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A Soft tissue injury (STI) is the damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body. Common soft tissue injuries usually occur from a sprain, strain, a one off blow resulting in a contusion or overuse of a particular part of the body. Soft tissue injuries can result in pain, swelling, bruising and loss of function (Lovering, 2008).


Immediately after the injury occurs one should apply the PRICE principle to minimize the local tissue damage and reduce inflammation. "P"rotection "R"est "I"ce "C"ompression "E"levation

’PROTECTION’ Protect the individual from further injury by preventing them from moving and keep further hazards away from the individual (Flegel, 2004).

‘REST’ Rest the individual from any activity that causes pain. If simple movements such as bending, straightening or walking are causing pain ‘’rest’’ means immobilizing the injury by splinting or preventing weight bearing with crutches is essential (Flegel, 2004). If walking does not cause any pain, continue to walk for short distances as comfort allows (Lindsay, Watson, Hickmott, Broadfoot & Bruynel, 1994).

’ICE’ During the first 72 hours following an injury ice can help minimize pain and control swelling caused by bleeding and fluid loss from the injured tissue (Flegel, 2004). Icing is recommended for 15 minutes every 4 hours to help control the swelling and pain (Subotnick, 1991).

‘COMPRESSION’ Compression is the application of pressure over the injured area with the use of a bandage, elastic wrap or compression tape (Lindsay et al., 1994). This is to control the initial bleeding of joint or limb tissues, or to reduce residual swelling (Flegel, 2004). It is vital that compression is applied within the first few minutes following the injury to see the benefits (Lindsay et al., 1994).

‘ELEVATION’ Used in combination with ice and compression, elevation can also minimize initial tissue bleeding and swelling. Elevate the injured part above the level of the heart as much as possible for the first 72hours, or longer if the swelling persists. (Flegel, 2004).


If severe pain persists after the first 24hours it is recommended that an individual consult with a professional who can make a diagnosis and implement a treatment plan so the patient can return to everyday activities (Flegel, 2004). These are some of the tools that a professional can use to help make a full diagnosis;

Nerve conduction studies may also be used to localize nerve dysfunction (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome), assess severity, and help with prognosis. Electrodiagnosis also helps differentiate between myopathy and neuropathy.

Ultimately, the best method of imaging soft tissue is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), though it is cost-prohibitive and carries a high false positive rate.


Flegel, M.J. (2004). Sport first aid: A coach’s guide to preventing and responding to injuries. Hong Kong, Japan: Human Kinetics.

Lindsay, R., Watson, G., Hickmont, D., Broadfoot, A., & Bruynel, L. (1994). Treat your own strains sprains and bruises. New Zealand: Spinal Publications.

Lovering, R.M. (2008). Physical therapy and related interventions. In P.M. Tiidus (Eds.), Skeletal muscle damage and repair (pp. 219–230). United States of America: Human Kinetics.

Subotnick, S. (1991). Sports & exercise injuries. California, United States of America: North Atlantic Books.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_tissue_injury — Please support Wikipedia.
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133 news items

Indianapolis Star
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:14:24 -0700

The Colts said it was a soft tissue injury. Defensive end Cory Redding, inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman and offensive right tackle Gosder Cherilus received a day of rest. Linebacker Josh McNary (shoulder), Landry (groin), cornerback Vontae Davis ...
PR.com (press release)
Sun, 03 Aug 2014 08:00:00 -0700

Dr. Pearce's Innovative Approach to Soft Tissue Spinal Injury Documentation is Based on the Objective Evidence of Computerized Radiographic Mensuration Analysis, the Physiological Facts of the 3 Phases of Healing and a Medical Team Approach to ...
Lexology (registration)
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:22:30 -0700

Definition of soft tissue injury. '… a claim brought by an occupant of a motor vehicle where the significant physical injury is a soft tissue injury and includes claims where there is a minor psychological injury secondary in significance to the ...
Linex Legal (press release) (registration)
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:22:30 -0700

Definition of soft tissue injury. '… a claim brought by an occupant of a motor vehicle where the significant physical injury is a soft tissue injury and includes claims where there is a minor psychological injury secondary in significance to the ...
The Star-Ledger
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 08:00:00 -0700

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Giants coach Tom Coughlin keeps getting asked over and over, day after day. What's going on at the tight end position? The answers seem to get vaguer and vaguer. Coughlin's latest gem provided, well, nothing of substance.
The Desert Sun
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:11:15 -0700

Typically there has to be an underlying soft-tissue injury, something as small as a paper cut, skin scratch or bruise. Patients who are immuno-surpressed with conditions like diabetes are more at risk. Gauto said Eisenhower usually sees six to seven ...
NW Evening Mail
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:35:21 -0700

said Riley, who will wear a cast until September 11 to protect the fractured wrist he recently suffered in training. “The x-ray is to rule out a fracture to his fibula. “At the moment, I'm hoping that it's just a soft tissue injury. But just through my ...
Charlotte Observer
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 15:50:42 -0700

Boston said the sports hernia – which is not an actual hernia but a soft tissue injury in the groin area – occurred a year ago when he slipped on a wet field during a Tar Heels' preseason practice. He postponed the surgery so his draft stock wouldn't ...

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