There are numerous types of soft tissue injuries that many of us suffer with at some point in time whether this is through a normal, daily activity, a sporting injury or maybe even a work injury. Sports and Remedial massage is one of the best treatments for these types of injuries and the benefits can be great at getting you back to full fitness.
One common injury is a muscular strain which will most likely occur when a muscle or muscle group is overstretched and a tear occurs in the muscle fibres as a result of this. There are varying degrees of muscle tears; a Grade 1 tear is where up to 5% of a muscle’s fibres are torn which will cause some discomfort to the area but should have healed fully within 2 or 3 weeks. A Grade 2 tear is where up to 50% of muscle fibres tear causing a more intense pain with some swelling and bruising as well as some loss of movement and should repair within 3 to 6 weeks depending on the severity. A Grade 3 tear is a major tear to a muscle or a complete rupture ranging from 50% to 100% of muscle fibres torn. A lot of pain will be felt and often a popping or snapping sound may be heard where the tear occurred as well as ineffective movement in the damaged area, bruising, and swelling and because a muscle contracts when it is torn, a groove can be seen where it has gathered at one end.
Another common injury is a sprain, most likely to occur at the ankle or wrist. A sprain is a tear of a ligament which attach bone to bone as opposed to a muscle and also comes in 3 grades of severity very similar to a muscle strain. A Grade 1 strain is a slight tear in the ligament causing pain and inflammation in the area and will take 1 or 2 weeks to repair. A Grade 2 sprain is a more severe ligament tear causing heightened swelling, pain and loss of movement, taking 4 to 6 weeks to repair. A Grade 3 sprain can be a severe tear or full rupture of the ligament usually causing huge instability to the area, intense pain and swelling taking up to 3 months to fully repair.
Tendonitis can be a severe soft tissue injury as the same area can be affected several times over a long period. It is where a tendon connecting muscle to bone becomes irritated through repetitive use and causes inflammation to the tendon which will inhibit movement and cause a constant pain. It can be difficult to reverse as it means something needs to be changed whether that is your type of training or an aspect of your work. Depending on the treatment you receive, how soon you receive it and how much rest the area can get tendonitis can take months to years to subside.
Bursitis is an inflammation of a bursa which is found between bones and tendons so that they move beside each other smoothly and is usually caused by overuse or a change such as more intense training or being overweight. When this occurs pain can be felt on movement of the area, pain when touching the area and swelling much like tendonitis. The healing time like tendonitis is variable ranging from a few weeks to months at a time.
Stress fractures are another injury caused by overuse usually occurring in sportspeople constantly training. The muscle can become fatigued meaning they lose their function to absorb shock meaning this is transferred to the bones causing a small crack in the bone sue to the pressure being placed on it.