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Preventing Repetitive Stress Injuries

By Sara Butler

Repetitive stress injuries can sneak up on you, Before you know it, you’re cringing every time you try to type at your computer. Body mechanics play a huge role in preventing repetitive stress injuries, which is why your chiropractor wants you to have a good understanding of how you can fall victim to a repetitive stress injury in order to prevent it!

What are Repetitive Stress Injuries?

The term repetitive stress injury is used to describe a condition that causes pain in the soft tissues of your body, such as the muscles and tendons. It is caused by the repetitive use of a body part, a movement you do over and over again, multiple times in a day. Repetitive stress injuries are different than other types of strains, since the symptoms can take longer to resolve when you compare them to other, more sudden injuries.

The Most Commonly Affected Areas of the Body

The symptoms you experience with a repetitive stress injury depend on the body part impacted by it. The most common places to develop an injury include:

  • Arm
  • Wrist
  • Hand

Any body part can be impacted and any repetitive action can cause it. Computer operators, musicians, and typists seem to be groups that experience it more often simply as a result of the repetitive tasks they perform. Athletes are also at risk, as well as factory workers.

Symptoms of a Repetitive Injury

The main symptoms associated with repetitive stress injuries include:

  • Feeling of tightness
  • Pain
  • Throbbing
  • Dull ache
  • Numbness
  • Tingling

Symptoms tend to develop gradually. When you first notice them they may only be prevalent when you’re actually performing the task, but over time you will begin to notice them even while at rest.

How Your Chiropractor Can Help

Your chiropractor sees a lot of repetitive strain injuries, so they know what to look for and how to help you find relief. First, they will check to make sure your repetitive injury has not caused a muscle imbalance or misalignment in your body that could be making it worse. Once they have you straightened out, they will help you understand how the injury occurred in the first place and can offer ergonomic tips to help you prevent them in the future. They may discuss:

  • How to lift appropriately
  • Switching your posture throughout the day
  • Taking frequent breaks
  • Keeping your joints in natural posture during tasks
  • Moving your joints through their full range of motion

If you are concerned that you might have a repetitive stress injury, or you are at risk for developing one, come into The Joint Chiropractic today!

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