Soft Tissue Injuries - Know The Common Types!
Written and reviewed by
MBBS, D (ORTHO), DNB (Orthopedics), MCH (Orthopedic), Spine Fellowship DePUY, Medtronics Spine Fellowship
Orthopedic Doctor, Delhi
There are two main categories into which soft tissue injuries fall into first is overuse and the second is acute.
- Acute injuries: These are brought on by unexpected trauma such as a twist, fall or a heavy blow. Strains, contusions and sprains are examples of acute injury.
- Overuse injuries: They happen gradually with time. Athletics experience this as they use specific areas of their bodies repeatedly, without giving them time to heal. Examples of soft tissue injuries due to overuse are bursitis and tendinitis.
Types of Overuse injuries
- Tendinitis:It is an irritation or inflammation of the tendon coverings (also known as a sheath). Repeated small stresses that agitate the tendon may cause it. Pain and swelling are typical symptoms that may worsen with overuse. Professional swimmers, baseball players, golfers and tennis players are more prone to their arms and shoulders being affected by tendinitis. Stress elimination, steroid injections, anti-inflammatory drugs and splinting can all be used in the treatment of tendinitis. The tendons might get significantly damaged due to persisting inflammation and corrective surgery may be required.
- Bursitis:Small sacs resembling jelly which are spread throughout the whole body are called bursa. These areas include the knees, the hip, heels, the elbow and the areas adjacent to the shoulders. They are located between soft tissues and bones and have small amounts of fluid to assist in reducing friction. An inflammation of the bursa is called bursitis. Tendinitis and bursitis are many –a- times experienced together.
Types of Acute injuries
- Contusion:Multiple blows or a direct one can cause a contusion. It is a bruise in which the underlying connective tissues and muscle fibres get crushed without a break in the skin. It may result from the body hitting a tough surface or from falling. The pooling of blood around the site of injury can cause a discoloration in the skin.
- Strain:An injury to the muscles or tendons leads to strain. Fibrous tissues that hold the bone and muscles together are called the tendons. They generally happen in the back, the feet or legs. It may be just a stretch in the tendons and muscles, or it might be a complete or partial tear in the tendon and muscle junction. Pain, muscle weakness, muscle spasm, cramping, inflammation and swelling are typical strain symptoms.
- Sprain: A tear or stretch in the ligament is called a sprain. Ligaments join the ends of bones together. They support and stabilize the joints of the body. For example, the knee ligaments connect the shinbone to the thighbone and this in turn facilitates running in athletes. The knees, wrists and ankles are the most susceptible to sprains.
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