Take a moment and imagine a victim of a car accident. What most people visualize at first is a victim with fractured or dislocated bones on certain parts of his or her body. One can also picture brain or spinal cord injuries that could leave them unconscious for a particular time. After all, these types of injuries are the most critical at the time of the accident. However, we shouldn’t set aside the other types of injuries a victim can have, such as soft tissue injuries.
What is a Soft Tissue Injury?
A soft tissue injury is an umbrella term for injuries on different parts of our body. Often, soft tissue injuries involve damage to our muscles, as well as on connective tissues like tendons and ligaments.
Soft tissue injuries can take place as a result of a number of reasons. For example, overuse of certain muscles, without giving it time to recover, can lead to inflammation. That is why conditions like tendinitis and bursitis are common in industrial workers and athletes who overwork their muscles.
On the other hand, soft tissue injuries can happen as a result of physical trauma. It would include falls, assault, sports accidents, and car accidents. Common signs and symptoms of soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, and contusions.
Sprains are a type of soft tissue injury that takes place when ligaments are stretched or torn. These ligaments connect our bones, and as such, provide further stability. If these ligaments are stretched or torn, bones themselves lose their support on the joints.
Sprains are likely to occur when you trip over or fall on an outstretched hand. That’s why the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee is the most-frequently damaged ligament in your legs.
In the same principle, the ulnar collateral ligaments on your forearm are the most-frequently damaged in your arm. It is also noteworthy that whiplash accidents can stretch or tear the interspinous ligaments in your vertebrae.
Strains, on the other hand, are soft tissue injuries that affect your muscles and tendons. Just like sprains, they can vary from simple muscle or tendon stretches to a complete tendon tear. When strains occur, they can be very excruciating, and the victim will not be able to move the torn tendon.
The most common tendons affected in strains occur in our lower extremities. These include the patellar and Achilles tendon that often affects athletes. In a car crash, especially in whiplash accidents, the tendons of our neck extensor muscles are the most likely to be strained. This strain is likely to incur because of the sudden overstretching of our neck extensor muscles.
Contusions, to put it simply, are bruises. They can be described as a closed wound because while the skin remains intact, the structures underneath get damaged. They happen when a sudden and strong force impacts any muscle of the body. This impact will result in a red or black discoloration called a bruise.
Assault and violence are perhaps the most common reasons why bruises occur. But in a car accident, bruises can be seen in body parts where a forceful impact is unavoidable. It would include the head, arms and hands, abdomen, lap, and shin.
How to Deal with Soft Tissue Injuries
In the acute and early stages of the injury, your body will try to repair itself through inflammation. Inflammation is our body’s natural response after an injury. But sometimes, the body will overreact and will cause further harm than good. That is why we use the following treatment procedures to reduce the inflammation:
- Rest: The injured victim is suggested to take some time to rest to allow the injury to heal.
- Ice: The application of ice can significantly reduce the inflammation, as long as it is applied indirectly with the skin.
- Compression: Bandaging or wearing tight garments will help compress the injury and prevent further swelling.
- Elevation: Lifting up the injured body part to a level that’s above the heart helps the blood to return to the heart, which can also reduce the swelling.
What to do when You Incur Soft Tissue Injuries as a Result of Car Crashes?
From the information given above, we can say that soft tissue injuries are very traumatic and shouldn’t be shrugged off. These types of injuries will also need immediate medical attention, especially if they are severe. Given the right medical service, you should receive the appropriate orthopedic, surgical, and rehabilitative care that you’ll need to return to your daily life.
Contact The Clark Law Office After Sustaining a Soft Tissue Injury in Michigan?
We at the Clark Law Office understand how stressful it is for you, both physically and financially, to go on with your lives after a car crash. All the medical expenses, combined with the difficulty of moving around and functioning, can put a heavy toll on you.
No more worries. Our team of Lansing car accident lawyers has got you covered! Call the Clark Law Office at 517-347-6900 for a free initial consultation.