Soft tissue injuries are the quite common injuries which may occur during even the simplest daily activities. They include injuries of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Bones are not affected as they do not represent soft tissue. In presence of excessive strain or if the level of strain is so high than body cannot handle, the most common soft tissue injuries called sprains occur. These can affect people of all ages.
The symptoms of sprains include edema of the injured area and following bruising. X ray of the affected area may rule out possible fracture of the bones.
One should stay in bed and rest. Additional strain must be eliminated. This means that one should not put additional stress onto the injured spot. Rarely patients are given crutches and in extreme cases a cast is placed onto the injured spot. Right after the injury one should use cold compresses and put them onto the swollen area. Not only will this reduce the edema but it will also help in pain management. Immobilization can be done by simple using of bandage where injured person has to be careful not to restrict the circulation.
Injured leg or arm must be lift up and this method will additionally help in reduction of edema. The easiest way of elevating the extremity is by using cushions or folded blankets. Massage is strictly forbidden as it may lead to better blood supply within the injured area and even greater swelling.
Over-the counter painkillers may be used as well but before using any of these one should consult his/ her doctor.
The best way for one to do in case of a sprain is to perform mild exercise or to stretch so that the rigidity and stiffness of affected muscles can be reduced. This can be done a few days after the injury. Within a week one may increase the degree of activities. Still he/ she must take care and not exaggerate with exercises. In case of more severe sprains even physical therapy may be beneficial. It can lead to relief of pain and prevent the recurrence of an injury.
It may take several weeks for an injury to heal completely depending on the general health of the injured person as well as on the age or additional diseases. One may even be prescribed certain anti-inflammatory medications.
As for additional remedies wheat grass has shown amazing effects on bruising and edema of the injured spot. It can be used in a form of cream when it is applied right onto the place of sprain.