Soft tissue injury is the most common type of injury. Soft tissue injuries refer to injuries of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles throughout the body. Anyone can suffer from this injury while doing his daily activity, although it is a frequent injury among sportsperson. The term soft tissue injury is self explaining. It means injury to the soft tissue in the body, rather than the hard bones. Soft tissues include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, fibrous tissue, fat, nerves, blood vessels, synovial membrane etc.
These tissues connect and support or surround structures and organs of the body. Repetitive use injuries and strains often cause tendon and ligament damage, resulting in pain and debilitation. They can also cause significant misuse by forcing muscle compensation from adjacent groups. Sprains, strains, and tendonitis can also happen with increasing frequency as you age. Let’s explore the myriad reasons for this.
Because our bodies are primarily made up of combinations of collagen, the inability to produce enough of this vital material results in weaknesses and insufficient healing of damaged tissue. Unlike other proteins, collagen is composed of only two amino acids, glycine, and hydroxyproline. Vitamin C is critical to the reactions that produce collagen and is destroyed in the process.
The liver produces an enzyme that controls the quiescent level of fibroblast activity. As one ages, the liver’s ability to produce this enzyme is reduced. For thousands of years, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have acknowledged this connection between the health of connective tissue and the liver. While a base metabolic test may show normal liver function, “normal” for people over 50 may be insufficient.
Because fibroblast cells are responsible for producing reparative collagen, a debilitated liver can leave one susceptible to tendon, ligament, and fascia degradation or damage.3,4 Supporting liver health with restorative herbs is quite advantageous with age. The initial protocol of an acute injury is R. I. C. E. Rest, Ice fomentation, compression and elevation. Patient has to take rest and avoid any strenuous physical activity.
Types of Soft Tissue Injuries
• Acute injuries
• Overuse injuries
Acute injuries are the result of acute trauma. Sprains, strains, and contusions all fall under the category of acute injuries. Overuse injuries happen gradually over time and are caused by repetitive use of a specific area of the body.
As a result, the body fails to have time to heal, causing inflammation in that specific area. Examples of overuse injuries include tendonitis, bursitis, and stress injuries.
Sprain: Sprains are the result of ligament injury. Ligaments are bands of connective tissue which connect end of one bone to another.
Strain: Strain is caused due to injury to the muscles or tendons. Overstretching or severe contraction of muscle and tendon can damage the muscle and tendon fibers. It may lead to mild microscopic tear of the muscles or complete tear.
Bruise and contusions: It is a crushed injury where the injured muscle or tendon is hit with a direct blow without damaging the skin. It is also referred as contusion. The overlying skin becomes red and blue black due to collection of blood from the ruptured tiny capillaries.
Home remedies to treat Injury
1. Turmeric and Bromelain:
Combined, these two can help speed up recovery. The combination of Bromelain and Turmeric is known for it’s natural blood thinning and pain relieving properties and is often used for menstrual problems as well as and anti-inflammatory for painful joints. Though the use of Bromelain may not be traditional Ayurvedic treatment, Turmeric is used in many cultures as an anti-inflammatory agent, taken internally and often applied externally to reduce swelling.
2. Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids that act as antioxidants, preventing and reversing free radical damage. This oil can effectively stimulate collagen production and soften the skin to speed up the healing process.
1. Warm 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin coconut oil in the microwave.
2. Apply this warm oil to the affected area, gently massaging using small circular motions until it gets absorbed.
3. Repeat several times daily until you get the desired result.
3. Golden Milk:
A great way to add more injury treating and preventing Turmeric to your diet is with an Ayurvedic remedy called Golden Milk. Though nearly every Ayurvedic practitioner will have a slightly different version of this drink, this is my favorite recipe.
4. Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera is known for its ability to regenerate skin tissue and can help reduce the size and appearance of scars. Its soothing and moisturizing property will increase the elasticity of scar tissue and help reduce inflammation.
1. Cut an aloe vera leaf in half and squeeze out the gel.
2. Apply the gel on the scar and massage gently for several minutes.
3. Allow it to dry on its own, then rinse it off with warm water.
4. Do this several times a day for 1 or 2 months.
Just like turmeric, ginger has strong anti-inflammatory benefits. When nursing an injury I like to increase the use of ginger in my daily habits. I add fresh ginger to my cooking and prepare a tea of 2 inches of fresh ginger, 1 tsp Lose Green Tea (or 1 teabag of organic green tea), 1 liter hot water, a squeeze of fresh lemon and raw honey to taste, in the morning which I keep warm in a thermos and sip throughout the day.
6. Lemon Juice:
Lemon juice is a very effective way to deal with scar tissue. Lemon has alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) that help remove dead skin cells and regenerate and repair damaged skin. Plus, it works as a natural bleach to help lighten scars as well as blemishes.
1. Apply freshly extracted lemon juice on the affected area.
2. Allow it to dry for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
3. Apply some moisturizer.
4. Follow this remedy twice daily for several weeks until you are satisfied with the result.
7. Castor oil:
Castor oil packs are great in alleviating pain and help heal injuries as well as lessen the appearance of old scars. Warm a teaspoon of castor oil in your hands and massage into the area you want help with. Cover with a dishcloth or a couple of sheets of fleece to prevent staining. Then put a warm water bottle or heating blanket on top and leave on for 20-30 minutes so the oil can absorb into your skin.