Soft tissue injuries are most commonly seen in sports, but they can happen to anyone during everyday activities. These injuries include the muscles, tendons, and ligaments anywhere in the body and most often present as sprains, strains, tendonitis, and contusions of the affected soft tissue. While these injuries don’t always require surgery, they do almost always come with lengthy recovery times.
Soft tissue injuries happen in two ways. The first type of soft tissue injury is an overuse injury. Overuse injuries are exactly what they sound like – injuries that occur from the area being used too much. Athletes often suffer these injuries from repeating the same motion over and over again during practices and games. The action is repeated so often that the body can’t heal between uses, which leads to tendonitis. The second type of soft tissue injury is known as an acute injury. These are injuries that occur suddenly from a fall, blow, or twist of the body that causes a sprain, strain, tear, or contusion.
Acute soft tissue injuries greatly vary in severity; some may require intensive therapy while others just need rest and rehabilitation to heal. Sprains, for instance, occur when a ligament is stretched or torn, but they typically don’t require surgery. Severe acute injuries often require the athlete to be placed in a brace while they undergo physical therapy to help rehabilitate the affected area.
Overuse soft tissue injuries typically occur in specific injuries for specific athletes. For example, runners are prone to overuse injuries in their feet while tennis players are more prone to overuse injuries in their arms and shoulders. Tendonitis occurs when the tendon of the affected area is inflamed and irritated by the same activities repeatedly. Many cases of tendonitis can be treated with rest and physical therapy to strengthen the area, while more severe or chronic cases may require surgery.
After you suffer from a soft tissue injury, our team of physicians and therapists are here to help design the treatment plan that’s right for you. Our goal for every patient is to get your injury healed as quickly and effectively as possible while teaching you how to avoid re-injury in the future. Modifications may need to be made to the frequency or intensity of your activities to prevent future soft tissue injuries. Stretches, cooldowns, and knowing when it’s time to rest are all things that our team will help you learn throughout your recovery process.