Damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments through the body are commonly referred to as soft tissue injuries and usually occur from a sprain, strain or overuse of a particular part of the body. One of the most common types of injuries, and the most common type of sports-related injuries, soft tissue injuries affect thousands of people each year. Athletes or those who engage in sports as a hobby are certainly not the only people who experience soft tissue injuries. Nearly everyone is at risk and workplace injuries are commonplace whether a person is performing outdoor tasks or sitting at a desk.
Of course, as with any injury, prevention is the goal. Many companies use various ergonomic solutions however one company noted that even when instructed to use the most “ideal procedures”, often they are difficult to follow in the real world. “little sense. Or don’t spark interest in most workers. “In our 30+ years’ experience of seeing remarkable results in reducing soft-tissue problems, we’ve consistently found that skills are key. No matter how “motivated” persons are to work safely, they have to know effective methods and then be reinforced to actually incorporate these into their daily tasks.” As for prevention, three things have been identified as important strategies with regard to soft tissue injuries:
- Balance – Balance is important not only to prevent slips and falls, but also poor posture or bad balance can lead to leaning over, which causes weight to be unevenly distributed, which in turn causes the body to tense and muscles over engage. The tension in the muscles builds and can lead to microtears in ligaments, muscles and tendons. The good news when it comes to balance is that almost anyone, at any age, can boost their balance relatively quickly.
- Breath – Are you one of the many people who hold their breath while doing simple tasks without even realizing it? Holding the breath builds tension and reduces our “buffer area”. Sudden unexpected changes result in forces entering the body that can be safely absorbed if there’s enough slack in the body—or, if not, build toward soft-tissue injuries when tension increases. There are many simple breathing practices that can increase soft-tissue safety while also elevating awareness. In real life things don’t always go according to plan but exhaling on exertion can help protect us from soft-tissue injuries.
- Bearing – How we hold ourselves while sitting, standing or walking has an impact on the direction and intensity of forces against the body. Bearing refers to how every joint aligns to transfer those forces. Sitting and standing with the head directly over the neck and shoulders provides a strong and stable bearing leaving us stronger, safer and more in control.
However, even the most aware among us are still at risk and soft tissue injuries do happen. So what should you do if you have sustained this type of injury? The pain that comes with soft tissue injuries are often caused by hidden triggers. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and periosteum are all affected by injury and overuse. To achieve full recovery, these factors must be addressed. The team at Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center has extensive experience in soft tissue techniques including fascial therapy, trigger point therapy, massage therapy and more. We stay current on the latest research in the soft tissue realm and are members of the Fascia Research Society which meets regularly and integrates the latest findings into clinical practice. If you have suffered a soft tissue injury and would like to know how we can help, please contact us today.