Did you overdo it at the gym or on the court? You have a soft tissue injury. It may be a muscle tear if you have symptoms such as weakness, inability to use the body area, bruising, swelling, and pain at the site. Torn muscles can also occur from a traumatic injury, but much of the time it’s the outcome of overuse, especially in athletes.
If it’s a muscle tear, you’ve torn the muscle tissue and possibly the tendons that connect to it. If you see bruising, you may have torn some blood vessels.
Our board-certified orthopedic team at Urgently Ortho in Scottsdale, Arizona, treats many patients with soft tissue injuries such as muscle tears. Our sports medicine specialists also work with you to help prevent them.
Before you get to the doctor’s office, you can follow some easy steps to help ease the pain of a soft tissue injury. Using the RICE method helps start the healing process.
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you’ve sustained damage to it. It’s important to stop whatever you’re doing, whether you’re in the middle of a tennis tournament, in the gym, or in the garden. If you have a muscle tear, you’ll need to rest that part of your body for anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the severity of the tear. If surgery is required, you’ll have a longer recovery.
As soon as you can, use a covered ice pack for about 20 minutes at a time every few hours during the day for a few days. Don’t put ice directly on your skin. Icing your injury helps calm the inflammation, ease the pain, and lower the swelling.
Wrap an elastic bandage around the injured area, but don’t bind it so tightly that it cuts off your circulation. Compression helps lower the swelling. If you have increased discomfort, loosen the bandage; it’s too tight.
When you can, raise the injured area above the level of your heart. At night, use a pillow to support the area and raise it up.
If you sustain bruising, use acetaminophen for pain relief for the first couple of days instead of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, which can increase bleeding. NSAIDS are fine to use after that if you have no contraindications for them.
Your physician at Urgently Ortho prescribes a brace, splint, crutches, or a rolling support for you if you need it. Once your inflammation calms, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to help you regain strength and range of motion in the injured muscles.
Your doctor lets you know if you have a tendon tear that requires surgery. Thankfully, most muscle tears heal with conservative treatment unless they’re very severe.
We also use regenerative medicine to help speed the healing process in some soft tissue injuries. Your doctor lets you know if it would help your recovery.
Call or message Urgently Ortho today if you’ve injured yourself or have unexplained musculoskeletal pain. We help you get your normal routine back as quickly as possible.