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Soft Tissue Injuries, Treatment and The Recovery Process
in Jacksonville, FL

Soft tissue injuries like muscle strains and ligament sprains can happen to anyone regardless of age and activity level. These injuries typically occur in the extremities like the arms and legs. However, they can actually afflict any part of the human body where ligaments, muscles, tendons, and myofascia are present. More specifically, this damage can occur where two or more bones are connected with ligaments, muscles attach to bones with tendons, or the myofascia which cover the musculoskeletal skeletal system. These injuries cause joints and bones to move outside of their normal range of motion and can result in significant amounts of pain, bruising, and/or swelling.

Some people are more at risk than others...

  • Assembly Line Staff
  • Athletes like golfers, soccer players, football players, runners, and others
  • Computer technicians and others who site for prolonged periods of time
  • Moms who balance their babies' weight on one hip
  • People who are inactive and allow their muscles to grow sedentary
  • Students who carry heavy backpacks and book bags on their backs or one shoulder
  • Individuals involved in automobile / motor vehicle accidents

Once people develop one of these injuries, their bodies will start the recovery process immediately. First, their bodies will release chemicals designed to reduce the pain at the strain or sprain site. These chemicals also immediately start healing the affected muscles, tendons, ligaments, or myofascia. This first step in the recovery process is known as the inflammatory stage because the injury will typically swell from the rush of blood and chemicals to the area. 

The next step, called the proliferative stage, involves the body's collection of materials at the injury site to create scar tissue. The actual development of scar tissue occurs during the injury's maturation stage. Scar tissue in essence acts as a patch of sorts to stabilize the injury and can prevent the area from resuming its normal range of motion. Once scar tissue forms, the injury is said to be chronic. Scar tissue by its nature is not as elastic as normal tissue, it is weaker and thus prone more so to future injury and is supplied by a more dense network of pain sensing nerve fibers which makes the area more sensitive to pain in the future.

North Florida Spine and Injury Center is your go-to resource for soft tissue injuries

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Chiropractic Care of a Chronic Soft Tissue Injury

While the human body has its own recovery process for a soft tissue injury, it often prevents people from resuming their normal activities like going back to work or taking up their former levels of fitness and athletic participation. These individuals often need to undergo what is known as a second healing cascade of their injuries.

A second healing cascade involves reducing the scar tissue in the affected area and helping it develop new and healthier muscle, tendons, ligaments, and/or myofascia. The task of starting this secondary injury treatment often falls to chiropractors in Jacksonville Florida and elsewhere. 

Chiropractors use a number of different tools and resources to first diagnose the injury. One of the most advanced methods available to them involves the use of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, or IASTM devices.

IASTM devices allow chiropractors to detect injuries faster and also promote accelerated healing times. Prior to the invention of these devices, they had to use their fingers and hands to feel around a person's joint and muscles to diagnose the problem. Today, however, this technique allows them to make faster diagnoses and minimize patient's pain more effectively.

Using these devices, chiropractors can start the injury treatment by first spreading a gel-like substance over the patient's affected area. Once the device makes contact with the gel, it can start breaking down the scar tissue and promoting healthier muscle growth. As the scar tissue breaks down, the area regains its former flexibility. Because this treatment does involve breaking down the capillaries in the scar tissue, patients may experience bruising. The bruising, however, indicates that their bodies are rebuilding the tissue and muscle in the affected area and that the scar tissue is losing its rigidity.

It should be noted that these treatments can be mildly uncomfortable, particularly during the first few sessions with the chiropractor. Some patients may also see their skin turn red because of the treatments being applied to the affected region. However, as the treatments progress the pain should decrease and become less noticeable. Many people realize great improvement in their condition and a notable reduction in pain levels after just a few sessions.

Along with going through chiropractic sessions with IASTM devices, people likewise can facilitate in their own recoveries by following their chiropractor's advice closely. Their provider may recommend exercises and stretches to do at home each day. These exercises and stretches complement the second healing cascade treatments and also allow people to regain their mobility faster. These activities additionally allow people to overcome the pain and stiffness associated with their injuries.