What is a Soft Tissue Injury?
A soft tissue injury (STI) is damage to the body’s connective tissues, which can include muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Soft tissue injuries can be caused in a variety of ways. Trauma, such as a fall or car accident, can cause tears and bruises to the tissues. Overuse, as seen in sports injuries, can also lead to tears and inflammation. Infection or autoimmune diseases can also cause damage to the soft tissues. These injuries are common in athletes and people who are frequently physically active.
Common Soft Tissue Injuries:
Contusions (bruises) – A type of hematoma that can occur due to a blunt force injury to the body. This can occur from an impact such as a fall or being hit with an object. The severity of a contusion depends on how much damage has been done to the tissue beneath the skin.
Tendonitis – A condition in which the tendons in your body become inflamed. Tendonitis most commonly affects the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and ankle. It can be caused by overuse of the affected muscle, or by an injury to the tendon.
Bursitis – Bursitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the bursa, a small, fluid-filled sac that sits between the bone and skin. When the bursa becomes inflamed, it can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area.
Sprains/ Strains – A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is a band of tissue that connects two bones. A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon, which is a band of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Symptoms of sprains and strains vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, bruising, and stiffness.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms often vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Common symptoms that people encounter include:
- Restricted movement or range of motion
- Muscle cramping or spasms
Is a visit to Nebraska Orthopaedic Center necessary? In some cases, it may be. Here are a few ways you can tell:
- You can’t put weight on the injured area
- The area is deformed
- You heard a pop or crack when the injury occurred
- The bone around the injury is painful
- Neurological issues like numbness or pins and needles are present
What does treatment look like?
Treatment for a soft tissue injury will vary depending on the severity of the injury and the body part that is affected. Common treatments include ice, compression, and elevation (ICE), as well as pain medication and physical therapy. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and do not push yourself too hard when you are recovering from a soft tissue injury. Taking it easy for a few weeks may help you heal faster and reduce the risk of further injury. With the right treatment, most soft tissue injuries will heal within a few weeks. However, it is important to seek medical attention if you are injured, in order to receive the best possible care. Ignoring an injury can lead to further damage and may require more extensive treatment.