Repetitive Strain Injuries are annoying and costly. Everything from Carpal Tunnel to Foot Drop can be caused by just repeating the same motions repeatedly, causing stress on the joint in a way that it’s not meant to be used. While companies can adjust workstations and reassign tasks to reduce employee injuries, treating an injury once it occurs is not nearly as easy. For instance, computer-related repetitive strain injury, caught early enough, can be remedied or controlled with physical therapy, education about posture and body mechanics, and sometimes, time away from the keyboard. But if an employee keeps working without making such changes, he or she can wind up so disabled that performing even simple tasks like cooking, gardening, picking up a baby, or carrying groceries becomes difficult. Even if the problem never reaches that point, some employees are never able to return to their full capacity.
Most often, doctors tell patients to get adequate rest, take frequent breaks, do stretching exercises, vary their tasks if possible, and change the way they sit or move — for instance, periodically hold or reach for something with a different hand. Some physicians recommend anti-inflammatory medication and using ice or heat on the injured area until the pain subsides. Many also refer patients for a range of alternative treatments, including chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation,acupuncture, or a method called myofascial release, which focuses on the soft tissue. Depending on the injury, surgery can help — for instance, carpal tunnel release surgery in the wrist takes pressure off the medial nerve in order to preserve nerve function.
Since repetitive strain injuries are essentially the result of doing more than the body can handle, many doctors say the best chance for recovery lies in eventually strengthening the body’s tissues. How long does it take? That’s the rub. Strengthening the joint or surrounding areas can help with repetitive injuries, but sometimes, surgery is required.
If strengthening the area hasn’t helped, Dr. Robert Hagan of Neuropax Clinic can help. To learn more about Repetitive Strain Pain, or any nerve related surgery, visit www.neuropaxclinic.com or call 314-434-7784 to make an appointment. Don’t live with repetitive strain pain any longer.