Conditions / Trauma
Sprains / Strains
Soft tissue is made up from bundles of fibres, with muscles and tendons containing specialised cells that perform functions of contraction and stretching.
In general use, our muscles and tendons use soft contractions to prevent us from overstretching. However unexpected jolts or twists can cause greater force applied to the tissue.
Our joints are held together and supported by connective tissue called ligaments and enclosed inside a membrane filled with synovial fluid. The fluid nourishes the joint and provides cushioning against impact. A sprain is a joint injury that typically involves small tears of the ligaments and joint capsule.
Our muscles are anchored to our joints by our tendons. Injury to the tendons or the muscles themselves is called a strain. Common sites for strains include the calf, groin and hamstring.
Soft tissue injuries can occur suddenly in relation to a specific incident and are often referred to as acute soft tissue injuries. This means the injury has occurred within 24-72 hours, while an injury that gets worse over time is referred to as a chronic soft tissue injury. Chronic soft tissue injuries are commonly caused by overuse or changes to normal tissue stress.
Acute soft tissue injuries are graded according from Grade 1–3 depending on the severity, with Grade 1 being the mildest and Grade 3 the most severe. In the case of Grade 3 – the soft tissue is totally torn, with considerable loss of function and strength. Grade 3 injuries often need surgical repair.