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Soft Tissue Injuries

soft tissues injures types and treatment

Everyday activities, sports, or exercise can sometimes lead to many types of injuries to the soft tissues of our body such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These injuries are called soft tissue injuries.

These can include sprain, strain, contusions, tendonitis, or bursitis. Even though these may not be a serious ailment but it can surely be very painful and can take a long time to heal.


Soft tissue injury can be divided into two main categories as below.


Acute injuries

Acute injuries can occur with simple day to day activities or a trauma such as a fall, blow or twist to the body. These acute injuries may lead to strain, sprain, or contusions.


Overuse injuries

Certain exercise or sports activities that are carried out on a repeated basis where muscles or tendons do not have enough time to heal can lead to overuse injuries such as tendinitis or bursitis.



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Types of Soft Tissue Injuries


Strain and Sprain

Sprains are common types of soft tissue injuries caused by a partial or complete tear of ligaments that connects the two joints of the body. Specifically, ankles, wrists, and knees are therefore most prone to sprain.

A Sprain can be divided into mild, moderate, and severe depending on the degree of damage to the ligament.

Bruising, swelling, and inflammation are the most common symptoms of ligament sprain while twisting force to the body being the most common cause.

Thus, the use of ice packs, rest, and compression by a bandage can help cure the pain in most cases but severe cases of ligament tear may need surgery to heal.

Figure: Ankle Sprain due to the twisting force to the ligament


Contusions

These are the injuries that are caused by blunt force such as kick, fall, or blow to the body resulting in the swelling, inflammation, or discoloration of the skin due to internal bleeding.

Contusions are commonly called bruises and can also be caused by falling or jamming of body parts between hard surfaces.



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Tendinitis

It is one of the most common types of overuse injuries to the soft tissue where the inflammation or irritation of tendons is observed.

It is mostly observed in athletes, such as baseball players, golfers, swimmers, and tennis players, runners, soccer players, and basketball players.

Remedial measures include rest, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, and proper physiotherapy.


Bursitis

This is an inflammation of a fluid-filled sac called (bursae) present between the bones and soft tissues throughout the body including knees, shoulders, elbow, hips, and heels.

Bursae (jelly-like sacs) mitigate the friction between bones and soft tissues and act as cushions between them.

But sometimes overuse, other stresses, and infections can make them swell causing bursitis. 



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References: 

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Orthoinfo newsletter,
Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries, Disease, and conditions

John Hopkins University (2020), Medicine and Health, Newsletter

By Clinic One Team
19 | 07 | 2020



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