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Repetitive Motion Disorders are a common occurrence that is only becoming more popular in the modern world. This is a spectrum of disorders that occur secondary to repetitive movements that occur mostly at work and can cost patients not only in the amount of money they may lose for work-days lost but can be a chronic disorder that can significantly lower their quality of lives. 

The most common types of injuries come in two distinctive forms:

  • bursitis injuries, and
  • tendonitis injuries.

Tendons are joints between muscles and bones and can become inflamed after chronic repetitive movements. Wrists, hands and knees are some of the most likely joints to be affected by this type of disorder. Bursitis is the inflammation of the capsule around your joints that help cushion trauma to your bones. As we age, this bursa naturally degenerates and can cause nagging pain in patients without adequate therapy. 

If a patient suspects that they may be suffering from this condition, the next best step for you is to go to your doctor for a consultation. There are a few other causes of these movement disorders like arthritis and gout that need to be ruled out to make sure that it is just a mechanical injury. 

The symptoms are things that patients are typically able to tolerate and treat on their own at home. Rest and thermal therapy (warm blankets) or creams can help reduce inflammation and hasten recovery. Applying ice to the joint spaces for 20 to 30 minutes at a time can also provide relief without patients needing to take painkillers on a daily basis. If you begin to notice that you have pain with movements in your arms or legs, redness and warmth in your joints, pain that wakes you up when you sleep, an inability to sleep on the affected side or an inability to carry out normal daily living, it is best if you meet with a doctor for more definitive therapy. 

Some therapies that may help when you begin to find that you are suffering from this condition chronically would be bands or splints to help stabilize your joints. Medications that could be of some help to you would be drugs like NSAIDs. These are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and are a bit easier for your body to tolerate compared to stronger medications like opioids. Training your muscles with specific exercises to strengthen the joints can also be helpful in order to improve the symptoms. 

Physical therapy and medications like steroid injections can also be something that could be of help to you. This would be a more long-term therapy to help numb the joints affected. It acts as a nerve-blocking agent and should help if a patient is suffering from bursitis or tendonitis. In rare cases if these interventions do not help, surgery can also be performed to remove chronically inflamed bursa. 

These are diseases typically associated with labor-intensive jobs so it is best if you try to avoid these types of professions if possible. [1]

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