What Is a “Soft Tissue” Injury?
“Soft tissue injuries” are injuries or damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your body. While they can occur as a result of overuse of a particular part of the body (i.e., a painter who constantly paints overhead), they can occur from a sudden trauma to that part of the body, such as a car accident, fall, or other collision. Soft tissue injuries result in pain, swelling, bruising, and loss of function. They can drastically limit your range of motion and everyday activities.
Treatment for Soft Tissue Injuries
While some soft tissue injuries can be healed through pain management treatment and physical therapy, others require surgery to repair the torn muscle, ligament, or tendon. Also, some soft tissue injuries do not present immediately after a car or other accident. After an accident, you are often in a minor state of shock, with a great deal of adrenaline fueling your thoughts and actions. You may not notice, at that time, that you have suffered a soft tissue injury. The swelling, tightness, and pain from the injury may surface later. These are all common soft tissue injuries that can result from a car or other accident:
- Rotator Cuff Tear (Shoulder)
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (Knee)
- Other Sprains, Strains and Contusions
If you are experiencing pain after a car accident that you believe could be the result of a soft tissue injury, you can follow the “R.I.C.E.” method for initial treatment at home, then schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
- Rest. The particular area that is in pain should be rested, don't try to overexert yourself after a trauma injury has occurred.
- Ice. Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin, instead, use a wash cloth in between your skin and the ice.
- Compression. To prevent additional swelling and blood loss, wear an elastic compression bandage or have somebody else apply a gentle compression force to the area.
- Elevation. To reduce swelling, elevate the injury higher than your heart while resting.
Why You Should Hire an Injury Attorney
If you learn you have been injured in a car accident, do not wait to contact an experienced car accident attorney. Many of the things our clients do and say soon after the accident, particularly when it comes to their injuries and treatment, have a substantial impact on whether or not they will be able to recover on an insurance claim for damages as a result of the accident. The sooner you bring an attorney on board to help you with filing and handling the claim, the better the chances are that you will recover everything you are entitled to from the insurance company responsible for your damages.