Repetitive stress is an issue at many different workplaces. This condition may impact people who regularly use hand tools, as well as those who spend a large portion of time on computers. The Cleveland Clinic offers the following information so you can receive the best treatment for this painful and sometimes debilitating health condition.
While each person is different, there are a few common symptoms of repetitive stress disorders. For instance, many people experience pain in the wrist and hand. A feeling of numbness or tingling, swelling, and increased sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures is also common. As the condition progresses, you may also experience weakness that prevents you from properly gripping items.
There are a few different repetitive stress injuries to be aware of. Carpal tunnel involves irritation of the nerve pathway leading from the arm to the hand and wrist, and this condition affects people in many professions. Tendonitis may also occur, and this entails inflammation of the tendons. Tendonitis is often referred to as trigger finger or tennis elbow, and in rare cases it could be caused by an underlying medical condition.
In terms of treatments, the sooner you seek help the better. Loss of function can be very tough to deal with, and some people will ultimately require surgery or occupational therapy to relearn normal activities and functions. If you require surgery, you will be directed to a hand surgeon who will takes steps to remove scar tissue and increase flexibility in your hand and wrist. If symptoms are still mild, the RISE (rest, ice, splinting, and elevation) protocol is recommended. You may also need an injection of steroids, which reduces inflammation.