Many people in the workforce have to perform repetitive motions for hours on end, whether it be typing on a keyboard, using a mouse or performing assembly line work. While these tasks may seem harmless, they can lead to a variety of injuries known as repetitive motion disorders.
RMDs happen when people overuse specific muscles and tendons, which can result in pain, swelling and even permanent damage. The hidden danger lies in the fact that these injuries often develop over time, and people do not notice the symptoms until it is too late.
Types of repetitive motion disorders
There are several different types of RMDs. Carpel tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, endures compression at the wrist. Tendinitis happens when there is inflammation or irritation in a tendon. Tennis elbow results from a person using the forearm repetitively until tearing or swelling occurs near the elbow. Other examples of RMDs include bursitis, trigger finger and ganglion cysts.
Factors that cause repetitive motion disorders
While repetitive tasks are the main cause of RMDs, there are other factors as well. Poor ergonomics, or the way a person sits, stands or works, can make an RMD more likely. Another factor is age, as muscles and tendons become less flexible and more prone to injury. A person might also be more at risk if they have had a previous injury to a muscle or tendon
Prevention is key when it comes to RMDs. No one should wait until they experience symptoms to take action. By being proactive and making changes to their work habits and lifestyle, people can protect themselves against RMDs.