Overuse Injuries

What are Overuse Injuries?
Overuse injuries occur when too much stress is placed on a joint/s or other soft tissue structures, such as nerves, tendons, ligaments and muscles. This usually results from repetitive movements, prolonged activity, or awkward postures.

Signs and symptoms
Overuse injuries commonly occur in the fingers, hands, wrists and elbows. Populations that are at increased risk of developing overuse injuries include people that perform activity of a repetitive nature and/or for a sustained period of time.

Symptoms vary, depending on the individual, the site of the injury and the severity of the condition. However, common symptoms may include pain, swelling, muscle weakness, numbness and restricted mobility of the joint.

It is important to be aware of these signs and symptoms and to not ‘work through’ this type of injury. Initially, the pain and swelling may be minor and only noticeable while the particular task is being performed. However, if symptoms are ignored the discomfort will likely escalate to the point where you may experience pain even at rest. This may significantly limit your hand function and ability to perform day to day tasks. It is therefore vital to seek medical assistance to prevent further exacerbation of your condition. At Hand Works, our team are well trained in assessing and treating upper limb overuse conditions.

Treatment
At Hand Works we are also equipped in ensuring treatment is tailored to suit the individual. The treatment that we deliver is highly variable according to the person’s age, health condition and activities (such as work, sport, or hobbies); the location, type and severity of the injury; and how long ago the injury had occurred.

Rest is usually the key in the initial treatment of overuse injuries, and this is often achieved through orthosis wear, education, and activity modifications. Making minor changes in the design of your home or workplace environments may assist in alleviating the condition or eliminating the causative factor of the injury. At Hand Works, we are able to provide you with custom made thermoplastic orthoses, or different types of pre-fabricated semi-rigid orthoses that suit your needs. We educate our patients to ensure that they receive the optimum care and guidance needed to prevent re-injury and future flare ups of the condition.