How Repetitive Motion Leads to Elbow and Shoulder Injuries

The joints of the body are designed for fluid movement, and you might think that this means as long as you are using the joint the way it was intended you will be healthy and whole. Yet if you overwork a joint or use it repetitively over time, you can cause an injury that may take time and effort to heal properly. There are many different ways that repetitive motion can lead to elbow and shoulder injuries, but the two most common are tendonitis and bursitis.


Tendons are connective tissues that connect the muscles to the bones within the joint. When a joint is overused repetitively, the tendons can become overworked and strained. The strained tendon could cause injury and pain on its own as it is stretched, or it could tear and cause further pain and more severe injury. There is also a sheath that the tendon runs through on its way from muscle to bone, and this sheath can also become inflamed.


The bursae are small pockets of fluid within the joint that cushion and lubricate the joints between tendon and bone. They are meant to ease the friction between the parts of the joint. Yet sometimes these bursae can become inflamed; and when they do, they can cause extreme pain and swelling. The pain and swelling can make it very difficult to move the joint, and you may experience some stiffness as well. Bursitis is usually treated with resting joint and perhaps physical therapy.

If you repetitively use your elbow or shoulder in your work or hobbies, it is important to make sure that any chronic injuries are diagnosed and treated early. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.