Repetitive Motion Syndrome

Topic Overview

Repetitive motion syndrome is a term used to describe symptoms such as pain, swelling, or tenderness that occur from repeating the same motion over and over. Experts disagree about using the term as a specific medical diagnosis.

Repeated use of the same motion may cause tissues to swell and become fatigued. Both work and recreational activities can cause repetitive motion syndrome. When the tissues swell and put pressure on the nerves, you may experience:

  • Tenderness.
  • Tingling.
  • Numbness.
  • Weakness.
  • Pain with use.

Treatment for repetitive motion syndrome may include:

  • Avoiding activities that cause symptoms.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Applying moist heat or cold packs alternately.
  • Resting the area and using splints.
  • Using anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Last Revised October 11, 2012

Last Revised: October 11, 2012

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