Understanding the basics of repetitive stress injuries

It is very common for people to suffer from a repetitive stress injury. If you have a job that requires you to do the same motions daily, you are susceptible to a repetitive stress injury. Drivers, healthcare professionals, warehouse workers and office workers are some examples of professions with frequent repetitive stress injuries.

Understanding the basics of a repetitive stress injury will help you understand the basics of your injury and help you on your road to recovery.

What is a Repetitive Stress Injury?

A repetitive stress injury is a temporary or permanent injury to ligaments, nerves, muscles and tendons. Repetitive stress injuries occur when those parts of the body perform the same motion repeatedly.

A common example of a repetitive motion injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the median nerve, which extends from the forearm to the hand in your wrist, compresses on ligaments and tendons. People who use computer keyboards or work on assembly lines often encounter this kind of repetitive stress injury.

Without treatment, this condition can worsen over time. It can even result in a complete loss of function if left untreated. Some symptoms of this injury include pain, numbness, clumsiness, and loss of motion.

Rehabilitation and Treatment

The treatment for a repetitive stress injury usually involves rehabilitation programs. These programs vary depending on the severity and the type of repetitive stress injury. For these programs to be a success, the patient and the family must be closely involved.

The goal of rehabilitation for repetitive motion injuries is to help the patient regain function and independence. The program also works on improving their quality of life, which involves working on their physical, emotional and social health.

There are many different ways that rehabilitation meets the goals of the program. Usually, treatment includes conditioning exercises, occupational therapy, pain management techniques, use of braces or splints, and patient and family education.

The rehabilitation program has many skilled professionals involved to help the patient. The rehabilitation team may include a neurologist, a primary care doctor, a physiatrist, a physical therapist, an orthopedist, a sports medicine doctor, or a vocational counselor. All of these professionals are equally important to ensure the patient reaches the highest level of function possible.

Nursing a painful repetitive stress injury is not easy. Between the pain and the costly treatments, you should file for worker’s compensation benefits if you find that the injury affects your job.

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