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Trust Southcoast Health to Treat Sprains, Strains & Other Soft Tissue Injuries in MA & RI

If you’re an avid athlete, runner, or walker, you know how easy it can be to strain or sprain a part of your body. Southcoast Health is proud to offer effective prevention and treatment techniques for patients with soft tissue injuries, so you can get back to playing the sport you love before you know it.

What are Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft tissue injuries involve the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of various areas of the body. Common soft tissue injuries include:

  • Bursitis — inflammation of a bursa (sacs that surround joints) due to overuse or repeated stress
  • Contusion — a muscle bruise that results from a direct blow
  • Muscle Sprains — an injury to a ligament or joint capsule from overstretching
  • Muscle Strains —  traumatic stretching or tear to a muscle, tendon, or a connected group of muscles and tendons
  • Tendinitis — inflammation or irritation of a tendon (or the sheath covering it) from overuse or repeated stress

Risk Factors for Sprains & Strains

Soft tissue injuries can result from both acute and chronic causes.. Acute injuries are due to sudden trauma, such as falling, slipping, twisting, or sustaining a blow. Bruises, sprains, and strains are considered acute soft tissue injuries.

Chronic injuries are the result of repeatedly using a joint or muscle without adequate rest in between periods of use. Bursitis and tendinitis are chronic soft tissue injuries. These types of injuries can be debilitating over a long period of time.

Common Symptoms of Soft Tissue Injuries

Any athlete should be able to recognize the symptoms of a soft tissue injury. Doing so will allow you to seek treatment before the injury worsens and forces you to spend time away from your sport. Be sure to contact a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms, because they may indicate a soft tissue injury:

  • A lump or knot at the site of the injury
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Joint instability
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle cramping or spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Visible bruising

Treating a Soft Tissue Injury with Help from Southcoast Health

Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment

For acute soft tissue injuries, the RICE protocol is an effective method of treatment. Your doctor at Southcoast Health will walk you through the proper procedure, but this method usually goes as follows:

  • Rest
  • Ice using cold packs for 20 minutes at a time
  • Compression with an ace wrap
  • Elevation above the level of the heart

Your doctor may also recommend anti-inflammatory medicine to speed up pain relief. For severe soft tissue injuries, physical therapy may be required to rehabilitate the muscle, tendon, or ligament.

Chronic Soft Tissue Injury Treatment

Chronic soft tissue injuries require a different treatment approach. This often includes resting from the repetitive activity and taking anti-inflammatory medicines as needed. Corticosteroid injections, splinting, and range of motion exercises can also help treat your injury. Sometimes, surgery is necessary to repair the damaged area. At Southcoast Health, we will work to determine the most ideal and effective treatment option for you.

How To Prevent Sprains, Strains, & Soft Tissue Injuries

Although soft tissue injuries can be very painful and disruptive to your schedule as an athlete, many soft tissue injuries are fortunately preventable. Adhering to the following strategies will help keep your body at the top of its game:

  • Balancing strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility exercises
  • Cross-training with a variety of activities
  • Scheduling periods of rest and time off from physical activity
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking the time to adequately warm up before activities and cool down afterward
  • Using the right equipment with the proper fit

Find Relief from Soft Tissue Sports Injuries in MA & RI with Southcoast Health

Athletes and others who are subject to sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries can count on Southcoast Health to provide comprehensive care and effective relief. Our variety of physician practices across southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island focus on all manner of injuries, and our sports medicine services are specifically tailored towards helping athletes function at their highest level all year long. We will work with you to treat your injury and help you prevent others from occurring in the future. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.