Are you at risk of Repetitive Strain or Overuse injury?
By: Dr. Daniel Klerer, D.C.
The majority of injuries we see in the clinic are caused by repetitive strain or overuse. These overuse injuries are usually a result of aggravating factors from exercise, sport, activities of daily living or workplace conditions.
The first line of defense is to avoid these aggravating factors. Whether it is squatting too deep, throwing too many pitches on consecutive days, folding the laundry with poor positioning or having bad posture at work, there are ways to modify and prevent issues stemming from these factors!
Unfortunately, most patients either can’t avoid these factors or don’t know how and it results in injury and pain. This is where we, the manual practitioner, need to step in. Treatment is necessary to settle any inflammation, trigger points, restrictions that has been caused by these aggravating factors.
These treatments typically consist of:
-soft tissue therapy
Is treatment alone enough?
While treatment is the key to appropriately guiding the injured tissues through the healing process, not recognizing and eliminating aggravating factors can undo it all. This will either delay recovery or disrupt recovery altogether. For example, a hockey player with a strained adductor muscle cannot expect to settle the injured tissue and then properly rehab it back to full strength while continuing to skate or do lower body workouts. Constantly irritating the tissue and will not allow it to heal.
The simple solution?
REST while recovering!
How to manage if you cannot eliminate?
If you are not able to completely eliminate, this could complicated things. This doesn’t mean there is nothing that can be done, but it does make for longer recovery and more work to manage. A perfect example of this is neck and upper back pain resulting from a 5-6 day a week desk job. It is not a simple solution of taking away the aggravating factors of poor posture and sustained sitting because the only way to do that is to stay away from work. Understanding that it is unrealistic to do that, it changes the method of eliminating the aggravators to managing them as best as possible.
Check out an earlier blog related to workstation habits. While changing our workstation won’t completely solve the issue it will allow us to better manage the aggravating factors.
The main take away from this: if you are ever told that you are able to workout through the pain, or play a sport you love while recovering you are most likely going to be disappointed with the results. In the situation where you aren’t progressing as fast as you wish, it will impossible to tell whether the treatment or the plan isn’t right or if you have been irritating while attempting to recover.
Eliminate ALL aggravation to give yourself the best chance at a full recovery!
And a full recovery means pain free, strong, and able to handle the loads of whatever activity you are looking to do.