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Chiropractic Care for Soft Tissue Injuries

Published Date: 
March 23, 2023
A woman is holding her shoulder because of pain from a soft tissue unjury.

Chiropractic care is a viable treatment option for soft tissue injuries, such as strains and sprains. Through manual adjustments and other forms of manipulation, chiropractors can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation associated with these types of injuries. This can also help to accelerate the healing process without the use of surgical intervention or pain medication.

Along with providing chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors may also utilize ultrasound and electrical stimulation to reduce pain and inflammation. Exercises, stretching, or other forms of physical therapy may also be recommended as part of the treatment plan for soft tissue injuries.

How Soft Tissue Injuries Affect the Body

Soft tissue injuries can be extremely debilitating, affecting the body’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These tissues help support and move the body, so any damage done to them can significantly impact an individual’s ability to perform everyday activities. Soft tissue injuries are usually caused by sprains or strains and can result in pain, swelling, loss of strength, and range of motion. Severe injuries may even require surgery to repair the damage.

Types of Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Each of these can be injured differently depending on the intensity and duration of the force applied.


This soft tissue injury occurs when the ligaments that connect two bones become stretched or torn due to a sudden or forceful movement. Sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on the amount of force applied. Treatment includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.) as well as physical therapy or surgery if necessary.

A runner has stopped running and is holding his ankle because he sprained it.


This type of soft tissue injury occurs when the muscles and tendons are stretched or torn due to an overload of force. Strains can range from mild to severe depending on the amount of force applied, and treatment may include rest, ice, compression, elevation (R.I.C.E.), physical therapy, or surgery if necessary.


Also known as a bruise, this type of soft tissue injury occurs when an impact between two objects causes bleeding underneath the skin. Treatment includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (R.I.C.E.), as well as over-the-counter medications to reduce inflammation and pain.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This condition is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist due to repetitive motion of the hands and wrists. Symptoms can include tingling and numbness in the hand or fingers. Treatment includes rest, wrist splints, over-the-counter medications to reduce inflammation and pain, and in severe cases, surgery. 

A man has stopped typing and is massaging his wrist because of carpal tunnel pain.


This soft tissue injury occurs when the tendons become inflamed due to repetitive motions or excessive force. Symptoms may include swelling, tenderness, and pain. Treatment includes rest, ice, compression, elevation (R.I.C.E.), and over-the-counter medications to reduce inflammation and pain. In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended.

Diagnosing Soft Tissue Injury

When diagnosing a soft tissue injury, a doctor usually asks the patient when the injury occurred and what activities they were doing at the time. This information can help to determine which structures may have been damaged or strained. 

During the physical examination, the doctor will check to see if the patient has any swelling, discoloration, tenderness, or instability in the affected area. The doctor may also apply pressure to different areas of the affected body part to help pinpoint the area causing pain. 

Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can be used to further examine for soft tissue damage. Ultrasound imaging can also look for any inflammation in the affected area. In some cases, the doctor may need to take a tissue sample from the affected area with a needle and examine it under a microscope (biopsy) to confirm an injury diagnosis.

Healing from Soft Tissue Injury

There are several ways you can help yourself heal from soft tissue injuries.

First, rest is essential for healing and should be the primary focus of treatment right after the injury. Applying cold compresses or ice packs to injured tissue can reduce inflammation and swelling. 

Gentle exercise is necessary after the initial acute phase of the injury. Exercises that strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility will help support the injured area and promote healing. Start slowly and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort. 

Finally, physical therapy and chiropractic care effectively manage soft tissue injury.

How Chiropractic Can Help You Recover from Soft Tissue Injury

Chiropractic treatment is an effective treatment option for soft tissue injuries with several benefits.

Chiropractic care focuses on restoring the body's natural alignment and joint mobility to reduce pain, improve the range of motion, and promote healing. Gentle manipulations are used to correct misalignments that may affect the injured area. 

Additionally, chiropractors may use ice or heat therapy to relieve inflammation or massage therapy to relieve muscle tension. All of these treatments can help speed up the recovery process. 

Chiropractors are also skilled in providing rehabilitation exercises and stretches that target the problem area and help to strengthen the muscles around it. This can help to prevent further injury or re-injury of the soft tissue. By strengthening the affected area, you can reduce your risk of future injury and improve overall flexibility.

Chiropractic Methods for Treating Soft Tissue Injuries

Chiropractors use a range of treatments to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with soft tissue injuries. These treatments can include: 

  • Massage therapy
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Ultrasound
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Mobilization 

These treatments are often used together to maximize the patient's relief. Chiropractors may also use exercise, braces or supports, and lifestyle modifications such as posture correction and stress reduction techniques to treat soft tissue injuries.

What You Can Do at Home to Promote Healing

You can do some things at home to promote the healing of your soft tissue injury. 

Rest the injured area for 48 to 72 hours after the initial injury to reduce inflammation and pain. After that, you can begin to apply heat, such as a warm compress or a hot water bottle. This relaxes tight muscles and improves circulation.

You should also perform gentle stretches several times a day to keep the muscle loose and promote healing. However, make sure not to overstretch. Only stretch until you feel slight tension. 

Additionally, good nutrition is essential for healing. You can achieve it by eating a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. 

Finally, performing exercises designed to strengthen the muscles around the injury will help promote proper healing. You should only do this after consulting with your doctor or physical therapist, so you don’t cause further damage.

These steps can help you recover from a soft tissue injury while reducing pain and inflammation. Remember to always consult with a medical professional before beginning any treatment plan.


Chiropractic care offers a natural approach to treating soft tissue injuries that can help reduce pain and facilitate healing. It is important to note that chiropractic treatment should be performed by a licensed practitioner who understands the underlying mechanics of soft tissue injuries and the anatomy of the affected area. This can help ensure that proper treatment is administered and that progress is monitored throughout the healing process.

If you have a soft tissue injury, contact Accident Care Chiropractic or your local chiropractor.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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