Repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s) and overuse injuries come in many forms, and physical therapy is one of the best solutions. Whether you’re a desk jockey, mother of three, or a young athlete, repetitive strain injuries can sneak up on us all.
When most of us think about getting injured, we think of sprains, strains, fractures, etc. However, there is another type of injury that exists, and it is more common that we may think. They happen over time, and often sneak up on us, which can make them difficult to identify or diagnose.
If you ever had a shin splint, carpal tunnel, or tennis elbow, you know what we are talking about. Basically, a repetitive strain injury is a result of repetitive micro trauma to tendons, ligaments, bones, or joints.
They are often the result of errors in a training program or regimen. They can be the result of small errors or changes in the form of an exercise or athletic activity, or they can result from progressing too quickly into an activity. A common example of this is a runner adding too many miles per week to their running regimen.
It is typically recommended to cut back the intensity, duration, or frequency of the activity when you experience the symptoms of an overuse injury. Some other solutions include asking a coach/trainer about your technique/program, utilizing proper warm ups, or icing the area. However, when symptoms persist, it’s time to see a medical professional.
A physical therapist can evaluate and treat these injuries. In fact, we see this kind of thing all the time!
Normally, the therapist will suggest that you keep moving the affected area, and will suggest some specific physical activity and motions (exercises) that will maintain your strength and flexibility. If you have a goal of returning to a specific activity or sport, the therapist will keep this in mind and recommend sport specific exercises. The goal is to utilize the range of motion in a way that doesn’t cause pain, and is modulated based on your fitness levels.
Next, we will typically recommend some dry needling. Receiving this treatment is up to you of course, but it is often beneficial. This modality will promote deep blood flow to the area, promote relaxation of the specific area, and generate pain relief.
If you live in Arizona and have a nagging ache or pain the just won’t go away as the result of a sport, activity, or job-related duty, give us a call. We will schedule an evaluation and get you on your way to feeling better!