Doctor's Notes on Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries are common tissue injuries that occur as a result of repeated motions. Athletic-related injuries to simple everyday actions, such as scrubbing a floor or running, can lead to a repetitive motion injury. The most common types of repetitive motion injuries are tendinitis (tendon injury) and bursitis (injury to bursae, fluid-filled sacs that provide a cushion between bones and other tissues). Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and rotator cuff injuries are common types of tendon injuries. Bursitis commonly affects the knees, elbows, and hips.
Symptoms of tendinitis include pain that is made worse by active motion of the inflamed tendon. Redness and warmth of the skin overlying the inflamed tendon may occur.
Symptoms of bursitis include
- decreased range of motion over the affected area, and redness, swelling, and
- a crunchy feeling when the joint is moved.
What Is the Treatment for Repetitive Motion Injuries?
The treatment for repetitive motion injuries depends on the location of the injury and the severity of the damage caused by the repetitive motion. Most treatments are aimed at reducing the symptoms of the injury by reducing the inflammation.
Medical and surgical treatments for repetitive motion injuries may include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Braces or splints to support damaged joints and tendons
- Physical and occupational therapy to train other muscles to support the injured joints or tendons
- Relaxation techniques such as yoga or non-strenuous exercise to stretch injured areas
- Corticosteroid treatment in pill form or by injections
- Surgery to correct structural issues with joints, tendons, or nerves
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BursitisBursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a tiny fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. There are 160 bursae in the body. The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.
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Chronic PainChronic pain is pain that persists for a period of six months or longer, and is the result of a long-standing medical condition(s) or damage to the body. Common sources of chronic pain include headaches, back pain, and arthritis. There are several types of pain including general somatic pain, visceral pain, bone pain, muscle cramps, neuropathy, circulatory problems, and headache pain. Chronic pain may be managed with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Ganglion Cyst Symptoms, Pain Relief, Treatment, and RemovalA ganglion cyst is a swelling or tumor on a joint or tendon sheath. Ganglionic cysts form on the elbow, knee, foot, shoulder, wrist, toe or finger. Symptoms and signs include a mass that changes in size, is somewhat painful, and the pain is made worse by joint motion. Though many ganglion cysts disappear on their own, cysts may be treated by aspirating the cyst's contents or surgical removal.
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How Do I Get Rid of Bursitis in My Shoulder?The best way to get rid of bursitis in the shoulder involves rest and protecting the shoulder joint, relieving inflammation and pain, treating any infection, preserving range of motion, avoiding complications, and preventing recurrence. Bursitis treatments include the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroid injections, physical therapy, treating infection, and surgery (rarely).
TendinitisTendinitis (tendonitis) is inflammation of the tendons, commonly caused by overuse and repetitive motion. Learn about how tendinitis is treated.
What Causes Trochanteric Bursitis?Trochanteric bursitis is a common cause of hip pain in adults. Causes of trochanteric bursitis include an overload of the tendons of the gluteus medius or minimus, acute trauma, repetitive trauma, hip surgery, and other pre-existing conditions. The main symptoms of trochanteric bursitis are pain on the side of the hip.
What Is the Best Treatment for Bursitis?Bursitis treatment depends on its cause and location. Treatment can include the RICE method, home remedies, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroid injections, physical therapy, antibiotics, and surgery.
What Is the Best Treatment for Tendonitis (Tendinitis)?Tendinitis (also called tendonitis or tendinopathy) refers to inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are bands of fibrous connective tissue that attach muscle to bone. This condition is commonly related to sports and physical work.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.