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Understanding Stress injuries, Strains, Sprains and other Soft-Tissue Injuries

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

What are soft-tissue injuries?

Most activities could lead to soft-tissue damage of the ligaments, muscles, and tendons. This could result in bruising, swelling, and pain. Soft-tissue injuries are usually classified as follows:

  • Tendonitis

  • Bruises (contusions)

  • Sprains

  • Stress injuries

  • Strains

  • Bursitis

Both Non-athletes and Athletes share many similar soft-tissue injuries.

What is tendonitis?

Tendonitis refers to the inflammation of the tendon, a flexible band of tissue connecting muscle with bones. Tendonitis is often the result of an overuse injury in the affected area because of repetitive motion. Areas commonly affected include the wrist, elbow, knee, hand, shoulder, hip, foot, and ankle. Tendonitis is often named after the movement or sport that triggers the inflammation, such as jumper's knee, swimmer's shoulder, and tennis or golfer's elbow.

Treatment includes trying to heal the inflamed area with compression, rest, anti-inflammatory medicine, and elevation. Ice could also be used immediately after the injury. Gradually strengthening and stretching exercises can be added to help prevent further injury. Steroid injections could be utilised for some types of tendonitis if chronic pain continues. If a tendon has been torn completely, surgery may be required.

What is a bruise?

A bruise refers to an injury to the soft tissue. It's often the result of blunt force, such as a blow, fall or kick. These injuries result in pain, discoloration, and swelling because of bleeding into the tissue. Treatment recommended for bruises involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.). Bruises that are more serious may need to be examined by a doctor.

What is a sprain?

A sprain refers to a partial tear to a ligament. It's generally caused by a twist or a wrench. Sprains usually affect the wrists, ankles, or knees. The treatment for a sprain involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.). Surgical repair may be needed if the ligament is completely torn.

What is a stress fracture?

A stress fracture refers to a small crack in a bone. It usually occurs in the weight-bearing bones of the hips, feet and legs. They are generally caused by increase in physical activity and overuse. Initially, treatment involves discontinuing the activity that caused the fracture in the first place, ice, elevation and anti-inflammatory medicine. Continued treatment involves resting, shoe inserts or braces, decreasing weight-bearing on the affected area, and in a few cases, a cast. If the crack in the bone eventually progresses to a complete break, surgery may be needed.

What is a strain?

A strain is an injury to a tendon or muscle, and is usually caused by overuse, stretching, or force. The treatment recommended for a strain is usually just rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E). If a tear in the tendon or muscle happens, surgical repair may be required.

What is bursitis?

Bursitis refers to the inflammation of the bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that acts like a cushion between bones and tendons or muscles. Similar to tendonitis, bursitis is usually the result of an overuse injury, but could also be caused by direct injury to a joint. Bursitis generally affects the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and foot.

Treatment includes resting, elevation, compression and anti-inflammatory medicine. Ice could be used as soon as you're injured, to reduce swelling. Injections may be required if swelling and pain persist. If the bursitis is the result of an infection, your orthopaedist may prescribe antibiotics. Surgery is usually not needed.

If you’re searching for an orthopedist in Bangalore for consultation, diagnosis and treatment with respect to your pain issues in a single or multiple places of your body like: your hamstring, elbow, knee, ankle, shoulder, hand, hip, neck or back, you can get in touch with 1 Health Medical Center. Our expert Orthopedist will make all the observations required, recommend the right tests, and finally make use of the test results to arrive at a treatment plan which will help you mitigate the problem.


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