Although not as dramatic as fractured bones, concussions, or deep cuts, soft tissue injuries sustained in accidents can cause long-term health problems. Because soft tissue injuries affect the connective tissue between bones and muscles, they can limit your range of motion, flexibility, ability to sit or sleep comfortably, and cause chronic pain. After a car accident or slip and fall, it is vital that you speak to a medical professional to determine the full extent of your injuries.
What Are the Different Types of Soft Tissue Injuries?
Soft tissue injuries primarily affect connective tissue like tendons and ligaments, and damage to these parts of the body in an accident usually results in:
- Whiplash: This is a common injury in rear-end collisions and other types of automobile accidents. It gets its name from the whip-like motion of the head and neck that happens when a vehicle is hit from behind. This sudden movement of the head can strain or hyperextend soft tissues and pinch nerves in the neck. Victims of whiplash may struggle with chronic pain and stiffness and may be required to wear a brace to prevent worsening of the condition.
- Sprains: A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn. This is most common with trauma that involves twisting or a force of impact that causes the body to move out of position. Sprains in the lumbar (lower back) region occur frequently in rear-end collisions. This type of injury may require long-term treatment and physical therapy. Sprains can also occur in slip and fall accidents.
- Strains: Strains are injuries to muscles and tendons that occur when they become stretched or torn from bones. The most well-known is a torn Achilles’ tendon, which requires an extensive recovery period that could put you out of work for some time. Back strains suffered in accidents can cause chronic, long-lasting pain.
What Makes Soft Tissue Injuries Difficult to Spot?
Even doctors may fail to recognize and diagnose soft tissue injuries. In some cases, the injury does not become immediately apparent to the victim. Trauma in an accident causes a rush of adrenaline and endorphins throughout the body, which can mask the effects of the injury. Soft tissue injuries also do not show up on X-rays. As a result, this type of injury is often overlooked and unreported in emergency rooms. In the days after an accident, a victim may attempt to walk or move an affected body part and suffer from a sudden jolt of pain or limited mobility. If the injury is identified just after an accident, you may receive proper treatment and therapy earlier, limiting the amount of damage you suffer.
What Are the Long-Term Ramifications of Soft Tissue Injuries?
Damage to the soft tissues may take a long time to heal. It involves three distinct healing phases – inflammatory, reparatory, and remodeling. In each healing phase, the patient requires proper treatment, which may include anti-inflammatory medications, pain meds, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. The healing process can take up to three months. Severe soft tissue injuries can leave the victim with chronic pain after the healing phases are over. This can limit your day-to-day activities and significantly diminish your quality of life.
Recovering from More Than an Injury
If you have suffered serious soft tissue injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries and all related losses, including pain and suffering and time away from work. However, soft tissue injuries can be difficult to prove to an insurance company, especially when compared to more obvious injuries like broken bones or spinal cord injuries. For your best chance of recovering full and fair compensation, you need an experienced lawyer by your side.
Our Colorado personal injury attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC have served clients for decades in and outside the courtroom. We have an in-depth understanding of Colorado personal injury claims and have the experience to properly hold negligent parties accountable for your injuries. We understand that a sprained ankle can severely impact your career and livelihood and are ready take on your case. Call us at (303) 665-2929 to schedule a free consultation if you have suffered soft tissue injuries due to another person’s negligence. We offer our services to individuals in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, and many other parts of Colorado.