Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 15, 2017
Your back is a complex area, and an injury can affect many different parts of your spine. You’ve got your vertebrae, your spinal cord, and the soft tissues that are essential to your spine’s integrity. But what exactly are these soft tissues, and what symptoms arise when an injury develops in one of these soft tissues? We explain in today’s blog.
Spinal Soft Tissues
When we say the words “soft tissue,” we’re referring to the muscles, tendons and ligaments that are housed in your back. Some of these soft tissues are necessary for movement, while others help keep your spine in place. Every soft tissue plays a vital role, which means problems can arise if an injury sets in.
There are a number of different ways you can injure a soft tissue in your back. Some of the more common injuries include strains, sprains, tendonitis, bursitis and contusions. Here’s a closer look at each of these injuries:
- Strains and sprains occur when muscles or ligaments become excessively stretched during activity. This causes the soft tissue to either partially or fully tear.
- Tendonitis develops when inflammation arises in the tendon, which can lead to pain during movement.
- Contusions are like bruises, and they can cause problems with a spinal soft tissue if swelling in the area compresses an area or inhibits normal range of motion.
- Bursitis is classified as inflammation of the bursae, which is a small fluid-filled pouch that separates bones from the muscles or tendon. The pouch helps reduce friction during movement, and damage to it can cause pain, especially when moving, twisting or turning.
Symptoms of Soft Tissue Injuries
Aside from pain, there are a number of different symptoms that can develop after a soft tissue injury. The most common symptoms include:
- Discomfort that gets worse with movement.
- Swelling in the affected area.
- Localized tenderness.
- Bruising or skin discoloration.
- Redness or heat coming from the injured area.
- Weakness or instability in the injured area.
- Loss of function or range of motion.
There are a number of different ways you can end up injuring one or more soft tissues in your back. Acute trauma from car accidents and falls are two common ways people injure their back, but there are a lot more mundane ways as well, like jumping into activity before warming up or lifting something that is too heavy.
So if you believe you’re dealing with a soft tissue injury in the spine, set up a consultation with Dr. Sinicropi. Most soft tissue injuries don’t require surgery, but they often need a guided treatment plan which can be developed by your back specialist. For more information on how Dr. Sinicropi can help you, contact his office today.