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Understanding Soft Tissue Injuries

How they occur and how to treat them

Posted by Dr. Leonard J. Kielbasa, DC, CCSP, Cert. MDT, CFSC, FMSC

Soft tissue injuries are common in sports related injuries. Here is an explanation of how soft tissue injuries can occur and how they can affect your ability to function and impede your performance:

  1. Acute Conditions: pulls, tears, crush injuries

  2. Repetitive Stress: accumulations of small tears over time (micro-trauma)

  3. Posture: Your body's response to bad posture and stresses that occur over time directly related to the way one holds their body, and the body's response to it

Each of these can cause the body to produce scar tissue. Scar tissue is a tough, dense network of collagen fibers that develops to repair/protect the area that has been injured. Excess scar tissue can prevent the muscles and other structures from working properly, which can lead to changes in normal movement, muscle shortening and weakness, misalignment of bones, and even disruption of the movement/structures in the surrounding areas. A compromised muscle, or muscles, not only places more tension on the tendons that attach muscle to bone, which can cause tendonitis/tendonosis, but can irritate nerves that pass though or supply the muscle. This injury process can cause the following symptoms:

  • Loss of range of motion

  • Loss of strength

  • Aching, pain, tingling, numbness

  • Swelling

  • Spreading of symptoms if untreated

  • Further injury

Given the progression of soft tissue injuries, it is best to have your condition assessed and treated at the onset of symptoms as delaying treatment can have significant negative impacts to your health and your ability to participate in your sport! Contact us today for more information about our Sports Medicine program.