A soft tissue injury occurs due to overuse of ligaments, muscles or tendons. Most cases of soft tissue injuries occur due to uncontrolled or unexpected movement. A Certain example of the same includes awkward stepping of foot and getting the ankles rolled. Soft tissue injury can also happen from overuse of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The example of the same includes using the same hand for heavy lifting day after day. Certain soft structures of the body that are prone to injuries are Achilles tendons and calf muscle.
Difference Between a Sprain and a Strain:
A strain is defined as a trauma that occurs to the tendons or muscles because of overstretching. Tendons are soft in nature and are responsible tying the muscle and the bone together. Sprain, on the other hand, are trauma caused due to overstretching of the ligaments. There exist 3 severity levels: grade 1 is mild tenderness and minimal stretching of the soft tissue, grade 2 is a tear of fiber resulting in swelling and moderate pain, grade 3 is a rupture of the soft tissue resulting in sharp pain, deep swelling and immobility of the affected area.
Immediately after the injury, certain things such as total rest and immobility should be ensured, an ice pack should be applied to the structure, compression, and elevation should be ensured in order to avoid any major damage to the soft tissue. Certain things that hamper the healing process immediately after the injury include applying heat to the injured area, consumption of liquor, exercising or running with an injured condition and massaging the injured area.
Physiotherapy For Soft Tissue Injury:
Pain Relief: The first task for a physician is to ensure that the level of pain comes down. Although this is the primary task of a medical practitioner, physiotherapists ensure that the pain does not aggravate to an unbearable level. They recommend certain movements and advice against some movements which could do harm to the injured structure.
Full Structure Movement: The immediate goal of a physiotherapist is to ensure that the full movement of the injured structure is regained at the earliest. This includes identifying abnormalities, verifying the range of motion and suggests corrective exercises ensure that the full movement of the soft tissue can be regained without having to go through the hassle of a surgery.
Muscle Strengthening: While the injured structure is in the process of healing, physiotherapists ensure that the surrounding muscles support the tendon and the ligament by binding well. This is done by suggesting very individualistic exercise for the muscle to hold up. It also negates the possibility of a recurring injury at the same place.