Why Soft Tissue Injuries Can’t Just Be ‘Walked Off’
Soft tissue injuries have a reputation for being easy to heal from. Because the mild forms often don’t require surgeries or casts, many assume that getting over a soft tissue injury is just a matter of waiting a few days and maybe spending a little extra time resting in bed. But the truth of the matter is that soft tissue injuries can take months, or even years, to recover from and may leave you with lasting damage.
The Different Types of Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injury refers to when the muscles ligaments and tendons of the body are damaged. These structures are incredibly important for proper movement, as well as holding your body upright. Damaging them can cause severe physical trauma.
There are several types of soft tissue injuries, each pertaining to different types of damage as well as specific areas of the body.
Sprains: When you stretch or tear a ligament, the injury is qualified as a sprain. Ligaments connect bones together and are vital in our joints. Without them, we would not be able to move as we currently do. A torn ligament is a serious problem and can result in the joint not being able to work or move properly.
Strains: A strain refers to an injury to the muscle or tendons in your leg, foot, or back. The tendons help hold muscle to bone, and, similar to ligaments, are partially responsible for our ability to move. Bad strains can result in intense pain, muscle spasms, or even swelling.
Contusions: This is another word for a bruise, which is a type of soft tissue injury. While bruises are a part of everyday life, serious ones can result in severe pain and long periods of immobility while you heal. In some cases, they can be a sign of severe internal damage.
Whiplash: This is what most people think of when they hear “soft tissue injuries.” Whiplash is a result of your head snapping suddenly to the side, which in turn stretches your neck’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Particularly bad whiplash can also damage the disks in your spine. It often results in intense pain, a stiff neck, severe headaches, and even a loss of feeling in your arms.
Long Term Damages You May Face
While many soft tissue injuries result in minimal pain that will go away without any medical intervention, others can take weeks to heal even require long sessions of physical therapy. Soft tissue injuries are often categorized by grade when determining how severe they are.
Grade I: There is little or no joint instability, and the injury will likely heal on its own in a matter of weeks.
Grade II: You experience mild joint instability and may need surgery in order to heal properly, especially if something has been torn.
Grade III: This is the worst category, and it means that there has been a complete tear and surgery will be required. After the surgery, you will probably need to attend rigorous physical therapy to make sure that you are able to retain full movement.
Both Grade II and Grade III level injuries could be considered catastrophic, and may have a lasting impact on your life. You may not be able to pick up and play with your children, go for an evening jog, or even just walk down to your favorite coffee shop. Whatever the perception of soft tissue injuries, they have the potential to be incredibly dangerous.
What is worse is that acts of negligence, such as auto accidents, slip and falls, or storefront accidents, can cause all of these injuries. Insurance adjusters and the at-fault party may tell you to just “walk it off,” but the truth is, if your soft tissue injury is severe, walking it off may be the absolute worse thing you can do.
This goes double for whiplash.
Whiplash and You
There is a perception with whiplash that most people who claim to be suffering from it are making it up in order to get a higher settlement. Many assume it’s a mild injury, just a little neck pain, and anyone who say they have it is just full of bologna. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Severe whiplash is an incredibly serious injury. Recent studies in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy have shown that some whiplash victims may be feeling the symptoms for upwards of a year! And those symptoms are not mild either. They often include severe pain, both in the neck and the head, intense stiffened movement of the neck, as well as nonstop fatigue and dizziness. Those suffering from long-term whiplash are left unable to go about their day-to-day lives, and no amount of medication or physical therapy seems to help.
The fact of the matter is, there is no walking off severe soft tissue injuries. If you are suffering from Grade III injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, then you deserve compensation. We at Aghabegian & Associates, PC have a combined experience of 40-years handling personal injury claims for Los Angeles County residents. Call us at (818) 507-4311 to learn how you can pursue compensation after a serious soft tissue injury.