Repetitive Motion Injuries

Although repetitive motion injuries account for 50% of athletic-related injuries, they can happen to anyone.  They can happen to factory workers, carpenters, or office workers who spend hours typing on their computer keyboard, or even to you when you rake the leaves from your lawn or work in your garden.  Anytime you perform a task where there is consistent repetitive motion, you run the risk of getting a repetitive motion injury. The two most common are tendinitis and bursitis.  


Tendinitis can be caused by a serious injury but it is most often caused by repetitive motion in the affected area.  Incorrect posture can lead to tendinitis because the body isn’t performing the motion in the way the body was designed to work.  Several conditions may contribute to tendinitis because of the effect they have on the body’s movement such as different types of arthritis, gout, thyroid disorders, or reactions to medications.  Anyone can get tendinitis but occurrence increases with age as our tendons lose elasticity. The symptoms of tendinitis are pain and tenderness in a tendon or frozen shoulder.

Tendinitis can be prevented.  With any kind of physical activity, work or sport, start slowly and build up to it.  If you begin to feel pain, try to adjust your movements or do something else that will give the painful tendon a break.

Treatment includes resting the affected tendons, icing them (within a day of the injury) and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.  Chiropractic manipulations are also an effective treatment for the pain associated with repetitive motion injury. By manipulating the joint and relaxing sore and overused muscles, the chiropractor can help improve function in the injured area.    


The bursa is a sac filled with fluid that can be found between bones, muscles, tendons, and skin and provides lubrication to decrease friction and irritation.  When the bursa becomes inflamed, it is called bursitis. Like tendinitis, bursitis is most often caused by repetitive motion and the likelihood of developing it increases with age.  You can get bursitis in the elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, and Achilles tendon.

Bursitis can be prevented by working up to any activity.  Don’t go at full speed right out of the gate. If you feel pain in an isolated area, rest the area to give it time to heal appropriately.

Treatment for bursitis is the same as tendinitis.  Rest the affected area and ice the day of the injury.  Anti-inflammatory medications may help as well. Chiropractic manipulations will improve the function of the area.  

Repetitive motion injuries are just one of the disorders that cause harm to the musculoskeletal system, the framework of muscles, tendons, and bones that give each of us support and the ability to move.  In this year’s Chiropractic Health Month, musculoskeletal health takes center stage as good musculoskeletal health leads to longevity and a more active life.  

At North County Pain Relief, we’re dedicated to helping our patients improve their musculoskeletal health and live an active life without pain.  With various chiropractic techniques and other therapies, we can treat many injuries and disorders without the need for drugs or invasive surgeries.  Call our Saint Louis, Missouri office at (314) 731-4201 to find out more about how we can help manage your pain and help us celebrate Chiropractic Health Month!