What is Repetitive Stress Injury?

Repetitive stress injury is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of physical injuries with an underlying cause of repetitive movements. The repetitive movements may occur from exertion, vibration, compression or certain awkward positions that are sustained. In other words, repetitive stress injury can happen from both movement and non-movement. Physical therapy in Scottsdale, AZ treats repetitive stress injury and its symptoms.

Common Causes of Repetitive Stress Injury

The most common cause of repetitive stress injury (RSI) that people think of is tennis elbow. While this is common, there are many others, such as:

  • RSI from construction work using vibrating tools
  • RSI from running/jogging/swimming and other sports
  • RSI from construction work involving lifting/holding things above shoulder level for sustained periods of time
  • And many more

If you suspect that you have a repetitive stress injury, contact your physical therapist for treatment.

Why Do Repetitive Stress Injuries Occur?

The body is designed to move in many different directions and to be able to exert physical strength while doing so. But repetitive motions introduce constant stress, which the body isn’t designed for. Certain mechanisms are involved, including:


This amounts to an accumulation of small traumas to muscles, tendons and tissues, without sufficient recovery time in between.


Overuse of muscles during RSI can cause strain and muscle fatigue.


Sometimes an inflammatory response is triggered with RSI. Without adequate recovery time, persistent inflammation can lead to damaged tissue.

Nerve Compression

This is when RSI compresses certain nerves and reduces blood flow, causes inflammation.

Improper Alignment

If movements aren’t executed well, the resulting strain on muscles and tendons can result in RSI.

Repetitive stress injury in Scottsdale, AZ can be treated with a variety of methods. To restore optimal function, contact us for an assessment of the injury and to receive a treatment plan suited specifically for your injury. We look forward to helping you get past the repetitive stress injury and helping you to avoid them in the future.

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