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Come to Southcoast Health with Sprains, Strains & Other Soft Tissue Injuries in MA & RI

If you’re an avid sports player, 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 tissues injuries in Fall River, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Wareham, MA and the surrounding areas.

Soft tissue injuries involve the muscles, tendons or ligaments. 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
  • Sprain — an injury to a ligament or joint capsule from overstretching
  • Strain —  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

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

Chronic injuries are the result of repeatedly using a joint or muscle without adequate rest in between use. Bursitis and tendinitis are chronic soft tissue injuries.

Symptoms

These are common symptoms of soft tissue injuries:

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

Soft Tissue Injury Treatment Options

For acute soft tissue injuries, the RICE protocol is an important part of treatment:

  • 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. For severe soft tissue injuries, you may need physical therapy to rehabilitate the muscle, tendon or ligament.

Chronic soft tissue injuries require a different treatment approach. This includes resting from the repetitive activity and taking anti-inflammatory medicines. Corticosteroid injections, splinting and range of motion exercises can also help. Sometimes, surgery is necessary to repair the injury. Talk to your doctor at Southcoast Health about your best treatment options.

Prevent Sprains, Strains & Injuries

Fortunately, many soft tissue injuries are preventable with strategies including:

  • Balancing strength training, cardiovascular exercise and flexibility
  • 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

Southcoast Health offers the specialty of many physician practices across southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island to help patients with sprains, strains and soft tissues injuries.