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Health Library : Spine, Shoulder, and Pelvis Disorders

 

Soft-Tissue Injuries

What are soft-tissue injuries?

Many activities can lead to soft-tissue damage of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The result can be pain, swelling, bruising, and damage. Soft-tissue injuries are classified as the following:

  • contusions (bruises)
  • sprains
  • tendonitis
  • bursitis
  • stress injuries 
  • strains

Athletes and non-athletes share many similar soft-tissue injuries.

What is a contusion?

A contusion (bruise) is an injury to the soft tissue often produced by a blunt force such as a kick, fall, or blow. The result will be pain, swelling, and discoloration. Treatment for contusions includes Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (R.I.C.E.). More serious contusions may need to be examined by a physician.

What is a sprain?

Illustration demonstrating the three ligaments involved in ankle sprains/strains
Click Image to Enlarge

A sprain is an injury to a ligament and is often caused by a wrench or twist. Sprains often affect the ankles, knees, or wrists. The treatment for a sprain includes Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (R.I.C.E.). If the ligament is torn, surgical repair may be necessary.

What is a strain?

A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon, and is often caused by overuse, force, or stretching. The treatment for a strain is Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (R.I.C.E). If a tear in the muscle occurs, surgical repair may be necessary.

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