Examples include very common conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, golf elbow, bursitis and tendonitis. Essentially, repetitive motion injuries are movements made over and over again while playing a sport or working a job. The continued swing of a golf club, the relentless pounding of keys on your keyboard are all great examples of repetitive motion that in the long run can injure you. They can ultimately cause neck pain, headaches, back pain, and shoulder pain.
Treatment for these injuries can often include medications (over the counter or prescribed), physical therapy or sometimes surgery. A chiropractor can also help relieve the pain, help you strengthen your muscles in the affected area, and help you figure out a better, safer method of performing your duties so that you can avoid re-injury.
What causes repetitive motion injuries?
Repetitive motion injuries, also known as cumulative trauma disorder, are the fastest growing type of injury in the US. This is due to a variety of factors, including:
- Increased computer usage
- Poor ergonomics
- Longer commutes to and from work
- Children carrying increasingly heavy backpacks
- Medical treatment focusing on symptoms rather than prevention or correction
Why does repetitive motions cause injuries?
Repetitive injuries come from recurring irritation of soft tissue or chronic muscle tightness. This will lead to injuries that cause dysfunction and pain. When irritation or muscle tightness occurs, soft tissues do not get the oxygen they need. Soft tissues can only get the full amount of oxygen when a muscle fully contracts and fully relaxes. This does not happen during repetitive movements.
A decrease in oxygen causes fibroblastic activity, which forms scar tissue. As more scar tissue is formed, flexibility and strength are further reduced and the vicious cycle continues, leading to stiffness, pain and weakness.
How chiropractic helps
Your chiropractor will do a physical exam, ask about your medical history, work and lifestyle, and may do diagnostic imaging such as an X-ray to establish if you have a repetitive motion injury. Chiropractic is a great choice for those seeking safe, effective healing that is natural and drug-free.
Treatment options may include:
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Massage therapy
- Stretching exercises
Learn more about recovering from injuries
Dr. Joseph A. Graffeo and his son Dr. Joe Graffeo created a guide to help people find freedom from pain and fear. It shares the science behind chiropractic treatment, and how chiropractic care after an auto accident, work injury or sports injury can heal your pain quickly through natural methods without drugs or surgery. Recovering From Injury, a True Story of the Healing Power of Chiropractic is available at the Graffeo Chiropractic Clinic. Make an appointment for a consultation and receive the book at no cost.
Are you concerned you may have a repetitive motion injury? Make an appointment with Graffeo Chiropractic. Walk-in patients are also welcome at Graffeo!