Common Types of Injuries
It is very rare to come across an adult who is not dealing with some sort of repetitive stress syndrome. It's a part of life. You need to recognize the movements you do repetitively due to the lifestyle you live and treat those areas of the body with respect.
INFLAMMATION: For most people this word has a negative connotation. It is important to remember that inflammation is an integral part of the healing process. When tissues are damaged or irritated, inflammation must occur for the healing process to begin. Tissues become damaged, then swelling and inflammation occurs in the damaged area to promote healing.
This is an appropriate response and a good thing for the body to do. However, it is supposed to be a short process that ends when healing has been accomplished. If the source of the problem (irritation and overuse) does not recede, then the inflammatory process may become a painful and chronic condition.
TENDONITIS: The most commonly reported overuse injury is tendonitis. The suffix -itis means “inflammation.” So, tendonitis means inflammation of the tendon. As bodies move, tendons slide and rub over the structures that surround them.
When a movement is repeated, the rubbing and sliding irritates the tendon causing pain and swelling. Warmth is often associated with that swelling. The best way to treat tendonitis is to rest. It's recommended to rest the irritated area for two weeks.
However, athletes and regular exercisers find it hard to stop training for two weeks. You should try to find an alternative exercise for that period of time. This is when cross training can be beneficial. If you like to run, you may try swimming or cycling for a couple of weeks. Try to choose an activity that does not stress the irritated joint in the same way.
BURSITIS: Within the joints of the human body are fluid-filled sacs called bursae. The function of these bursae are to cushion, reduce friction, and lubricate joints to allow for smooth movements. There are about 160 bursae throughout the body, and they are found in regions such as the hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows.
If excessive movement or trauma occurs to a joint or around a bursa sac, it can become irritated or inflamed. When the bursa becomes irritated, it produces synovial fluid to protect the area. If the irritation persists, the accumulation of fluid in the joint capsule begins to create pressure that can restrict movement and become very painful.
The most commonly irritated bursae are found in the shoulder and the knee. The best thing to do for bursitis is to rest the affected joint and ice the irritated area. It may help to take an over-the-counter pain killer or anti-inflammatory.
OSTEOARTHRITIS: Any mechanical system that is used frequently will inevitably show signs of wear and tear. The same holds true for the joints within the body. The body is a mechanical system and is constantly being worn down, even with normal activity. Wear and tear of a joint usually results in a degeneration of the cartilage found within the joint. When this cartilage is worn away the underlying bone can be exposed, which causes a great deal of pain.
The best way to nurse a condition such as this is to rest the affected area to alleviate the pain and keep the joints strong so they continue to have a good support system. Some experts recommend a low-impact stretching program that will help create space between the joints, which may decrease the forces of compression.