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Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive Motion Injuries Symptoms

  • Tendinitis: The most common symptom associated with tendinitis is pain over the site involved. Tendinitis is made worse by active motion of the inflamed tendon. The skin overlying the inflamed tendon may be red and warm to the touch.
    • Biceps: The painful spot is usually in the groove where the arm meets the shoulder. You can reproduce the pain by flexing your elbow at 90 and trying to turn your hand palm up (called supination) against resistance.
    • Tennis elbow: This pain is in the elbow and is reproduced by cocking your wrist back (extending the wrist) as if you are bringing a tennis racket back to hit the ball.
    • Golfer's elbow: This pain also occurs in the elbow but is made worse by flexing the wrist forward as if you are hitting a golf ball.
    • Rotator cuff: Raising your arm out to the side reproduces this pain. The painful area is usually over the affected shoulder.
  • Bursitis: Common symptoms include pain, tenderness, and decreased range of motion over affected area. Redness, swelling, and a crunchy feeling when the joint is moved (crepitus) may also occur.
    • Knee: This condition involves swelling over the bottom part of the kneecap that is red and warm to the touch. Usually, the range of motion of the knee will be less because of the pain that bending and straightening the knee causes.
    • Elbow: Pain, swelling, and redness are found over the elbow. The pain gets worse when you flex and extend your arm at the elbow.
    • Hip: Your pain is increased by walking or by lying on the affected side. Bringing your leg away from and toward the midline of the body can also reproduce the pain.

When to Seek Medical Care

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain with movement of arms and legs
  • Tenderness over a joint or where a tendon connects
  • Redness and increased warmth over a joint
  • Pain that wakes you from sleep
  • Inability to sleep on affected side
  • Inability to carry on normal activities of daily living (such as brushing your teeth or taking a shower)

When to go to the hospital

Certain signs and symptoms may mean that you have an infection and should be seen by a doctor immediately. Seek immediate medical care for any of the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain or tenderness that is associated with fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting
  • More than 1 joint is involved at the same time or joint pain that migrates from one joint to another
  • A history of high-risk behavior (unprotected sexual activity with multiple partners, IV drug use, history of sexually transmitted disease)

Any severe joint pain also needs a visit to your hospital's emergency department.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

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