Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries like tendinitis and tennis elbow cause pain and stiffness in the affected joints. Chiropractors can check for misalignments, restore range of motion, and teach proper form and posture to avoid further injury.

What are some common names for certain repetitive motion injuries?

Dr. Chris Serafini: I’d say the most common names that most people are familiar with are carpal tunnel syndrome, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, or just a general term we use a lot of times for repetitive motion injuries is, tendinitis.

How do you know if you have a repetitive motion injury? What are the symptoms?

Dr. Chris Serafini: Most often you are going to experience some sort of pain, maybe just tenderness, stiffness, tingling around the area, maybe also even weakness. If it is around your wrist area, you might have some weakness with grabbing things, or holding things, or opening jars.

If it is around the shoulder area, you might have a hard time with lifting things, like I said, some weakness in the area. It is usually going to be on one side of the body. You’re not going to have repetitive motion disorders or issues bilaterally, on two sides. It is usually one side. It will also be fairly close to a joint. It is typically not going to be in the middle of a long bone.

If someone is an athlete, practicing the same sport over and over, how can they avoid a repetitive movement injury?

Dr. Chris Serafini: This is a good question. I’d say it is fairly difficult to answer. There’s obviously many athletes that perform the same motion over and over and over, some athletes get issues with it, some don’t.

I would say that you’re going to want to work at stretching the areas, if you’re having any issues in those particular spots. Also, I can’t emphasize enough, proper form. Typically, with most motions, as far as especially athletes, everything is based on form. If you practice that proper form, typically you won’t have very many issues.

I would also seek chiropractic. We help many, many athletes with repetitive motion disorders because there is usually a bio-mechanical problem, or bone misalignment issue relating to that problem, or area. When the bones get misaligned, you’re obviously going to irritate the soft tissue, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. A lot of times we help them with adjustments of those particular areas.

What should people do at work to avoid getting repetitive motion injuries?

Dr. Chris Serafini: You really want to practice good ergonomics, proper ergonomics. That’s a whole discussion in itself. You want to make sure that the computer screen is at the proper level, your mouse height is at the proper level, your feet and shoulders are at proper level and angles. Also, just good posture, most of us, when we’re sitting for a long enough period of time, we get sloppy with our posture.

You also want to make sure that you have proper equipment or tools that you need to help you support the posture or proper ergonomics.

What treatments are available to help with these injuries?

Dr. Chris Serafini: I would say, once again, you’re going to look at bio mechanical issues, or joint issues, misalignments. Adjustments are phenomenal with this. We help lots of patients by adjusting the joints that are related to the repetitive motion area.

Also, deep tissue works. You’re going to want to work on the soft tissue in that area. More than just a massage, I would say like more mild therapy deep tissue work.

Cold light laser works phenomenally well. Cold light lasers are going to increase your healing times about 50 to 75% faster. In our office we have many different types of lasers. We have Class 4 lasers, Class 3 lasers, and we have infrared lasers, all kinds of various lasers, which are phenomenal tools.

Also, maybe cold packs. I don’t think that’s the best, but it is something. It might decrease the inflammation around the area a little bit.

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Chris Serafini, visit or call 480-443-7678 to schedule an appointment.

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