Treatment of Soft Tissue Injuries

If an individual sustains a soft tissue injury (muscle strain) the following measures may be considered. Assuming the individual is not allergic to aspirin products, does not have diabetes, and is not on a blood thinner (in which case Tylenol should be used 500 mg every 4 hours) the following over the counter preparations to reduce pain and swelling are available:

AleveNaproxen Sodium (one 200mg tablet every 8-12 hrs, not to exceed 3 in 24 hour period)

Advil/MotrinIbuprofen (one 200mg tablet, 2 if needed not to exceed 6 in 24 hour period)

TylenolAcetaminophen (1 or 2-500mg tablets every 4-6 hrs not to exceed 8 in 24 hour period)

An appropriate dosage schedule might appear as such:

6:00 am Naproxen Sodium (1- 200mg tablet) and Acetaminophen (1 0r 2 – 500mg tablets) as needed for pain
8:00 am Ibuprofen (2 – 200mg tablet)
10:00 am Acetaminophen (2 – 500mg tablets)
12:00 noon Ibuprofen (1 – 200mg tablet)
2:00 pm Naproxen Sodium (1- 200mg tablet) and Acetaminophen (1 or 2 – 500mg tablets) as needed for pain
4:00 pm Ibuprofen (1 – 200mg tablet)
6:00 pm Acetaminophen (2 – 500mg tablets)
8:00 pm Ibuprofen (2 – 200mg tablet)
10:00 pm Naproxen Sodium (1- 200mg tablet) and Acetaminophen (1 or 2 – 500mg tablets) as needed for pain
(Not to exceed 8 in a 24 hour period)

Apply ice the first 24 hours and warm compresses thereafter.

Additionally, frequent elevation of the injured site above the level of the heart is encouraged throughout the day.

Temporary immobilization of the site may also be used, although the following day progressive range of motion exercises performed gradually would assist in the recovery of the injury.

If the mechanism of injury creates concern that a more serious injury may have been incurred, or if the patient is having unbearable pain and swelling unrelieved by the afore mentioned medication, medical evaluation should be considered.

Adequate pain control and reduction of swelling should be achieved within 24 hours of this treatment protocol.

If symptoms are significant beyond this point, medical evaluation might be indicated.

If questions arise during the treatment of the employee, please contact Occupational Medicine Services at (985) 223-0032.

Thank you,


Robert W. Davis, MD