Sports & Soft Tissue Injuries

Whilst the majority of you will understand the term sports injury, which includes sprains, strains, torn muscles, ligaments, dislocations etc., I would like to clarify exactly what is meant by soft tissue injury. Whilst bones represent the skeletal structure or foundation of the body, the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bursa, joints, blood, water and lymph represent the soft tissue that surrounds the skeleton. It is this soft tissue that may become damaged as a result of either direct or indirect trauma. Examples of direct traumas are, being hit by a cricket/hockey ball. Examples of indirect traumas are repetitive strain injury, postural problems, and muscular imbalances.

Sports Injuries Include:
Golfer and tennis elbow, tendonitis, sprained ligaments, dislocations, torn muscles, bursitis, plantar faciitis, RSI (repetitive strain injury), Osgood Schlatter’s Disease (growing pains –usually effects the areas around the knees, groin and hips), haematomas/bruising.

Soft Tissue Injuries Include:
Aches, pains or stiffness anywhere in the body, unhealed (past) injuries, Lumbago, Fibromyalgia, Lordosis (hollow back) Kyphosis (round shouldered), Scoliosis (‘s’ or ‘c’ shaped spine), headaches/migraine, Restriction of movement in limbs e.g. unable to turn your head left or right, frozen shoulder, wry neck, poor circulation, trigger finger, Dupytron’s syndrome, carpal tunnel symptoms, and heavy leg syndrome.

As an experienced consultant Carrie has to locate the cause of the problem NOT just treat the symptom. This ensures that not only does the painful area(s) receive effective treatment but also the root cause of the problem has been identified and appropriate evasive action(s) has been taken to prevent recurrence of the injury.

Initial First Aid Advice (following an injury)
It can be vital in the first few minutes/hours/days to apply basic first aid to an injury. This will greatly assist both in your treatment and in your recovery. Initially when you have an injury you will need to assess whether it requires heat or cold/ice.
whilst the general rule of thumb is if it is swollen apply cold/ice and if it aches apply heat – just be responsive to your body – if the pain/ache gets worse when you apply one then use the other for it is our body telling you it doesn’t like that particular treatment. In addition the application of Arnica cream to the surrounding unbroken area will help to bring out any bruising/bleeding under the surface, provided you are not allergic to it. Don’t forget to elevate the affected limb to prevent fluid being retained in the joint creating swelling and restriction of movement, also apply a reasonbly tight compression bandage, this will further assist in preventing damaged cells leaking into the tissues.

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