What are Repetitive Stress Injuries?
Repetitive stress injuries are those caused by a person performing the same task over and over again for extended periods of time. These tasks may be performed on a daily basis for hours on end, or they may be something someone does frequently but not every day.
Tasks that are performed more often and for longer stretches will often cause pain sooner than those that are performed more intermittently, but repeating the same motion for extended periods of time will still often lead to injury.
Common Repetitive Motion Injuries
Some common examples of repetitive motion injuries are carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow.
These injuries fall mostly into one of two categories: tendonitis and bursitis.
Tendonitis, sometimes also referred to as tendinitis, is an inflammation of the tendons, which are located throughout the body and are strong fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. Areas where people are most likely to develop tendonitis are the knees, elbows, shoulders, wrists and fingers. However, people may develop tendonitis in any tendon in their body.
Bursitis can come in three forms: traumatic, infectious, and gouty. The type of bursitis caused by repeated motions is traumatic. As with tendonitis, bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa in the body.
Bursas are small fluid sacs that allow tendons and muscles to slide over each other without causing irritation or harm to either. However, overuse or injury can cause these sacs can become inflamed and irritated. As with tendonitis, bursitis can develop in any bursa, but they are most common in bursas in your elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and Achilles tendons.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment
1. Drug-free treatment
Basic treatment for repetitive strain injuries usually involves things like rest, ice and anti-inflammatory painkillers. However, if pain and discomfort still continue, doctors will normally move on to prescription medications and cortisone shots. Many prescription painkillers are very addictive, and cortisone shots can only be given in limited amounts because of the potential side effects of their use.
On the other hand, chiropractors don’t rely on prescription drugs or shots to help reduce pain or swelling. Instead, things like chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy and stretching exercises are used to help speed up natural healing processes as well as to reduce tenderness and discomfort.
2. Care that gets to the root of the problem
The problem with a focus on reducing discomfort and pain is that it’s not actually doing anything to accelerate the healing of damage caused by repetitive motions. Treatments to reduce comfort don’t actually do anything much to help with healing.
Chiropractic treatment involves using methods that increase blood flow to damaged areas, speeding up the healing process, and ensuring that joints and the spine are in proper alignment. Proper alignment reduces the irritation from everyday activity in damaged areas, and it also helps prevent damage from getting worse.
3. Non-invasive treatment
Since chiropractors focus on getting to the root of the problem, chiropractic treatment may allow you to avoid surgery. When standard treatment options and cortisone shots fail, physicians often suggest that patients undergo an operation to restore range of motion and relieve pain.
However, some operations result in side effects and involve long recovery times. If at all possible, surgery should be avoided, and by focusing specifically on the areas that are damaged instead of simply trying to reduce pain, chiropractors may eliminate the need for an operation.
4. Compatible with a variety of treatment methods
Since chiropractic treatment doesn’t rely on medications, there’s no issue with seeking treatment from a chiropractor for repetitive motion injuries while also seeking treatment from a doctor or while going through physical therapy. Many individuals see chiropractors to help reduce their reliance on prescription medications but still take it to help deal with excessive pain.
5. Helps to reduce recurrence of injuries
Repetitive motion injuries are more likely to occur when your joints or back aren’t in proper alignment. If you don’t resolve the alignment issues that caused repeated motions to be an issue in the first place, your problems will simply return in the near future. Chiropractors are able to determine and resolve alignment issues that may be causing you to move in ways that encourage injury.
Additionally, chiropractors can help you determine what motions have caused your injuries and help you work on moving in different ways to prevent repetitive motion injuries from occurring again.