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What is a repetitive stress injury?

For workers in California and all over the country, repetitive stress injuries are exceedingly common. Workers afflicted with these injuries are sometime unable to carry out job tasks, and their quality of life may even be affected. To this end, it’s important to understand the facts on repetitive motion injuries, from what areas are impacted to how they occur. 

According to WebMD, repetitive actions are at the heart of these types of injuries. They typically present as either bursitis or tendinitis, each of which has an array of painful symptoms and complications. In fact, both disorders may exist simultaneously, which can complicate proper diagnosis. More than 50 percent of injuries related to sporting activities involve some sort of repetitive motion, in addition to being quite common in workplace.

It helps to understand the difference between bursitis or tendinitis when seeking proper diagnosis and treatment. Bursitis is characterized as inflammation of the bursa sac, which cushions the area where the bone and tendons meet. While bursae are present all over the body, the areas typically affected by bursitis are the hip, elbows and knees. Repetitive motion injuries are known as traumatic bursitis, and most commonly afflict people under 35.

When it comes to tendinitis, tendons (the tissue that connects muscle and bone) can become inflamed, usually occurring in elbows, shoulders and biceps. Tendons can be affected by another disorder known as tenosynovitis, which is when the actual sheath of the tendons becomes inflamed. Some even posit that carpal tunnel syndrome is most often a result of tenosynovitis, although further research is needed to establish a link.


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