Repetitive Stress Injuries

No matter the profession you’re in movement is necessary to get the job done. Whether you’re a teacher, cashier, nurse, driver, or athlete, we can all develop repetitive stress injuries.

Do you ever think about how you move? Whether it be throwing a ball, running, biking, typing, or working out, small improper movements can add up. We tend to gravitate towards the same patterns that are most comfortable. The comfort of these patterns helps us cheat to get things done as quickly as possible. Over time, these movements become habitual and are often the cause of repetitive stress injuries.

Here are some common examples of repetitive stress injuries:

  • IT band syndrome
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Rotator cuff tendinopathies
  • Tennis elbow
  • Bicep tendonitis
  • Shin splints
  • Bursitis
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Even low back pain and neck pain are the cause of repetitive stress from poor posture.

Joints are designed to handle the stress that we inflict on our bodies. Tendons and ligaments stabilize joints as you move; however, they can be damaged after any activity. Over time, microtears can develop in that tendon or ligament. With rest, this small microtear will heal and cause no further problems. But when we ignore that pain and move improperly again and again this causes an injury.

The treatments typically used: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). This does well to handle the pain but does little to address the problem. Getting to the root cause requires looking intrinsically and extrinsically to find those cheats that we all use day-to-day and correct them. Without correcting the patterns, we will compensate in other ways and cause further damage to our joints.

Keeping your joints mobile and strengthening the weak muscles is vital to the prevention of these injuries. Chiropractic can be very efficient in diagnosing insufficiencies and rectifying them with joint manipulation/ mobilization and therapeutic exercises. Prevention is the best form of healthcare. It stops a problem before it starts. Be mindful of your movements and check in with a chiropractor about your posture/ joint health!

Dr. Richardson

Wilder RP, Sethi S. Overuse injuries: tendinopathies, stress fractures, compartment syndrome, and shin splints. Clin Sports Med. 2004 Jan;23(1):55-81, vi. doi: 10.1016/S0278-5919(03)00085-1. PMID: 15062584.

Yassi A. Repetitive strain injuries. Lancet. 1997 Mar 29;349(9056):943-7. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(96)07221-2. PMID: 9093264.

van Rijn RM, Huisstede BM, Koes BW, Burdorf A. Associations between work-related factors and specific disorders of the shoulder–a systematic review of the literature. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2010 May;36(3):189-201. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.2895. Epub 2010 Jan 22. PMID: 20094690.

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