Soft tissue injuries are common, especially in athletes and people who lead an active lifestyle. Most soft tissue injuries result from sudden uncontrolled movements. They can also result from overuse or chronically fatigued structure like muscles and tendons.
Soft tissues surround, connect, and support other structures and organs in the body. These tissues include tendons, muscles, ligaments, synovial membrane, and blood vessels.
Soft tissue injury pain can be debilitating, and you may also experience swelling and bruising.
Common Soft Tissue Injuries
We can classify soft tissue injuries into;
The contusions result from a blunt force like a kick or fall. As a result, you will notice discoloration and swelling and experience pain at the site of injury.
A sprain is a partial tear of ligaments when a joint stretches beyond the normal limit.
The strains occur due to muscles overstretching or contracting too quickly.
They are minor fractures that affect the legs and hips due to excess weight bearing.
The tendons are thick fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. Overuse or injury to these tissues can cause tendonitis.
The bursitis is a painful condition that affects fluid-filled sacs that cushion tendons, bones, and muscles near joints.
Risk Factors of Soft Tissue Injuries
The common risk factors for soft tissue injuries are overuse, being overweight, and injuries. Soft tissue injuries can be acute or chronic.
Acute injuries include injuries sustained after a fall, twist, or blow. Examples are sprains, strains, and bruises.
Chronic soft tissue injuries are those resulting from muscle and joint overuse, such as bursitis and tendinitis
Common Symptoms of Soft Tissue Injuries
- Lump at the site of injury
- Joint instability
- Loss of weight-bearing ability
- Muscle weakness
Management of Soft Tissue Injuries
Different management options depend on whether the injury is acute or chronic. Here are ways to manage soft tissue injuries;
1. Use RICE Protocol
Apply the RICE Protocol to manage acute soft injury pain. RICE stands for;
Rest:- do as little as possible for 48-72 hours after injury to avoid straining the injured part.
Ice:- apply ice to the injury site for about 15 minutes every 2-3 hours. Ensure you cover your ice with a cloth to avoid cold burns.
Compression:- use a well-fitting and not too tight to compress the injured area.
Elevation:- elevate the injured area to reduce swelling.
Having physiotherapy sessions with professional and experienced physiotherapists promotes rapid healing and reduces further injury.
For exercises like stretching exercises help strengthen your muscles and alleviate pain.
4. Pain medication
For mild pain, use over-the-counter pain relief medications. If your pain is chronic, your doctor will prescribe the best medication to manage pain and reduce inflammation.
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