Occupational overuse syndrome treatment

click to enlarge images

In these drawings, red signifies the location of the ache. The crosses are the the tense muscle areas (triggerpoints). These are painful at touch. By releasing these tense muscle areas (Triggerpoint Treatment) , the ache stops.

This is only an example of a few muscle . You have many more muscles like that.

How to prevent Occupational Overuse Syndrome (714kb pdf).

What we do


Physical Sense specialises in the treatment of soft tissue injuries that are in most cases triggered by either, repetitive tasks, tasks that require prolonged static muscle contraction, or tasks that require prolonged constrained postures.

These injuries are recognised as being caused by a combination of poor work site ergonomics, poor working posture, high stress levels and repetitive work tasks.

The treatment provided at the clinic is therefore aimed at addressing all of these factors using the following three strategies:


  • Give attention to the mechanism of injury.
  • Make the area less injury prone by ensuring a good energy (blood, lymph, nerve) flow
  • towards it.
  • Treat the existing pain (Triggerpoint Treatment).


When you complete your treatment we hope to have achieved the following:

You will;

  • have a good understanding of what OOS is,
  • have a good understanding of optimum posture at work,
  • have developed good work habits including the use of micro pauses and breaks,
  • know all the appropriate muscle stretches,
  • know all the appropriate neural stretches,
  • have a strengthening exercise and fitness plan,
  • have a good ability to relax,
  • have access to other professional help where needed (worksite assessment, home assessment, vocational skills training etc),
  • leave the clinic with a personal self help action plan,
  • is either free of pain or has a significant decrease in pain with confidence in their ability to manage their condition

What causes OOS?

The Department of Labour states:

“One of the favourable explanations for OOS is that it is caused by muscles being held tense or tight for too long. ’’

The shorter and tenser the muscle, the harder it pulls on the places it attaches to (e.g. the bone). When this happens in the forearm the pull at those attachments and tendons causes irritation and inflammation of those areas. This will be noticed as pain in the elbow and wrist. When this happens in the neck and shoulder area, it will be noticed as local pain, stiffness and sometimes headaches. The nerves run right through the muscles. Tension on the muscles causes pressure on the nerves.

As the muscles shorten, the nerves running through them have a tendency to shorten as well. This causes the nerves to radiate pain throughout the arm.

Triggerpoints are areas in your muscles, where a few muscle fibres have contracted in a knot. These knots (the hard and painful areas in your muscles felt during massage) weaken and shorten your muscles and can cause referred pain.

These triggerpoints are your muscle’s reaction to continuous irritation. In most cases, there are multiple causes for this irritation. These could be: _ repeated actions without breaks; constant static posture resulting in constant muscle contraction; lack of healthy blood flow; bad posture resulting in continuous high loading of some muscles, etc. As you can see, your thumb pain can originate in your neck. Pain in your little finger or forearm can originate in your chest. This is the reason that your therapist may treat an area, other than where you are experiencing pain.