Soft tissue damage can be described as an injury to ligaments, tendons and muscles, but excluding fractures and more severe injuries, such as crush syndrome, hemorrhage, acute spinal cord compression and head injuries. For instance, the most common soft tissue damages include injuries like sprained ankles, pulled calf muscles, hamstring tears, strained shoulder ligaments and corked thigh. Just like any other damage, swift and appropriate action is usually required to facilitate quick and complete recovery since inappropriate approach might worsen the patient’s condition.
However, it’s strongly recommended that before you start treating any soft tissue injury, you need to master the key elements which facilitate quick recovery from any damage to the soft tissues of an affected individual or even yourself.
This is actually one of the most important elements when it comes to treating a soft tissue injury. Resting helps reduce further damage to the affected areas. Basically, it involves keeping the injured areas as still as possible by restricting movement. Do not put additional weight to the damaged soft tissue of your body or that of the patient.
Application of ice on the injured part of the body helps to reduce pain, bleeding and swelling, and it’s often referred to as an inexpensive form of cryotherapy. Actually, it’s one of the most important elements that facilitate somewhat quicker recovery from more severe soft tissue damages. For instance, you can crush ice in a bag or use commercially available gel bag apply ice to the injured area for about 20 minutes then remove it for 10 minutes and repeat the process over 2 hours. Continue this treatment for the first 2 days, but be keen enough to avoid applying block of ice directly to the skin.
Compression is another essential element that facilitates quick recovery from soft tissue damage by not only helping reduce swelling, bleeding and seepage into underlying tissue spaces, but also provides support to the affected area. You simply need to apply Elastoplast crepe bandage or a wide, firm, elastic, compression bandage to the area below or above. Try to apply the pressure uniformly or at least so that it increases from distally to proximally and not vice versa. However, you need to ensure that the bandage isn’t too tight.
Elevating the damaged part of the patient’s body can also help address the key issues, such as bleeding and tissue inflammation which normally impede quick recovery. Therefore, you should try as much as possible to elevate the injured area above the level of the heart. For instance, you can simply place a pillow for comfort and support below the damaged soft tissue.
If the soft tissue damage is severe, it is imperative that you must refer the injured person or even yourself to a professional for accurate diagnosis of the extent of the damage and the treatment options. In this case, a doctor or physiotherapist will make the best option. However, you can sign up for a rehabilitation program to reduce your injury time. For instance, during rehabilitation, the upper body is exercised if the lower body is injured and vice versa.