REPETITIVE MOTION DISORDERS (RMDs) - Overview, Facts, Types, Etc


RMDs or Repetitive Motion Disorder is a type of condition caused by repeated standard everyday actions such as running and even cleaning. It is also caused by trauma, crystal deposits, friction, and systemic diseases. This condition occurs more in athletes and heavy workers because they tend to exert more effort while training or working.  In the United States of America, significant rates of people tend to experience these injuries that eventually lead to the disorder.


Tendinitis is one of the common types of Repetitive Motion Disorder. The word “tendinitis” means inflammation of the tendon. The tendon is a tissue connected to the muscles and the bone that allows the movement of joints in the body. Body parts like the shoulder, biceps, and elbows experience Tendinitis. Studies have concluded that men have a higher chance of getting tendinitis.

  • Bursitis

Bursitis is the second most common type of repetitive motion disorders. “Bursitis,” means inflammation of the bursa. It is a sac found in areas where it can create friction and can lubricate the bone and the tendon, and we have over 150 bursae. It occurs in the knees, elbow, and hip, which are present when birth takes place but is rampant in areas that experience repetitive pressure. Traumatic, infectious, and gouty are the three different types of Bursitis. Out of the three, traumatic Bursitis occurs more in people who are younger than thirty-five years old.



  • experiencing pain when moving arms and legs
  • discomfort when touching a joint
  • when a joint turns red and feels warm
  • insufferable pain that wakes you up in the middle of sleep
  • recurring inability to not sleep on the affected side
  • inability to do daily routines that include affected areas
  • joint pain with fever, chills, nausea, or vomiting
  • if a group of joints is affected or if the pain transfers to different joints
  • intense joint pain


To know the source of the pain is by an inflammation in the tissues or joints, you need to complete an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. This scans your body and produces detailed images of your body, specifically your organs and tissues. The MRI will help in determining if your joints are affected with any repetitive motion disorder.

In tendinitis, the MRI scan will only show the inflamed joints, but it will not show the sheath.



  • Self-medication

When the pain is still tolerable, and some symptoms haven’t shown up yet, you should try and take care of yourself at home. If your joints are swollen, you should elevate it and avoid moving too much. You should put ice on the affected areas for about 20-30 minutes. If you want a less chilly approach, you can wrap frozen vegetables in a towel and apply on affected areas for 20-30 minutes as well. If the shoulder area is affected, you should carefully move and not avoid moving it. If left inactive for 24-48 hours, it can lead to more severe problems.

  • Treatment

If you have tendinitis, you have to ice it as early as possible. Elevation and rest can help also. If suffering from the tennis elbow and the golfer’s elbow, you can place bands around it.

It would be best if you also took NSAIDs or also known as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. NSAID drugs include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. The consumption of these drugs will help with reducing inflammation, but it should be taken while eating or with any liquid to avoid having an upset stomach.

If the NSAIDs don’t help with anything, you can choose to ask the doctor to inject steroids in affected areas. These injections can only be done three times per twelve months. You can also choose to use pain-killing creams like “capsaicin cream,” but if an infection causes the symptom, you should take antibiotics.

Once the symptoms have lessened and have started to become better, you can slowly start exercising except if the affected area is the shoulder.

If the shoulder is the affected area, you shouldn’t immobilize your shoulder to decrease the risk of a frozen shoulder. It is called “adhesive capsulitis,” wherein the capsule becomes too thick and too tight for the person to move his shoulder. To also lessen this possibility, you should take warm baths and have physical therapy. To entirely avoid a frozen shoulder, you should always check if the full range of motion of the shoulder joint is still maintained.

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