What is a repetitive stress injury?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2018 | Firm News |

Repetitive stress or motion injuries are common injuries in the U.S. These injuries occur from repeated actions that are performed on a daily basis. Repetitive stress injuries are particularly common in athletes, but you do not have to play professional baseball to suffer from such an injury. Even repeated actions like typing on a computer, reaching over your head or using power tools can use these injuries.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and bursitis are three of the most common types of repetitive motion injury. According to WebMD, tendinitis and bursitis may occur together and can be tough to differentiate.


Tendons connect muscle tissue to bones. The tissue helps aid joints with movement throughout the body. Tendinitis occurs when small tears in the tendon do not heal quickly, and the tendon becomes inflamed. It happens most often in the shoulders, biceps or elbow.

When you have tendinitis, you will likely feel pain in the area. Your skin may also be red and feel warm.


A bursa sac is a small pouch that works to cushion or lubricate the space between a tendon and a bone to reduce friction. There are over 150 bursae located in your body. When bursitis occurs, your bursa sac becomes inflamed. This again happens due to tears in the bursa that do not heal due to repeated strain. You may experience bursitis in your elbow, knee or hip. Bursitis can also occur from a bacterial infection.

With bursitis, you may experience pain, a decreased range of motion or tenderness. It is also likely the affected area will swell, be red and you may notice a crunching feeling.


You can treat a repetitive stress injury at home by resting it, elevating the affected join and icing it for about 30 minutes two or three times a day. However, you should contact your doctor for a diagnosis, especially if the pain disrupts your sleep or prevents you from completing normal activities.


The doctor will likely conduct a physical exam, ask for your medical history and may suggest an MRI. If the doctor suspects bursitis, he or she may also drain fluid from the joint to determine if you have an infection.

If your injury occurred because of work, you may ask to have your role changed to prevent reinjury. You should also consider filing a workers’ compensation claim to pay for any medical bills or time missed from work due to your ailment.

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