Repetitive Stress Injuries
A repetitive stress injury can occur when a task that you perform over and over results in damage to your body. For example, a professional baseball pitcher may over time damage their throwing arm or a steel worker may over time damage their knees because of heavy steel bars they are carrying. Prior to the 1960’s, many repetitive stress injuries were “blue collar” in nature.
As the way in which we work has changed, so has the way in which modern worker’s injure themselves. The sedentary work lifestyle is a relatively new and many would argue our bodies did not evolve to sit in a chair and type or perform repetitive tasks. Sitting at a desk and typing has now become the norm. We know that sitting and typing for prolonged periods can be dangerous to you heart health, but what about the negative effect upon the rest of your body? Well the fact is that sitting in sustained awkward positions for hours upon hours can result in severe damage to your body.
Unfortunately there exists a negative stigma regarding repetitive injuries. It’s hard for many people to understand how sitting and typing can result in physical harm to your body. Unlike a specific injury where a bone may be immediately broken or a tendon is ripped, the nature of a repetitive or cumulative trauma injury is that it is often subtle and occurs over time.
Have you ever seen the effect a steady drip of water can have upon solid rock? If I told you that steady dripping water would over time eat away 6 feet of solid stone, it would be difficult for you to comprehend, correct? The same logic applies to repetitive stress injuries. Slowly our body structures can be broken down by the equivalent of a seemingly harmless, repetitive drop of water.
Examples of Repetitive Stress Injuries
Below are just some of the resulting injuries that can stem from repetitive job related tasks.
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- De Quervain Syndrome
- Thoraic Outlet Syndrome
- Intersection Syndrome
- Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s elbow)
- Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis elbow)
- Stenosing Tenosynovitis (Trigger Finger)
- Focal Dystonia
- Radial Tunnel Syndrome