This debilitating condition often has a real impact on people’s lives as they are likely to have pain doing the things that they regularly, often have to, do. Classic examples are work strain using a mouse/keyboard, sports injury such as tennis/golfers elbow or musician’s strain playing an instrument.
Tendonitis is often but not always to blame. In this painful condition the repeated movement of the tendinous part of a muscle starts to cause irritation. However, there are usually a number of factors that contribute to the problem like poor posture, inadequate ergonomics, sedentary lifestyle, muscle imbalance, etc.
This problem can occur in a whole myriad of ways, often simple things in our everyday lives such as:
Reading or doing tasks for extended periods of time while looking down.
Sleeping on an inadequate bed/mattress or sitting in a bad armchair and/or in an uncomfortable position.
Carrying heavy items.
Holding one’s phone between neck and shoulder.
Watching TV in incorrect position e.g. Too much to the left/right.
Sleeping with head forward, while travelling.
Prolonged use of the hands, wrists, back, neck, etc.
Sitting in the same position for a long period of time.
Symptoms of work/repetitive strain include:
Focal pain/soreness in an area of the body regularly used, e.g. wrist.
Short bursts of severe pain in that area
Pain doing particular regular activities
Swelling and inflammation in affected area
Weakness/lack of endurance in activities
Work/repetitive strain requires a careful and expert diagnosis by a trained professional. It is a very common presentation in clinic and where appropriate, receives careful and expert treatment. Firstly an assessment and analysis is performed to establish how serious the problem is and then, if appropriate, gentle treatment is performed to mobilize structures, decreasing inflammation, and freeing up the structures causing the symptoms. This reduces pain and increases mobility.
Ultimately the aim is not just to treat it but prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. This includes education on how to keep the area in question healthy in the future. Please call to talk to a trained professional if you want to know more.