Soft tissue injuries (STI's) vary in type and severity and by definition is an injury to a 'soft' structure such as muscles or tendons, ligament (join bone to bone), tendons (join muscle to bone), skin, joint capsule, fat, myofascial and other connective tissue. An injury to muscles or tendons such as a twisted ankle or sprained wrist leads to microtrauma, bleeding and swelling around the damaged tissue which causes pain. This pain encourages the body to 'rest' the affected area and whilst initially this is useful to aid healing, the consequence of this after a few days is muscle weakness and reduced movement from disuse. Usually, this is easily restored when the pain and swelling settle but sometimes it helps to have Physiotherapy, especially if you are keen to return to sport, as the evidence is that we can speed up the healing process and achieve a safer and speedy return to activity.
The early stage of a soft tissue injury is known as the acute phase of injury and is the first 48 – 72 hours post-injury
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are regularly used to accelerate the return of injured athletes suffering from acute soft tissue injuries to competition. Evidence demonstrates that while anti-inflammatory medication may speed recovery after acute soft tissue injuries, long-term healing may be compromised
is a type of bleed (haematoma) of tissue in which capillaries are damaged, causing bleeding into the surrounding tissues.
is damage to one or more ligaments in a joint, often caused by trauma or the joint being taken beyond its functional range of motion.
is an injury to a muscle in which the fibres tear as a result of overstretching. A strain is also known as a pulled muscle or torn muscle.
For the initial 48-72 hours after an STI, you should avoid HARM. This means that you should avoid:
PRICE is a mnemonic for the 5 elements used to treat soft tissue injuries.
After the initial 48 hour period gradually start to return to activity as pain allows. This will start to strengthen, return flexibility and resume normal balance (proprioception)
Physiotherapy treatments can speed up the rate of healing, this can depend upon the levels of soft tissue damage and ease the pain using treatments such as taping, acupuncture, ultrasound, microcurrent therapy, TENS, soft tissue and joint mobilisations. Advice on returning to normal activity is crucial in making an effective and efficient return to normal function
Most soft tissue injuries can take a few weeks to heal, this is dependent upon the severity of the sprain or strain as well as the general health of the patient.
Good habits can prevent soft tissue injuries which includes warming up, stretching and cooling down, gradually increasing in intensity and duration of training, wearing appropriate protective equipment such as shin pads, gum shields, appropriate footwear. Keeping well hydrated during, before and after periods of exertion.
Get in touch with Abbey Physiotherapy to book you in for our initial assessment of your conditions.
Abbey Physiotherapy Clinic is accredited to the Physical Therapy Association with treatments including patient education, exercise therapy working to develop specific exercise programs which improve mobilisation and improve your range of motion. If you think we can help you, why not contact us to enquire further or make an appointment. You can contact us by calling 024 7628 1133 or emailing us
Contact us at Abbey Physiotherapy, if you would like any support with the management of your condition.
Sports massage is a firm deep tissue massage therapy which is the most effective therapy for treating muscular pain, tension and for putting your body in balanceSports Massage
Joint mobilisation techniques focus on attaining a normal range of pain-free joint motion.Mobilisations
TENS is an abbreviation of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A Tens machine may assist in modest short-term pain relief. Ultrasound aids tissue healing for soft tissue injuriesElectrotherapy
the use of taping and strapping techniques to aid both the treatment and prevention of injurySports taping
Rehabilitation is the process to regain full function following injury. This involves restoring strength, flexibility, endurance and power and is achieved through various exercises and drillsExercise Rehabilitation
An exercise programme that aims to improve stabilisation and support to the spine. This is achieved by re-training specific trunk muscles, which may be under usedCore Strength
Treatment for a sports injury will depend on factors such as how severe the injury is and the part of your body affected.Sports Injuries
Upper back and neck pain can stop you in your tracks, making it difficult to go about your typical day.Back Pain
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.Strains and Sprains
A fracture is when a bone has been broken. A dislocation is where a bone has been displaced from its normal position at a joint.Fractures
Whiplash is a term that describes a neck injury caused by a sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards or sidewaysWhiplash Symptoms
A Headache is a pain in any region of the head. Headaches can occur on one or both sides of the head, or be isolated to a certain location. A headache may be a sharp pain, throbbing sensation or dull acheHeadaches
is a pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often owing to degeneration of an inter-vertebral disc.Sciatica
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with ageArthritis
a condition in which the prolonged performance of repetitive actions, typically with the hands, causes pain or impairment of function in the tendons and muscles involvedRSI