Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment

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Article by J. Miller, A. Wong

soft tissue injury

The purpose of physiotherapy in the sub-acute injury phase is to assist nature to quickly reduce the inflammation, hasten the healing process and avoid complications such as joint stiffness, muscle tightness and weakness which may predispose you to re-injury.

Sub-Acute Injury Treatment may include:

Local Modalities

sport injuries

Local modalities are used to assist pain reduction and the natural healing response via an increase in energy (electrical, sound, light, magnetic, temperature). These modalities have short-term benefits that can assist with the earlier introduction of other longer lasting techniques such as exercise prescription.

While many clients will feel the immediate benefits from this form of passive treatment, it is wise to think of these modalities similarly to analgesic / NSAID medications. That is, a method of pain relief or inflammation reduction that provides short-term relief, which allows you to continue living as comfortably as possible until the cause is fixed!

Examples of Local Modalities include:

Soft Tissue / Massage / Acupuncture / Dry Needling Techniques


Joint Mobilisation Techniques

physiotherapy exercises

Joint stiffness is a complication associated with both joint and adjacent muscle, tendon and ligament injury. Your physiotherapist is highly skilled in regaining full joint motion via a range of skillful hands-on techniques. After a diligent assessment, your experienced physiotherapist will discuss with you what techniques would be most appropriate. Ultimately, we aim to provide the safest, quickest and most-effective solution. Any risk-factors or concerns are openly discussed with you prior to the application of the technique. 

Examples of Joint Techniques may include:

  • Joint Mobilisations (eg Maitland, Mulligan techniques)
  • Mobility Exercises (eg McKenzie exercises)
  • Minimal Energy Techniques (Active  Joint  Repositioning  via  extremely gentle muscle activation)
  • Traction / Distraction Techniques
  • Joint Manipulation (High velocity thrusts - Rarely recommended. Any risk factors will be discussed and your consent sought prior to application of the technique if this is recommended for you.)

Protective Strapping / Support / Brace

ankle brace

Limiting or supporting the injury in the sub-acute phase is often recommended to ensure that the tissue repair is optimised. For specific advice, please consult with your physiotherapist.

Exercise Prescription

physiotherapy exercises

Exercise prescription has been shown by researchers to be the most effective method to hasten recovery, reduce pain and improve your post-injury function. Your physiotherapist is an expert in injury rehabilitation. Please consult their advice for what is best for you.

Exercises may include:

  • Specific Stretching Exercises
  • Strengthening Exercises: Localised and Global (eg Core Stability and Adjacent Muscle Groups)
  • Proprioceptive Retraining
  • Biomechanics Correction
  • Function or Sports-Specific Rehabilitation

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FAQs about Subacute Soft Tissue Injuries

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    Soft Tissue - Subacute

    Related Topics

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Gait Analysis
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Dry Needling
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Neurodynamics
  • Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
  • Running Analysis
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis

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    Last updated 17-Mar-2019 02:40 PM

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