The soft tissues in your body are things like fascia, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. These tissues can be injured suddenly in an accident or as a result of chronic repetitive movements. This could result in conditions such as plantar fasciitis, ankle sprain, tendonitis, or muscle strain. A mild injury might heal on its own with rest, but a more serious injury might need soft tissue healing therapy. Here are some treatments that might help a soft tissue injury.
Treatments That Help Inflammation
Your initial body response after an injury is usually swelling. The first treatments you might receive for a soft tissue injury may involve things like wearing a compression bandage and being told to keep the injured part of your body elevated while using an ice pack on the area.
An ice pack is useful for controlling swelling because it constricts blood and fluid flow to the area. That slows down the amount of fluid that can settle and lead to swelling. You might be instructed to use ice for a couple of days, but you don't want to use it too long because your body needs enhanced blood flow to injured tissues so they can heal. Your doctor can tell you how long to use ice and when to switch to heat treatments.
If ice packs aren't helpful, your doctor might consider laser treatments. Lasers can target deep tissues and cause a reaction that helps reduce inflammation.
Treatments That Help With Tissue Repair
Once the swelling is under control, your doctor may want to give you heat treatments. Heat improves blood flow, and blood contains growth factors and nutrients that help your tissues heal. You might use a heating pad at home or go to a physical therapy clinic for treatments.
They might use ultrasound therapy on your injured tissues. An ultrasound treatment delivers heat deep under your skin to target the tissues that are injured. The heat causes increased blood flow and stimulates the production of collagen. Collagen helps the tissues repair and regrow.
Radiofrequency treatments are sometimes used for soft tissue healing therapy. Like ultrasound treatments, the radiofrequency energy targets injured tissues and triggers healing and the production of collagen. Some equipment can combine different therapies into one device so you can get radiofrequency energy, pulsed magnetic field therapy, and a massage at the same time.
Depending on the severity of your injury, your tissues might heal at home given time and home treatments. However, if you play sports or have a job that involves physical labor, you may need to heal as quickly as possible and heal properly so you don't injure yourself again. In that case, be sure to see a doctor about your injury so they can choose the best treatment for your condition.
For more information on soft tissue healing therapy, contact a professional near you.