5 Most Common Repetitive Motion Injuries Involving the Hand and Arms

Because we live in a repetitive and often competitive world, repetitive motion injuries are among the most common injuries in the United States. Chances are, you or someone you know, have suffered from at least one of them.

A quick search on the web will list the following as the 5 most common repetitive motion injuries involving the hand and arms:

  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorder
  • Tennis Elbow


Repetitive Motion Injury

Repetitive Motion Injury

According to WebMD.com, the most common of all repetitive motion injuries are tendinitis and bursitis. Carpal tunnel syndrome, cumulative trauma disorder, and tennis elbow, can be thought of as variations of the first two, because they are all due to inflammation of tendons or ligaments.

Tendons join muscle to bone. Ligaments have a structure similar to tendons, except that they connect bone to bone.
Tendonitis is caused by the overuse of a set of muscles and tendons, leading to pain and inflammation.
Bursitis is defined as the inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (called bursa) that lies between a tendon and skin, or between a tendon and bone. Areas that are commonly affected are the shoulder, hip, elbow, or knee.


Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure is placed on the median nerve, which travels up the wrist and hand area, along the carpal tunnel ligament (which also carries the flexor tendons). This leads to numbness, tingling, and pain. Severe cases, which last between 6 to 12 months with constant (not intermittent) numbness, often require surgery to remedy.
Cumulative trauma disorder is a broad condition where the body is repeatedly injured from overuse of the tendons, muscles and ligaments. Examples of cumulative trauma disorder are tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.


Tennis elbow is a repetitive motion injury caused by overuse of the forearm muscles that attached to the bone of the outer elbow (via tendon, by definition). Common activities that can cause tennis elbow include repetitive use of a hammer or screwdriver; or improper form and technique when playing racquet ball or tennis. Contrary to its name, however, only 5% of all cases are caused by playing tennis. Click here for more ..

Yes, simple everyday activities can lead to one or more of the above condition. And you thought you were safe when you chose to become a white collar worker, huh? Well, the only way to protect yourself in these cases is to be informed and stay diligent about proper form, posture, and technique. Be safe.

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