Soft tissue injuries are damages to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. It can occur in different parts of the body. The most common STIs are caused by sprain or strain, either from a sudden blow resulting in contusion or by the overuse of a certain part of the body. STIs are usually accompanied by swelling, bruising, temporary loss of function and pain. These types of injuries are difficult to treat because they occur in our soft connective tissues, which are underneath our skin.
Therapy Is One Effective Answer
Although there is a certain degree of difficulty in its treatment, STIs can be effectively managed and controlled by physical therapy. In fact there are various types of therapies that can effectively correct the condition and relieve the pain and suffering of anyone who has a soft tissue injury. As knowledge about this condition increases, the technology of treating it has also advanced. There are therapies such Active Release Techniques which can correct the tissue damage at a fast pace.
How Soft Tissue Injuries Are Helped by Physical Therapy
Whatever type of therapy is used by the physical therapy NYC practitioner, he will almost always do the following things:
- He will assess the soft tissue condition of the affected body part of the patient.
- He will apply the required therapy treatment in the form of pressure and tension on the affected body part.
- He will enlist the active cooperation of the patient after the initial therapy sessions to facilitate the treatment of the damaged tissues.
Typically, to achieve complete treatment of the damaged tissues, several therapy sessions will be required. The total number of sessions will depend on the severity of the tissue problems. It should be noted that incidences of repetitive strain injuries, also called cumulative trauma disorders of the soft tissues are increasing. These types of STIs are being accounted for in the majority of impairment and disability costs. In other words, physical therapy is only part of the solution. The bigger factor in solving the problem is the cooperation of the patient himself.
Specific Physical Therapy Treatments for STIs
The particular treatment that the physical therapists will apply will depend on his assessment of the tissue damage of the patient. But typically, the specific treatment will include the following.
- Manual Techniques
- Massage – this is known as Swedish massage which aims to reduce inflammation and swelling.
- Trigger Point – which will provide relief from pain caused by the Myofascial Trigger Points.
- Soft Tissue – which is the application of firm and direct pressure to stretch tight fascial structures and relax hypertonic muscles.
- Active Release – a set of techniques designed to correct soft tissue and muscular problems.
- Sustained Pressure – This aims to alleviate very tight areas between the fascia and the muscles.
- Stretching Techniques
- PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Stretching – designed to reduce the tone of very tight or hypertonic muscle or muscle group.
- Static Stretching – intended to give relief to hypertonic muscles.
- Very Light Muscular Contractions – designed to improve joint range of motion and joint restriction by stretching the length of the affected musculature.