Repetitive strain injuries
Accumulation of microtrauma at a tissue following repetitive use/ elongation of a tissue (i.e. muscle/ligament/tendon/joint capsule) past is physiological tolerance. These injuries may take years to manifest themselves and may take longer to recover than acute sprain/ strains.
Symptoms– Signs and symptoms will vary depending on the severity of the injury. These may include: pain, swelling, and/or limited range of motion/weight bearing.
Risk factors– Fatigue/ lack of muscular coordination, poor equipment and environmental conditions (ergonomics) are the most common risk factors influencing these types of injuries.
Prevention– Activity/ sports specific exercises, activity modification, increasing joint proprioception, stability training, general conditioning (strength/ cardiovascular training) can help mitigate the risk of these types of injury.
Treatment Options– The treatment offered may vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury. Photobiomodulation/ laser therapy can help increase the rate of tissue repair and can help minimize the persistent effects of scar tissue accumulation maximise the potential of long term beneficial outcomes. Chiropractic care and acupuncture may also be implemented to minimize barriers to recovery such as surrounding tight and problematic musculature/ other tissues, as well as, improving proper alignment/ coordination of structures thus reducing overall stress acting on the body.
For immediate self-care of a sprain, try the R.I.C.E. approach — rest, ice, compression, elevation:
What’s next?- Individuals tend to heal well from these types of injuries but if the initial cause of the injury is not addressed there is a risk that the injury may returns. Continued specific rehabilitation protocols and activity modifications can help decrease the risk of re-injury, as well as, continued maintenance care can also minimize the risk of barriers to recovery (e.g. limited range of motion at surrounding joints/ altered gait following injury).