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Overview

Repetitive motion injury is one of the most common types ofinjuries in the United States. They are associated with very big losses interms of cost to the workforce and they can be triggered by jogging, scrubbinga floor, throwing a ball or any other simple, everyday action. Out of alldifferent types of repetitive motion injuries, the most common ones includebursitis and tendinitis. These two conditions can get quite tricky as they aresometimes very hard to differentiate and in some cases they even occursimultaneously. Bursitis is an inflammatory condition of a bursa sac. For thosewho do not know, bursa is a small sac which has a main purpose of lubricatingand reducing the friction in all the areas of the human body between the bonesand tendons. In total, there are more than 150 such sacs in the human body.Some of them are there since the birth of a person, but some of them tend todevelop later on in places exposed to repetitive and constant pressure. Themost common places for bursitis include the hip, the knees and the elbow. Thereare three main types of bursitis and those include gouty bursitis, traumaticbursitis and infectious bursitis. There are certain types of medical conditionswhich are commonly associated with a much higher risk of infectious bursitisand those include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, manual labor, gout,uremia, diabetes and chronic alcoholism. Traumatic bursitis is the one commonlyassociated with different types of repetitive motion injuries. Infectiousbursitis may require fluid drainage from the affected joints. Tendinitis is the inflammatory conditionwhich affects the tendon. For those who do not know, tendons are portions offibrous tissue whose main purpose is to connect the bones and muscles and allowthe joints proper range of movement. Tendonitis usually occurs in the elbow,the biceps and the shoulder. It is an interesting fact that tendonitis commonlyoccurs in men much more often than it does in women.

How Do Repetitive Motion Injuries Occur?

All different types of repetitive motion injuries areassociated with microscopic tears in the affected tissues. When those tearscannot be repaired on time, the inflammatory conditions occur and they are alwaysaccompanied by painful sensations. The most common causes of repetitive motioninjuries include friction, crystal deposits, trauma, repetitive activity andsystemic diseases such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms

The symptoms of the two most common types of repetitivemotion injuries are already described above. When the hip is affected the painis commonly increased by lying on the affected side or by walking. When theknees are affected by repetitive motion injuries they are commonly swollen,characterized by redness and extreme tenderness to touch. The range of motionis also commonly significantly decreased. When the rotator cuff is affected byrepetitive motion injuries, the pain over the affected shoulder is usuallytriggered by raising the affected arm. One of the types of repetitive motioninjuries is referred to as golfer’s elbow and it is characterized by painfulsensations in the elbow which are commonly aggravated by Flexing the wrist forward.A similar type of repetitive motion injury is called tennis elbow and itinvolves painful sensations triggered by extension of the wrist. Biceps may also be affected by the repetitivemotion injury.

What Is the Best Treatment for Repetitive Motion Injuries?

Fortunately enough, most cases of repetitive motion injuriescan be treated using certain methods. Some of them can even be taken care of atthe convenience of one’s own home. The swollen and affected joint needs to beelevated and it should not be moved until one contacts a doctor and asks forfurther instructions. The painful sensations and swelling which are commonlyassociated with repetitive motion injuries may be relieved to a certain extentby using ice on the affected areas. The ice needs to be placed in a bag or atowel before being applied to the skin. Those who suffer from tendinitis needto immobilize the affected body parts during the initial phases of treatment.Heat application may be of great help in such cases. Those who suffer fromgolfer’s elbow or tennis elbow need to place a supporting band or brace around theaffected elbow. Inflammatory conditions which are present in most cases ofrepetitive motion injuries can be relieved by using certain types ofnonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen oraspirin. One should never take these medications on an empty stomach becausethey may trigger certain stomach problems. Some cases of bursitis andtendonitis may require injections of steroids applied directly into the areawhich is inflamed and affects the joint. Certain specially designed exercisescan be of great help in some cases. Infectious bursitis needs to be treatedwith certain types of antibiotics.

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