Soft Tissue Injury

Soft tissue injuries involve damage to any of the body’s soft tissues, including ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Such injuries often occur as a result of participation in sports or other physical fitness activities; however, they also can occur during normal, everyday activities. Common soft-tissue injuries include sprains, strains, contusions, tendonitis, bursitis, or stress injuries. While the cause of a soft tissue injury often is traumatic in nature (i.e., a sudden fall, twist, or blow), it also can be related to overuse. Pain, swelling, and bruising are typical symptoms of soft tissue injuries. These types of injuries often are categorized according to the time frame since the injury. Phases of soft tissue injuries include the acute (protection) phase, the sub-acute (repair) phase, the late stage (remodelling) phase, and the chronic (ongoing repair and remodelling) phase. Athletes, in particular, should pay careful attention to warning signs of potential injury, which include pain and fatigue. Conditions that may make people more susceptible to soft tissue injuries include poor muscle balance or flexibility, soft tissue weakness, and lingering issues from previous injuries. Reinjury to soft tissue structures often leads to a prolonged healing period. Treatment of soft tissue injuries will vary depending on the type and degree of the condition and may involve rest, application of ice or compression devices, a physical therapy program, and administration of anti-inflammatory medications.