The most common soft tissues injured are muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries often occur during sports and exercise activities, but sometimes simple everyday activities can cause an injury. Sprains, strains, and contusions, as well as tendinitis and bursitis, are common soft-tissue injuries. Soft-tissue injuries fall into two basic categories: acute injuries and overuse injuries.
• Acute injuries are caused by a sudden trauma, such as a fall, twist, or blow to the body. Examples of an acute injury include sprains, strains, and contusions.
• Overuse injuries occur gradually over time, when an athletic or other activity is repeated so often, areas of the body do not have enough time to heal between occurrences. Tendinitis and bursitis are common soft-tissue overuse injuries.
HOW IS STRAINS AND SPRAINS DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis of a muscle strain or joint sprain is usually made by history and physical examination. X-ray tests may be used to detect broken bones. CT scan or MRI are used to evaluate bone and can also help detect damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and other structures.
HOW IS STRAINS AND SPRAINS TREATED?
At first, treatment of both sprains and strains usually involves resting the injured area, icing it, wearing a bandage or device that compresses the area, and medicines. Later treatment might include exercise and physical therapy. Treatment may include:
• exercises, under the guidance of your doctor or other health professional, to promote healing, strength and flexibility
• manual techniques, such as mobilisation and massage
• pain-relieving medication (talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications, as they can sometimes disrupt the healing of soft tissue injuries)
• gradually introducing activities to back-to-normal levels.
DID YOU KNOW?
Strains and Sprains can limit physical ability until they heal.