Repetitive Stress Injury Symptoms and Treatment

A repetitive stress injury is defined as an injury that occurs from overuse and repetitive motions. This type of injury typically impacts the soft tissues, such as the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. There are many different types of repetitive stress injuries, and each can range in severity depending on the case. 

While repetitive stress injuries are relatively common, especially among people who perform repetitive motions in their daily activities, they can also be debilitating. Here, we’ll discuss the most common types and symptoms of repetitive stress injuries, as well as available treatment options. 

The Most Common Repetitive Stress Injuries

Some of the most common repetitive stress injuries are:

  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger finger
  • Stress fractures

The Main Symptoms of Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries most commonly affect the hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, neck, and shoulders. However, this type of injury can impact many other areas of the body as well.

The symptoms of a repetitive stress injury may include:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Achiness
  • Throbbing
  • Weakness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Cramping
  • Tingling and/or numbness
  • Swelling
  • Heat or cold sensitivity

Treatment for Repetitive Stress Injuries

Initially, repetitive stress injuries are treated with non-surgical methods. These may include:

  • Taking a break from the repetitive motions that are causing the injury
  • Heat or cold therapy
  • Pain medications or NSAIDs
  • Physical therapy
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Wearing a splint to protect and rest the injured area

When these methods fail to provide relief from a repetitive stress injury, surgery may be recommended to relieve pain and other symptoms. The exact procedure will depend on the type and site of the injury but often involves removing the damaged tissue and stabilizing the healthy tissue. Joint replacement surgery may be necessary to resolve some repetitive stress injuries. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a repetitive stress injury, schedule an appointment at Suncoast Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine for an evaluation.