergo invasive procedures such as surgery.
Allowing a physiotherapist at ProActive Rehab & Sport Injury Centre to conduct a thorough assessment of your physical state is an especially helpful way to gain a better understanding of how your daily activities and lifestyle may be contributing to your repetitive strain injury. In addition, an individualized program can be designed for you in order to reduce your recovery time, while ensuring that you will regain mobility and strength in the injured joint.
The licensed physiotherapists at ProActive Rehab & Sport Injury Centre recommend the following strategies in order to prevent repetitive strain injuries from occurring:
If you are concerned about performing these types of activities properly, contact a licensed physiotherapist who can show you how to lift objects properly, maintain proper form while playing sports, and stretch tendons and muscles in the joints without causing further injury. A physiotherapist can also assess your condition and create a pain management plan that will improve your recovery.
ProActive Rehab & Sport Injury Centre is your centre of choice for effective injury management and prevention in a professional, relaxed, motivating environment . We will guide you along your way to reaching your full potential! ProActive Rehab is a multidisciplinary rehabilitation facility located in the heart of downtown Huntsville Ontario. We offer a wide range of services including physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy, aquatherapy and post-rehab aquacise, cardiac rehabilitation, custom foot orthotics, braces, supports and rehab products. We pride ourselves in being the centre of choice in north Muskoka for exemplary customer service, professional and effective rehab programs and experienced staff all in a relaxed and motivating environment!