Repetitive Motion Injury Basics

Repetitive Motion Injury Basics

Over 50% of athletes’ injuries are caused by repetitive motions, and it’s not only professionals who suffer from this kind of trauma. In fact, this injury can be caused not only by activities that involve repetitive motions, but also by:

  • Disease (rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)
  • Crystal deposits
  • Severe physical trauma

Regardless of the exact cause, the symptoms and treatment for the condition remain the same. Note that it’s imperative to start treatment therapy as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse. Ignoring the pain and continuing with your activities as per usual may lead to severe inflammation and permanent joint damage.

Repetitive motion injury can take several forms, such as tendonitis (tendon inflammation), bursitis (inflammation of bursa), and chronic conditions, like carpal syndrome. The symptoms that indicate you may suffer from an RMI are:

  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Weakness of the joint
  • Redness and swelling around the joint (skin may be hotter in this area)
  • Tingling

If you develop any of these symptoms seemingly for no reason, and the problem doesn’t go away in a day, consult a doctor. These may be indicators of the beginning stages of several serious conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. Early treatment can make a difference for these diseases.

Repetitive Motion Injury Treatment Tips

Treating this kind of injury is a complex and difficult process that will take some time. Consistency is imperative for this type of therapy, as breaking the pattern will set the whole process several steps back.

RMI therapy usually includes:

Wearing splints.

It’s essential to wear a splint when engaging in an activity that will involve repetitive motions. This way, you will prevent further tissue damage. If your condition is chronic, you will need to put on a splint every time before starting a potentially dangerous activity. If you wake up because of the pain, you will need to wear a splint in bed. However, you should resort to this tactic only in extreme cases, as the splint will disrupt proper circulation.

Applying topical treatments.

Topical pain relief creams are highly efficient for treating these kinds of injuries. Velatrin in particular, will not only grant instant relief for the pain but also assist with reducing the inflammation that causes it. If you don’t have a specialized topical treatment on hand, you can relieve some of the pain by applying hot and cold packs alternatively.

Anti-inflammatory medications.

There are plenty of medications that help fight inflammation. The most common type prescribed for this type of injury is ibuprofen. However, you should consult a doctor about these drugs before taking them. You will also need to take some tests to determine whether you indeed suffer from an RMI or have a bigger problem, like arthritis. Pregnant and nursing women should be especially careful in these situations as the majority of drugs aren’t safe for babies.


A healthy diet is an important part of every anti-inflammatory treatment. The things we eat affect us on many different levels and some of them exacerbate the problem. Avoid eating junk food and other products rich in unhealthy fats. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake to a minimum and try to quit smoking. The latter is very important if your condition is chronic.