Soft tissue injuries are injuries that occur to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These are the most common types of injuries individuals sustain in car accidents. Soft tissue damage can come in several forms, including strains, sprains, whiplash, and contusion. The symptoms of STIs vary based on the severity of the injury, but individuals can experience swelling, bruising, loss of motion, and severe pain. If you sustain an STI in a car accident, a car accident doctor can help correct the issue and restore your health and comfort.
Types of STIs
Soft tissue injuries typically occur when a muscle, ligament, or tendon is stretched beyond its natural limit. They can also occur anywhere in the body, including the neck, back, legs, and arms. The most common types of soft tissue damage an auto injury doctor sees in car accident patients are as follows:
- Strains: Strains occur when a person overuses or overstretches a muscle, or when a muscle is subject to a sudden force, such as in a car accident.
- Contusions: Contusions are the result of the direct impact of an object or blunt force. A contusion may be nothing more than a bruise, or it may be the damage to the muscle fibers under the skin.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is the most common, post-accident soft tissue injury. It can cause minor discomfort to severe pain and often needs to be treated by a car injury doctor.
- Bursitis: Bursitis occurs when the padding between the joints, muscles, tendons, or the “bursa sac” tears, swells, or otherwise becomes irritated following a car accident.
- Tendinitis: Tendinitis refers to the inflammation or irritation of the tendons. Though most commonly caused by overstretching and overuse, it can develop as the result of direct and sudden force.
Most STIs are invisible to the naked eye. Yet, they can cause discomfort and pain, and they can interfere with a person’s ability to go to work or perform daily activities. For this reason, if you have a soft tissue injury, you should seek care from a qualified car accident doctor.
Treating Soft Tissue Injuries
Many people who sustain STIs in car accidents find that a mix of physical therapy, at-home treatment, and chiropractic care work to restore function and improve comfort. Chiropractic care from an experienced auto injury doctor, however, is one of the most effective ways to treat soft tissue damage. Of course, you should request an MRI, as most STIs are invisible. The images from an MRI can help guide your chiropractic care as well as bolster a possible auto injury claim.
In addition to visiting the chiropractor, there are certain things you can do at home to speed up your treatment. Below are a few that your car injury doctor may recommend.
By icing the afflicted area several times a day and in 20-minute intervals, you can help keep the swelling down. Avoid putting ice directly on your skin but rather, use a towel or, better yet, buy an ice pack designed for this purpose.
Swelling and inflammation is your body’s way of saying to take it easy. Inflammation occurs to prevent movement of the hurt body part. If you hurt, take a break. The resting duration depends on the extent of your injury, but rest can help speed healing.
While you’re resting and icing that hurt knee, ankle, or arm, elevate it. By lifting the hurt body part above your heart, you can ensure better blood flow. This can prevent swelling, as it keeps blood from flooding the injured area.
Compression bandages may be necessary if the affected area begins to lose blood. You can find compression bandages at your local drug store. Making the extra trip can go a long way toward improving your overall strength.
Soft Tissue Injuries Do Not Always Heal On Their Own
Following a minor fender bender or slight car accident, many people attempt to “wait out the pain.” They assume the headache will resolve itself with time, rest, and some aspirin. When neck or back pain is present, car accident victims may use ice and heat to try to reduce the swelling until the injury heals itself. Not seeking the care of an auto injury doctor may prove to be a huge mistake, though.
STIs can cause long-term discomfort and pain. Patients may find that an STI may require the need for future medical care or surgery, while others find that their pain interferes with their ability to work. Some might also pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. However, the success of these claims often comes down to medical evidence, and whether the patient sought treatment post-accident. Whether you plan to pursue a car accident claim or not, it’s important to your physical and financial health that you take advantage of available treatment options. Get an MRI, seek chiropractic care, and, if necessary, retain a qualified legal professional.
Pair At-Home Treatment With Chiropractic Care
Though your car accident doctor may recommend and even encourage at-home treatment, it is important to note that you should not forego in-office care. Chiropractors have long been recognized as soft tissue injury experts, as they have the specialized education and training necessary to encourage the healing of delicate body parts, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
By pairing chiropractic care with at-home care and, in more extreme cases, physical therapy, you can speed up the healing process and restore function quickly. For many people, it’s not just about reducing pain but rather about restoring their overall quality of life.
Your Go-To Car Injury Doctor
At CityWide Injury, your speedy and comfortable recovery is our number one concern. For advanced and affordable care, schedule your free after-accident evaluation with our car accident doctor today.
Contact us at 713-782-0082 for an appointment right away!