Soft Tissue Injuries


A soft tissue injury, such as a strain or sprain, occurs when muscles, tendons, or ligaments are damaged in some way.

Common soft tissue injuries include:

  • Strains, severe stretching or tearing of one or more muscles or tendons
  • Bursitis, inflammation of the cushioning around a joint
  • Contusion, a muscle bruise caused by a direct hit
  • Tendinitis, irritation or inflammation of a tendon or it’s lining
  • Sprain, an injury to a ligament or joint capsule from overstretching
Soft tissue injuries may be caused by sudden trauma, such as a fall, twisting, slipping, or sustaining a blow. A chronic injury to soft tissue may be caused by repeated use of a muscle or joint with enough rest in between use.

How Do I Know I Have a Soft Tissue Injury?

Common signs and symptoms of a soft tissue injury include:

  • Difficulty performing a full range motion
  • Instability in your joint
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Muscle weakness, cramps, or spasms
  • Bruising
  • Lump or knot

Treating Soft Tissue Injuries with Dignity Health

Our orthopedic care teams offer personalized treatment for soft tissue injuries and can help you determine the right level of care. Many soft tissue injuries are treated effectively at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE).

Over-the-counter or prescription medicines may be recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation. If your injury is severe, we may suggest physical therapy to help you recover faster.

If you have a chronic condition that is causing damage to your muscles, tendons, or ligaments, your doctor may recommend resting from repetitive activity and taking anti-inflammatory medicines. Injections, splints, and movement exercises may also be part of your treatment.

Surgery for soft tissue injuries may be recommended if the problem does not get better with medication and physical therapy.

Learn More

The orthopedic experts at St. Joseph's can help you find the best way to care for your sprain, strain, or other soft tissue injury in Stockton or the surrounding areas. Find a Doctor today.

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