Gradual Process Injuries
Gradual process injuries are those which occur over time. They may occur over a week or even over a year. They are sometimes called Occupational Overuse Syndrome [OOS] and earlier were called RSI. However these terms do not really describe the injury.
The symptoms or what you feel vary from person to person. Pain may be felt in one part of the body one day and in another the next. Tingling and numbness may also be felt. Stiffness is another symptom.
How do they occur?
They can occur from muscles and joints being held in one position over a period of time or tight muscles which over time eventually pull on tendons. For example, holding the neck in one position while at work is enough to put tension on the structures supporting the neck and thus cause pain. Running without stretching afterwards will cause the calf muscles to tighten over time, causing tension on the achilles tendons and eventually pain.
Constant tension on any soft tissue structures can cause a breakdown of the tissue which causes pain.
Examples of these injuries are shin splints, low back strain, tennis elbow, wrist and forearm pain, neck and shoulder pain.
How can physiotherapy help?
The sooner you see a physiotherapist the sooner your pain will be reduced.
- The tight muscles need to be stretched again and loosened.
- The tight nerves need to be stretched.
- The joints which have been tightened causing a restriction in movement need to be moved and the range of movement restored.
- Muscle imbalance needs to be corrected. Sometimes the working muscles become so strong the other supporting muscles become weaker. This is referred to as a muscle imbalance.
- Posture needs to be improved.
- Advice will be provided on preventative action in the future to reduce the chances of this occurring again.
IF YOU EXPERIENCE PAIN, FIND OUT WHY IT IS OCCURRING. PHYSIOTHERAPISTS CAN HELP YOU OVERCOME AN INJURY AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.