People active in sports, construction, or other high-energy activity can experience various forms of soft tissue damage. Soft tissue damage occurs along the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and these injuries can cause pain, swelling, bruising, and other forms of damage. But deciding if you should see urgent care can be challenging when the pain becomes unbearable. This article will provide you with symptoms to watch out for and help you learn when to go to urgent care for a soft tissue injury.
What Types of Soft Tissue Injuries Are There?
Sudden, hazardous impacts on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments typically cause soft tissue injuries. They can also be caused by excessive use of the soft tissues over time and most commonly occur during sports events. There are many different types of soft tissue injuries, including:
- Contusions: Contusions are bruises that occur to the soft tissues from blunt force. Pain, swelling, and discoloration occur due to bleeding inside the tissues.
- Sprains: Sprains are partial tears to the ligaments. The ligaments can get injured from sudden twists and wrenches to the affected area and typically occur along the ankles, wrists, and knees.
- Strains: Strains are muscles or tendons that have been overused or overstretched. The muscles or tendons will feel sore, sensitive to sudden movements, and tight, and typically require rest to ensure healing.
- Tendonitis: Tendonitis is an inflammatory condition in the tendon from overuse and repetitive motion. Elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, and other areas where tendons are found tend to experience this condition, usually caused by sports movements.
- Bursitis: The bursa is a fluid-filled sac between the bones, muscles, and tendons; these areas can also get inflamed and are usually caused by overuse or direct trauma to the joint.
When Will I Need To Go To Urgent Care For A Soft Tissue Injury?
These conditions will usually require R.E.S.T, using ice compressions and elevating the area to help the injury heal within the first few days. However, urgent care is highly needed if a week has passed and the injury hasn’t shown any progress in healing or has worsened. Some symptoms to look out for when dealing with soft tissue injuries include:
- Persistent pain or pain that radiates down the arms and legs
- The affected joint pops or cracks along the injury site or if the site is moved post-injury.
- Experience difficulties walking, sitting, or getting out of bed due to the injury.
- Numbness or tingling around the joint area or injury site
- Inability to move or bend the injury site due to throbbing, persistent pain
- All painful symptoms persist and cannot be relieved with over-the-counter pain relievers or other medications.
If these symptoms occur, schedule an appointment with urgent care as soon as possible. When you visit an urgent care clinic, they can provide specialists for complex injury treatments, offer prescription-level pain medications, and help soothe pain while your injury heals. By visiting your local urgent care, they can diagnose your injury and recommend the best route to recovery.