It is easy to dismiss joint pain as the normal aches and twinges of getting old. However, you are still too young to be feeling like this, which may lead to worries that you are suffering from an injury. If you have been doing the same type of job for months or years, this might be the source of your pain. You could be among the countless other Californians who are suffering from work-related repetitive movement disorders.
What is a repetitive movement disorder? Carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow are probably the most easily recognized of these conditions. You do not have to be a typist or a tennis player to suffer from these injuries. They are painful conditions resulting from doing the same motion over and over in your line of work.
A common work injury
According to WebMD, tendinitis and bursitis are two of the most common types of repetitive movement injuries. Tendinitis affects the tendons that attach to the bones of often-used joints, such as your elbow, shoulder or wrist. Bursitis occurs when a bursa sac becomes irritated and inflamed from overuse of a joint – a bursa sac is a fluid-filled cushion that protects joints that are subject to impact or tension, such as the knee and hip. Both conditions can cause chronic pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints and surrounding areas. Anyone whose work description involves repetitive motion – from office workers or machinists, to manicurists or surgeons – can develop one of these conditions.
Treatment and compensation
Repetitive movement injuries often require medical treatment, such as physical therapy or surgery, or the pain might be managed with prescription medication. In some cases, doctors recommend taking time off work and resting the affected joint until the inflammation recedes. You may wish to seek workers’ compensation if a repetitive motion disorder is impacting your work performance and quality of life.