Chronic Overuse Syndrome

Overuse injuries, otherwise known as cumulative trauma disorders, are described as tissue damage that results from repetitive demand over the course of time.

RSI (or Repetitive Strain Injury) is a descriptive term for an overuse injury. RSI includes many localised injuries such as trigger finger, golfer’s and tennis elbow and carpal tunnel and also more diffuse pain syndromes (those spread over the body) which may be diagnosed as cervicobrachial pain syndrome or chronic pain syndrome.

Lateral epicondylalgia

Signs and symptoms:

  • Burning, aching or shooting pain.
  • Tremors, clumsiness and numbness.
  • Fatigue or lack of strength.
  • Weakness in the hands or forearms. It is often difficult to perform even simple tasks.
  • Difficulty with normal activities like opening doors, chopping vegetables, turning on a tap.
  • Chronically cold hands, particularly the fingertips.

Treatment for muscle overuse typically begins with resting the area, as well as using heat or ice packs to promote blood circulation to the muscle tissues. It may help to find ways to avoid the repeated motion where possible or to take breaks between activities.

A myotherapist may recommend exercises to promote flexibility and strength in the area.