What Can Cause Soft Tissue Swelling and How Is It Treated?

What Causes Soft Tissue Swelling?

The main cause of Soft Tissue Swelling is some sort of injury or inflammation of tissues, ligaments, or tendons which surround the bones. These injuries may be caused by minor bruises or bumps that can happen with everyday activities and can even happen due to a fracture or dislocation of a bone or joint. Soft Tissue Swelling can be treated depending on the severity of the injury and the nature of the injury. In minor cases of Soft Tissue Swelling, there is no particular treatment required and it heals on its own, but severe cases of spasms or sprains may require treatment intervention until the inflammation and swelling is completely healed.

What Can Cause Soft Tissue Swelling

Some of the Causes for Soft Tissue Swelling are:

Soft Tissue Swelling Caused due to Contusion: Everyone, especially small children, once in a while fall and suffer bruise and bumps. When an individual suffers a fall and hits a hard object on the ground, blood forms under the skin resulting in a contusion. Majority of the contusions normally heal within a few days but if the swelling persists then ice packs may be used for calming down the inflammation or swelling.

Soft Tissue Swelling Caused due to Sprains: This condition is also quite common and everyone once in a while has sprain of some kind or the other. The common areas where a sprain can occur are knees, wrists, or ankles in which a ligament may be partially or completely torn. The function of the ligament is to connect one bone to the other. Soft Tissue Swelling may occur when there is a sprain depending on the severity of the tear of the ligament. In case if there is a severe sprain, the sprained area need to be immobilized for some time to allow the sprain to heal and the Soft Tissue Swelling to calm down.

Soft Tissue Swelling Caused due to Strains: Strains can also be one of the reasons for Soft Tissue Swelling. This happens when a muscle or tendon is twisted. Such injuries usually occur during sporting activities, lifting items in an inappropriate way, or overuse. Repetitive movements of a joint may also cause Soft Tissue Swelling.

Soft Tissue Swelling Caused due to Tendinitis: Tendonitis is a medical condition in which there is pressure put on the tendons resulting in Soft Tissue Swelling and inflammation.

How is Soft Tissue Swelling Treated?

Soft Tissue Swelling is normally treated following the RICE protocol which is rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation of the injured area. Sometimes an elastic bandage or a tape can be used to compress the area of the injury. The bandage or the tape helps calming down the inflammation or swelling. A splint or a brace may be required for more serious causes of Soft Tissue Swelling to promote faster healing. If in case Soft Tissue Swelling is associated with a snapping sound or a visible deformity then it may indicate presence of a fracture or a dislocation which may require immobilization in a case or a splint for a few weeks until the Soft Tissue Swelling and the dislocation resolves.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 8, 2019

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