Cumulative Trauma Disorder Overview

Cumulative trauma disorder occurs when repetitious actions cause pain in the tendons and muscles. This blog will share fascinating insights on the types, symptoms, and various treatment options for CTD.


  • Cumulative trauma disorder occurs due to repetitive activities. It causes pain in muscles, tendons, nerves, and joints.
  • Some of the most common symptoms of CTD are tingling/numbness, stiffness. Throbbing pain, tenderness, weakness, and cramps are also among them.
  • If you are experiencing CTD due to repetitive activity, you need to change your lifestyle or working environment.
  • Most common repetitive strain injuries include;
    1. Carpal tunnel syndrome
    2. Epicondylitis
    3. Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Your healthcare provider may advise on posture, stretches, or exercises to help strengthen your muscles.

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Cumulative Trauma Disorder

Overuse syndrome, also known as Repetitive strain injury refers to the damage to a part of the musculoskeletal or neurological system. It occurs due to repeated working, vibrations, compression, or prolonged sitting. CTD describes the pain of muscles, tendons, tendon sheaths, nerves, and joints caused by excessive and vigorous use.

This condition occurs most frequently in people with computers or repetitive manual labor. It often affects the upper part of the body, including the neck, wrists, shoulder, elbow, and forearm.

Types of Cumulative trauma disorder

Some of the most common repetitive strain injuries include:

1. Carpal tunnel syndrome
2. Tenosynovitis
3. Bursitis
4. Epicondylitis
5. Rotator cuff tendonitis
6. Tennis elbow
7. Thoracic outlet syndrome

Specific tasks or activities increase the risk of having CTD. These activities include poor posture, high-intensity movements without rest. Stress, as well as Tasks performed in an uncomfortable position, also plays a significant role in Cumulative trauma disorder.

Symptoms of Cumulative Trauma Disorder

The symptoms of CTD usually develop gradually and range from mild to severe. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Tingling or numbness
  • Stiffness
  • Throbbing pain, aching, or tenderness
  • Weakness
  • Cramp

At the start, you might experience the symptoms only while performing specific activities. But if you don’t get the treatment timely, its symptoms may become constant resulting in pain for a more extended period. You may also encounter swelling in the affected area, which can last for several months.

How to prevent Repetitive Strain Injury

You should consider the following tips to prevent RSI.

1. Lifestyle Changes

If you are experiencing RSI due to repetitive activity at work, you need to talk to your employer immediately. Request them to change your responsibilities that will accommodate to ease the symptoms.
Minor changes to your lifestyle and working environment can usually help. If it’s not possible to completely avoid the activities causing damage, take regular and short breaks for stretching. Additionally, it is also crucial to get advice from an occupational health representative on setting up your workflow.

2. Exercise

Exercises and movements help your body heal much faster from strain and injury than lying in bed.
If you do not exercise regularly, the body heals slower; as a result, strains from repeatedly performing a task are more likely to occur.
It is considered one of the primary reasons why chronic muscle pain, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel are more common in modern society.
People with symptoms of RSI stated that their symptoms were reduced by including exercise in their daily routine. Additionally, you are more prone to be affected with Cumulative trauma disorder. You might heal less efficiently from CTD if you don’t stay fit.


1. Medication

If you have been diagnosed with CTD, your healthcare provider may recommend medications. These medications include paracetamol, or short-term use of anti-inflammatory medicines, e.g., ibuprofen.
If you are experiencing severe CTD symptoms, you can try taking antidepressants and NSAIDs.

2. Physiotherapy and Steroid Injections

Your doctor may advise you on posture and stretches or exercises to help strengthen or relax your muscles. They may also recommend steroid injections for reducing inflammation in the affected areas.

3. Surgery

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome and other treatment options failed to provide you any relief, the last available option is surgery. Specialized doctors perform surgery for correcting specific problems associated with nerves or tendons.

4. Physical and Complementary Therapies

Several types of complementary therapies as well as relaxation techniques help soothe the pain. Yoga, acupuncture, and the alexander technique are proven helpful to ease CTD symptoms.

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We are confident that our remedies, as mentioned above, will ease your pain from Cumulative trauma disorder. But if none of them work, don’t hesitate to Consult our board-certified team of specialists. At Complete Medical Wellness we ensure a reliable treatment and diagnosis.

Call Now AT : (877)-241-2772

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