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What is a Cumulative Trauma Disorder?

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Question: What is a Cumulative Trauma Disorder?
Answer: A cumulative trauma disorder is a condition where a part of the body is injured by repeatedly overusing or causing trauma to that body part.

Trauma occurs when the body part is called on to work harder, stretch farther, impact more directly or otherwise function at a greater level then it is prepared for. The immediate impact may be minute, but when it occurs repeatedly the constant trauma cause damage.

The term cumulative trauma disorder identifies a large group of conditions that result from traumatizing the body in either a minute or major way over a period of time. It is the build up of trauma that causes the disorder.

These conditions are often focused on a joint and usually affect the muscle, bone, tendon or bursa of the joint. However other anatomical features and areas can be stressed and their response to that trauma can be an injury.

Some common examples of cumulative trauma disorders are:

The full list of what can be classified as a cumulative trauma disorder is quite extensive.

Other terms used interchangeably with Cumulative Trauma Disorder are:

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