Living with occupational overuse syndrome : a phenomenological study : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Massey University
The Author
The incidence of Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) has been increasing significantly in industrialised countries since the late 1970s. Research is revealing more about its causes, and the physiological and anatomical nature of the condition. However, little research has been done into the experience of the person with OOS as they work towards recovery. In the current study thirteen people with OOS were interviewed. An interpretive phenomenological approach was used, with the aim of gaining insights into the lived experience of OOS. Findings suggest that the experience of OOS is essentially paradoxical in nature. It comprises of four main processes - 'Coming to terms with an OOS diagnosis', 'Seeking a treatment that works', 'Trying to do the right thing' and 'Learning to co-exist positively with OOS'. These processes occur concurrently and there are many inter-relationships between them. Each of these processes involves a major paradox that the person with OOS must attempt to resolve. These all involve, in one form or another, the fundamental paradox for the OOS sufferer, that of finding a healthy balance between keeping tight control and letting go - between 'working hard at getting better' and 'releasing into relaxation, acceptance and attitude change'. Implications for therapy and future research arising from these findings are suggested.
Overuse injuries