Soft tissues like tendons and ligaments are pretty tough and resilient. However, they do become injured from time to time. The struggle with such injuries is that they can be very slow to heal. Tendons and ligaments do not naturally have a lot of blood flow, so they receive minimal healing factors and nutrients. A lot of it comes down to rest; you need to avoid overworking these tissues so they can heal themselves at their own pace. However, there are also some non-invasive treatments that can help speed the healing of various soft tissue injuries. Here are a few such treatments to consider.
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy is a treatment that has recently become more common. It involves the application of a very slow, cool laser to the skin, just over the injured tissue. For example, if you were struggling with a strained ACL, the cold laser would be applied over the middle of your knee, where the ACL lies. Cold laser therapy is thought to work by slowly vibrating the tissues as the laser passes through them. These vibrations help stimulate the flow of blood to the area. The increased blood flow helps more healing factors, including oxygen and various nutrients, reach your injured tissues.
Typically, you'll see a practitioner for cold laser therapy every week, or even several times per week, throughout your healing process. There are virtually no risks to worry about. Some people feel a gentle warmth when the laser is working, and others feel nothing at all.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points are parts of your muscle which, when pressed on, react by adjusting the flow of blood to that area. You can often identify trigger points by pressing on them. You'll feel pain when you do. For example, if you have a strained ulnar ligament in your elbow, there may be an area above your elbow which, when pressed on, feels painful.
Those who specialize in trigger point therapy can locate the trigger points most closely associated with the soft tissues you have injured. They can slowly and systematically apply pressure to those areas, which will increase blood flow and sometimes also help relieve pain. Trigger point therapy is really helpful when deep tissues are injured. These tissues may be harder to reach with cold laser therapy.
If you're struggling with a soft tissue injury, talk to your doctor or therapist about soft tissue healing treatments.