Looking After a Soft Tissue Injury
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Looking After a Soft Tissue Injury

Key Points

  • Seek Medical Help: Consult a doctor immediately after injury to assess and diagnose, ensuring no further damage occurs and proper treatment is recommended.
  • Initial Recovery Steps: Manage acute pain and swelling with compression, ice, and elevation, avoiding activities that may aggravate the injury.
  • Gradual Recovery: Continue gentle movement as new tissues form, avoiding excessive strain to allow proper healing over the weeks following the injury.

Soft tissue injuries are caused by a trauma of the muscles, tendons or ligaments surrounding it. Whether you’ve had an injury at the gym or you’ve twisted your ankle just walking down the road, a soft tissue injury can happen from anything to do with excessive use of exhausted body tissues or a trip.

Physical overexertion is the most common cause of a soft tissue injury, and if you’re in a competitive sports environment, you’ll be very aware of how those come about.

The time it takes for you to recover from a soft tissue injury really does depend on the type of injury and the severity of the damage, but a physiotherapist will be able to diagnose the injury for you and recommend the treatment plan that you need.

Let’s take a look at how you should be looking after your soft tissue injury.

Seek help from your doctor

The first thing to do if you injured yourself in any way is to get some medical treatment you might find that your doctor’s office offers the option of a shockwave therapy machine.

If that’s the case, take them up on that offer and ask to be referred to a physiotherapist who specializes in soft tissue injuries as well.

You don’t want to do anything that could aggravate pain, so you need to ensure that you speak to your doctor first so that they can assess the injury and make sure you don’t have any broken bones.

Start recovering

At first, you might experience acute pain, swelling and even bleeding from an injured area, even if it is a soft tissue injury.

So you therefore need to avoid too many compound movements and activities that can aggravate that pain that you are feeling. This is especially important in those early days of the recovery process.

You don’t necessarily have to sit down for total rest, because this can cause some delay to the tissue repair.

But the recovery process itself will begin with the body trying to protect itself from further damage, and during this stage you’ll be gently moving the injured body part. Over a couple of days, the acute symptoms of that injury should start to dissipate.

Use compression wear

Compression bandages are so useful in the early stages of a soft tissue injury. Wearing one is optional, of course, but it can really help to prevent any blood loss or swelling near the injury itself.

You should use a compression bandage or wrap to firmly wrap around the injured area without cutting off blood flow. Compression bandages and support can really help with wrist or knee injuries.

Apply ice

A good way to ease the pain and reduce swelling after a soft tissue injury is to apply ice to the area. Cold packs make a big difference, and icing an injured area for a long duration can interfere with the healing process, so you need to make sure that you avoid using ice for too long.

An ice wrap could be left on the injured area for 5 minutes at first and then increased up to 20 minutes after a few days. Take your time with it because you don’t want to expose the area to too much ice, but also not enough.


When you are resting and icing, don’t forget the next stage: elevation. When you are healing from a soft tissue injury, you should always make sure that you are elevating it as much as possible so that you can keep the swelling from excessive blowing up.

If the injury is your ankle, place your straightened leg on a pillow. It will help to keep it above the injured area so that you can keep the blood from pumping to it.

Continue your recovery

New soft tissues will emerge within about six weeks of an injury. This development means that you don’t have to protect the injury as much because the new scar tissue will mature. By week 6, injured tissues have often reasonably healed, but it’s not strong or agile enough to stretch too much.

New scar tissue is not yet ready to undergo too much activity, so you should still try to avoid exertion. Your body will consistently check in with the condition of the injured tissue during the recovery phase, so make sure that you are moving as well as your body can but without pushing too much.

Article by

Alla Levin

Seattle business and lifestyle content creator who can’t get enough of business innovations, arts, not ordinary people and adventures.

About Author

Alla Levin

Hi, I’m Alla, a Seattle business and lifestyle content creator who can’t get enough of business innovations, arts, not ordinary people and adventures. My mission is to help you grow in your creativity, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest!


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