• Soft tissue injuries and soft tissue therapies

  • Soft tissue injuries are the most common injuries.   They involve muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  In this article we will be discussing soft tissue injuries from sports and exercise activities as well as simple every day activities.  We will outline the proper soft tissue therapies for muscle, tendon and ligament injuries including sprains, strains, tears, scar tissue/ adhesions, and trigger points. We specialize in soft tissue treatment using Graston, ART (Active Release Technique), Trigger point Massage, PNF stretching, myofascial release, TENS and EMS.

    Soft tissue therapies


    A sprain is an overstretch in a ligament.  Ligaments connect bone to bone and their purpose is to stabilize and support the joint in proper alignment.  Swelling, restriction in the joint mobility, pain and bruising are common.  Treatment in the initial stages should include RICE.   Appropriate soft tissue therapies include: lymphatic massage, ART on the opposite side of the overstretched ligament, PNF stretching of the opposite side of the sprain, and active range of motion (AROM) exercises to decrease swelling, pain and increase mobility.  TENS application is also very helpful to decrease pain and inflammation.


    A strain is an injury in the muscle and/or the tendon.  Tendons connect muscle to bone.  They are fibrous tissue with much less blood supply that a muscle.  Injuries to tendon include tendinitis, usually due to overuse or aging.  Chronic muscle spasms can also lead to tendinitis.  First response to tendon injury is RICE.  Appropriate soft tissue therapies include:  Active release Technique to the muscle, trans friction massage to the tendon, TENS application, and myofascial release.

    Muscle tears

    A muscle tear can be anything from minor strain-few fibers tearing to major strain that may require cast or surgery.  For the purpose of this article we will discuss muscle strains that do not require surgery.  Muscle tears will heal on their own, however without proper treatment the muscle will be repaired with scar tissue. Best soft tissue therapies include: Graston- instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization technique, ART, and TENS (Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation) and EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation).

    Scar tissue/adhesion

    Scar tissue is a thick fibrotic tissue that forms as a result of injury, surgery or repetitive motion.  Scar tissue is thick, inflexible, thus leaving the muscle weaker and inflexible.  Scar tissue increases the risk of re injury and limits the range of motion in tissue. Scar tissue must be treated.  Soft tissue treatment should include Graston and ART.

    Trigger points

    Trigger points are knots in a muscle that are painful when pressed on.  The pain may be localized to the trigger point itself or referred to a distant area.  They are caused by a chronic muscle tightness or spasm when localized or by an inflamed nerve when there is a referred pain.  Best soft tissue treatments include: trigger point massage and TENS.

    As always check with your trusted chiropractor if chiropractic adjustment can help.  As always choose chiropractic before medication and surgery and visit our website, like us on Facebook, Instagram or call us for an appointment.