What Is A Soft Tissue Injury?

A soft tissue injury is an injury that affects the muscles, tendons, or ligaments. While many of these conditions heal on their own within a few weeks, others need intensive, long-term care. Examples include sprains or strains.

If you suffered a soft tissue injury, chiropractic care could better your condition. You could benefit from spinal manipulation, deep-tissue massage, and a host of other treatments. Specific Care Chiropractic offers these treatments and more. Call (239) 369-9109 to learn more.

Examples of Soft Tissue Injuries

Strains and sprains are just two examples of soft tissue injuries. Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, other examples include:

  • Contusions (bruises). A bruised muscle, tendon, or ligament can cause swelling, discoloration, and discomfort. A professional may apply ice to the afflicted area to reduce inflammation.
  • Tendonitis. Tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bone. Tendonitis is when those tissues get inflamed.
  • Repetitive stress injuries. Some people perform the same tasks over and over as part of their jobs. For instance, an assembly line worker may suffer shoulder pain after repeatedly assembling a machine.
  • Bursitis. This condition is when the bursa (fluid-filled sacs between certain tissues) gets inflamed. It arises from overuse or infections.
  • Whiplash. Whiplash is when a sudden force makes the neck snap back and forth like the cracking of a whip. This injury commonly arises from rear-end collisions. BMC Public Health notes that while some people with this condition find relief after a few weeks, others struggle for years.

What Causes Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft tissue injuries can happen at any time, at any place. Merck Manuals report that seniors over the age of 65 are most likely to suffer soft tissue injuries because they may struggle with balance and coordination.

Some specific causes of soft tissue injuries include:

  • Traffic accidents. Mayo Clinic notes that motor vehicle collisions are the most common cause of whiplash. The force of impact can stretch the muscles in the neck and cause pain, numbness, and discomfort.
  • Contact sports. Soft tissue injuries are common in some contact sports, like football and hockey.
  • Falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that falls can cause contusions, sprains, and other ailments.

Patients can suffer soft tissue injuries as a result of assault or another forceful physical contact.

What Should I Do After a Suffering a Soft Tissue Injury?

After suffering a soft tissue injury, you should visit a healthcare provider. This may include visiting your family physician or an urgent care center. Then, in addition to adhering to your treatment plan, you should:

  • Limit your physical activity
  • Ice the affected area
  • Partake in stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Compress the affected area

Your doctor can offer more insight into what you should (and shouldn’t do) after suffering a soft tissue injury.

Treatments for a Soft Tissue Injury

If you suffered a soft tissue injury, a healthcare professional can assess your condition and outline a treatment plan that benefits your condition. They will base your regimen based on your age, injury’s severity, and condition’s cause.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Medications. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling. They may also prescribe pain relief medications to address your discomfort.
  • Stretching exercises. Most people with soft tissue injuries wouldn’t dream of stretching the affected area. Yet, with the guidance of a skilled chiropractor, one can undergo these therapies and increase their range of motion.
  • Rest. You can’t walk off certain types of soft tissue injuries. Your doctor may recommend immobilizing the afflicted area or applying a hot/cold compress to promote recovery.
  • Chiropractic adjustments. Here, a chiropractor applies controlled force to the problem area, seeking to reduce pain, promote mobility, and alleviate discomfort.

A Healthcare Professional Can Help You Prevent Reinjury

Once someone experiences a soft tissue injury, they’re more likely to experience reinjury. This means that one could suffer from the same soft tissue injury on and off again for several months. Nobody wants to deal with this, so your doctor may offer some considerations to prevent reinjury, such as:

  • Taking time off work. If you work a physically demanding job, like in construction, taking time to heal could promote your recovery period and reduce the chance of reinjury.
  • Taking medications as prescribed. It’s vital that you take all pain relief medications as prescribed. If you abuse these substances, you’re more likely to suffer reinjury while under the influence.
  • Wearing assistive devices. Your doctor may recommend wearing braces and relying on assistive devices to ease your mobility.

Depending on your situation, your doctor may also suggest making some lifestyle changes. For instance, obese individuals are more likely to suffer certain injuries. By shedding a few pounds, you could reduce the weight of your body on your muscles, bones, and tendons.

What Can You Expect While Seeking Treatment for a Soft Tissue Injury?

When you visit a healthcare professional following a soft tissue injury, they’ll start by diagnosing your condition. It may involve taking ultrasounds and other imaging scans. They may also palpitate the affected area, checking for stiffness, bruises, and any other irregularities.

From there, you could progress through these phases:

  • The acute phase. Here, your doctor aims to address your pain and discomfort. This may involve chiropractic adjustments and light stretches.
  • The rehab phase. Once you’ve overcome your initial pain, your doctor may recommend various therapies to build muscle and regain your full range of motion.
  • The strengthening phase. At this point, you’ll feel better or the same as you did before suffering a soft tissue injury. Your treatment plan may comprise final corrective adjustments, workouts, and stretches.

After completing the strengthening phase, your doctor may deem that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, meaning you’ve healed as much as your body will allow.

Schedule an Appointment With Specific Care Chiropractic

Specific Care Chiropractic helps patients regain their lives after suffering a soft tissue injury. Whether you suffered injuries in a fall, collision, or another incident, we can help you reach maximum medical improvement. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (239) 369-9109. We want to help you travel the road to wellness today.