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Understanding tendinitis, a common repetitive motion injury

When workers have to do the same exact task repeatedly -- such as when they're working on an assembly line -- it can lead to significant injuries. These are the result of the repetition over time, rather than one key event. This is especially a problem when workers do not take breaks or slow down because their production is being tracked.

One of the most common issues that workers experience is known as tendinitis. The muscles and bones within the body are held together with incredibly strong fibers known as tendons, and tendinitis is when they become inflamed and irritated. The tendon isn't in danger of breaking or ceasing to function, but every time the person uses that muscles and puts strain on it, it leads to pain and discomfort.

One of the most common types of tendinitis is often called tennis elbow. Despite this nickname, it can happen easily in the workplace, not just on the tennis court. Tendinitis usually occurs at a joint, and it's most common in the shoulder, elbow and biceps.

It's important to note that a related disorder is known as tenosynovitis. This happens when the sheath that the tendon enters -- at the point where it meets the muscle itself -- becomes irritated and inflamed. These disorders are often confused with one another.

Interestingly, men seem to be at more risk than women, as they get tendinitis more often. The difference is only slight, though, and both men and women need to know about aggravating behaviors, warning signs and treatment options.

If you have been experiencing either of these disorders, it's also important to know what rights you may have to worker's compensation.

Source: eMedicine Health, "Repetitive Motion Injuries," accessed Nov. 18, 2016

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