Overuse Injury

Definition - What does Overuse Injury mean?

An overuse injury is an injury that occurs as a result of repeated motions. An overuse injury is not the result of a single accident or injury, but instead results from ongoing wear and tear on the body. Over time, small injuries to the musculoskeletal system weaken the body and cause these overuse injuries to occur. Repetitive motions such as twisting, reaching, or jumping can all cause overuse injuries. Overuse injuries may sometimes be referred to as cumulative trauma disorders, repetitive motion injuries or repetitive strain injuries.

WorkplaceTesting explains Overuse Injury

An overuse injury is a type of musculoskeletal disorder. Overuse injuries may affect any part of the musculoskeletal system. Repeated motions may cause tissue surrounding a nerve to swell, pinching the nerve and causing temporary or permanent loss of sensation or control. Muscles strains can impair motion. Joints can also become inflamed or swollen limiting a person's mobility.

It is not uncommon for athletes to experience this type of injury. In fact, some overuse injuries have sports related names such as tennis elbow or golfer's elbow, even though these injuries can happen at work as well. Other examples of overuse injuries include bursitis, tendonitis, and shin splints. Overuse injuries are also common in the workplace. Anyone from an office worker to a machine operator may suffer an overuse injury. An overuse injury may result from walking on a hard surface for an extended period of time, reaching above one's head frequently, or working at a desk that is too low or too high.

A good ergonomics plan and training on the proper use of equipment can help to prevent overuse injuries. Workers can also avoid some overuse injuries by remembering to take frequent small breaks to rest or stretch.

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