Soft tissue injuries typically occur after a muscle, tendon, or ligament experiences some form of damage. Usually, the damage stems from an external force, trauma, or from the person putting too much pressure on the affected area by lifting or exercising incorrectly. Shortly after the soft tissue is injured, one may start feeling pain, as well as experiencing swelling or bruising at the injured location. Soft tissue injuries typically occur every day and most of the time don’t need any special care or attention to recover. However, when the injury comes from extreme trauma like a car accident, the condition may begin affecting the area outside of where the initial injury happened and may stop you from doing your daily tasks.
Levels of Injury
Medical experts classify soft tissue injuries from grade 1 to 3. Grade 1 sprains are common, coming from over-stretching like twisting an ankle wrong, causing some mild swelling and tenderness. A grade 2 injury implies some level of tearing within the muscle fibers, causing moderate swelling and feeling pain when putting any pressure on the applied area. The most severe injuries are grade 3, where a muscle may completely rupture, stopping you from using the muscle at all or any of the surrounding joints.
Symptoms and Recovery
Pain tends to follow immediately after a soft tissue injury. For any injury level, stiffness tends to be common because of the swelling. The bruises usually do not appear until 24 to 48 hours after the event. With proper care, a grade 1 injury lasts up to two weeks. A grade 2 injury lasts up to four weeks. Grade 3 injuries usually require some form of treatment, with recovery times spanning months.
If you are unable to get back to work or feel constant pain after a soft tissue injury, it may be time to see a medical expert. The doctors at Garden State Pain specialize in helping patients alleviate many types of pain. They provide New Jersey with over 50 years combined experience in consulting and providing specialized pain treatments to patients. Contact one of our offices today to learn how we can help you with your soft tissue injury.