6 Types of Soft Tissue Injuries - IMPACT Physical Therapy

6 Types of Soft Tissue Injuries

physical therapist helping woman stretch her arm

Soft tissue injuries, which involve damage to ligaments, tendons, or muscles throughout the body, can cause a major disruption to everyday life for active and sedentary South Loop residents. These types of injuries can occur during sports, exercise, training, or even everyday activities. Being aware of soft tissue injuries of the knee and other types is one of the best ways to avoid them, and at IMPACT Physical Therapy, we aim to educate. Below, we will dive into the causes and specifics of six types of soft tissue injuries, so read on to learn more.

6 Common Soft Tissue Injuries

1. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Knee Injuries (ACL)

Commonly referred to as the ACL, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament enables the rotational stability of the knee joint by resisting the motion of the anterior tibial translation and internal tibial rotation. This ligament is commonly injured through jumping, landing, pivoting, or changing direction while engaging in sports or similar activities. Symptoms of an ACL injury can include severe pain, swelling, loss of range of motion in the area, and a feeling of instability. While surgical treatment is often necessary for repairing the ACL and other soft tissue injuries of the knee, our team of clinical therapists at IMPACT Physical Therapy in Chicago will work closely with your doctor to properly assess your injury and devise a treatment program for your needs. To provide optimal healing of a soft tissue tear in the knee or a related injury, the focus should be placed on strength, stability, range of motion, agility, proprioception (your perception of the position and movement of your body), and pain reduction. 

Check out our blog, 4 Tips to Prevent an ACL Injury.

2. Bursitis

Soft tissue injury is known as bursitis commonly impacts the bursae, small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles surrounding your joints. This painful condition may occur when the bursae become inflamed, typically affecting the bursae of the hips, elbows, and shoulders. Inflammation can arise due to repetitive motions and overuse, and symptoms may include an achy or stiff feeling and swelling in the affected area. Physical therapy treatment for bursitis includes techniques to reduce pain and swelling, and therapeutic exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles in order to prevent future injuries from occurring

3. Sprains

Sprains, the overuse or tearing of fibrous ligament tissues, are among the most common soft tissue injuries, affecting both athletes and non-athletes. While most individuals experiencing a sprain experience them within the ankle, sprains can affect several different areas of the body where this ligament tissue intersects between two bones. At IMPACT Physical Therapy, we offer our comprehensive Astym® therapy, assisting in the healing of hamstring, ankle, and elbow sprains. This comprehensive process involves the regeneration of healthy tissue and the reduction of scar tissue. In addition to Astym® therapy, sprains are most effectively resolved through the rest of the affected area, the use of ice, compression, and elevation. Our clinical therapists will assess the extent of your sprain and provide you with the best guidance and support needed to heal this soft tissue injury.

4. Tendinitis

Tendinitis, which is similar to bursitis, involves the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, or the fibrous cords that attach a muscle to a bone. This inflammatory condition commonly affects areas such as your shoulders, wrists, knees, and elbows. Common symptoms of tendinitis include a dull ache in the area, tenderness, or mild swelling. It is possible for tendinitis to occur suddenly, but most cases of this uncomfortable condition occur in people who regularly perform the same repetitive action. Tendinitis treatment is aimed towards reducing pain and inflammation, and physical therapy techniques designed to stretch and strengthen the muscle have proven to be an effective method of treatment.

5. Contusions

While the term ‘contusion’ may refer to the common bruise, individuals may additionally suffer from a small lump on the injured area and pain which accompanies the discoloration of the skin. Contusions are a type of hematoma, which may indicate a more serious injury to a ligament, tendon, or bone. If the contusion is mild, a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation will promote healing, but more severe contusions that affect more than just the surface of the skin may require treatment by a physical therapist.

6. Concussions

As concussions notably impact brain tissue and often result in damage to brain function, they are considered soft tissue injuries. Though there are many causes of concussions, this soft tissue injury most commonly affects athletes or individuals involved in contact sports, such as football and boxing. Concussions require evaluation by a healthcare professional so the proper precautions and treatment steps can be taken. Those suffering from a concussion would most benefit from our comprehensive Concussion Rehab, wherein our trained therapists assess the cardiovascular, neurological, and orthopedic effects of your concussion.

Find Soft Tissue Injury Treatment Near You

Don’t let a soft tissue injury slow you down! At IMPACT Physical Therapy, we will work with you to address and treat your soft tissue injury so you can get back to feeling your best. Our dedicated clinicians can effectively treat a variety of soft tissue injuries, and we also provide many other physical therapy and performance services to our extensive clientele. Contact us at one of our seven Illinois locations to learn more about treating your soft tissue injury today!