Car accidents in Canada are shockingly common. Canada report nearly 300,000 cases of road accidents every year. A few of these accidents are fatal and some cause catastrophic injuries. But fortunately, most injuries caused by car accidents are not very severe.
One of the most common types of injuries suffered by people who have been in car accidents is soft tissue injuries. These are injuries that physiotherapists have to deal with more than any other form of injury. They may not seem significant but they trigger immense pain. And you need the right kind of treatment to recover from soft tissue injuries.
What are soft tissue injuries?
Soft tissues perform a vital task. Not many of us are even aware of their existence. These are the tissues that surround, cushion, support, or connect other organs or bones of the body. Soft tissues help the organs and other structures carry out their tasks.
Some examples of soft tissues-
- Synovial membrane
- Blood vessels
Many reasons can trigger soft tissue injuries. Overuse, wear and tear of the soft tissues as we grow older, too much exercise can injure our soft tissues. But another common reason for soft tissue injuries is trauma. This trauma can be delivered by either a car accident or a slip and fall incident. Fortunately, most of these injuries do not require hospitalization. However, you will need medicines and therapy.
Trauma-induced soft tissue injuries include-
You suffer a sprain when your ligament is stretched beyond its limit or if it tears. The ligament is a kind of connective tissue and it binds one bone to another and is vital to their movement. That is why when you have sprained a ligament, moving the bones in the affected area triggers spikes of pain. The joints aren’t supported properly. Unless stability is restored to your bones, they may come out of alignment and this would lead to further health complications.
There are three grades of sprains depending on the extent of the injury. Grade 1 sprains are mild and cause very little discomfort. Grade 2 soft tissue injury refers to a slight tearing of the ligament and Grade 3 is extensive tearing which might need surgery to fix up.
This is an injury to the tendons that connect muscles to bones. Muscles themselves can be strained by the impact of an accident. Tendon or muscle strains also make movement painful.
Strains too can involve a partial tear or a complete tear. They trigger pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, or cramping.
A contusion is a medical term for bruises. A blunt impact will not break the skin but the underlying connective tissues, tendons, or muscles might be crushed. The blood vessels rupture and the blood pools at the site of the injury, which gives the bruise its purple color.
If the head and the neck move back and forth at a great speed and force, you get a whiplash injury. It is also called cervical strain. Whiplash is accompanied by a stiff and painful neck, a limited range of motion, and back pain. It could take anything between 1 week to a few months for the symptoms to subside.
Soft tissue injuries are not to be undermined
Most people who have sustained soft tissue injurious do not seek the medical help that they should. They usually opt for pain medication to dull the discomfort and compression wraps to bind the site of the injury.
However, soft tissue injuries need treatment overseen by doctors. Otherwise, bone problems may set in later. Some injuries can even become debilitating without medical intervention.
Treatment of soft tissue injuries
First of all, you must consult a doctor right after suffering a soft tissue injury. Once it has been confirmed that no bones have fractured, your treatment will commence.
Doctors recommend the R.I.C.E method for soft tissue injuries that are moderate. R.I.C.E is the acronym of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Rest allows your body’s immunity to rally and begin healing the injury. Ice bags work wonders in numbing pain and subsiding inflammation. Compression restricts the movement of the affected area to allow it to heal. If your arm or leg is injured, you should keep it elevated above the level of your heart to regulate blood supply.
Your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication. NSAIDs have to be taken with caution. Stick to the prescribed dosage and if you miss a dose, ask your doctor before you take two doses together or in quick succession.
Your doctor may also recommend slings to take the pressure off your injured arms or neck. Grade 2 soft tissue injuries require almost the same kind of treatment but you will need to visit the doctor a lot more so that he/she can monitor your progress. You will also need physiotherapy.
Grade 3 soft tissue injuries require surgical intervention.
If all goes well, there will be three stages of your recovery procedure
Stage 1: the initial 24-72 hour phase when pain and inflammation are at their worst. This is when you have to apply the R.I.C.E method.
Stage 2: your soft tissue injury reaches its climax; medicines and therapy begin to yield results.
Stage 3: You will be able to resume your everyday routine.
Grade 1 injuries heal in a couple of weeks. Grade 2 injuries can take a couple of months whereas grade 3 injuries that need surgery will need you to be in bed for more than 6 months.
Three things to avoid when you suffer a soft tissue injury
1. Heat compress: heat increases blood flow and might enhance swelling
2. Rubbing: also increases blood flow and may further stress the injured tissues, ligaments, and muscles
3. Alcohol: slows down your healing process
Soft tissue injuries require treatment, which means you have to pay medical bills. If the injury was the result of a slip and fall accident or a road accident, then you are entitled to compensation. Damages encompass not just your physical injuries but also emotional trauma, disruption of livelihood, and loss of income. Keep copies of your medical documents as evidence and contact personal injury lawyers. They can help you with the legal procedure.
At Claim Settlement, our network of lawyers.. we connect you with have over 20 years of experience in handling personal injury and accident cases and have helped clients recover the maximum compensation in claim settlements. Our initial consultation is absolutely free and you don’t pay your lawyer until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury or been in an accident call us at 1-833-892-5246 for a free consultation or e-mail us at email@example.com