Some of the most common injuries suffered by those involved in car crashes and other accidents are related to soft tissue damage. Soft tissue injuries are usually the result of over-straining ligaments, muscles, and tendons and can be both painful and expensive to treat. If you recently suffered a strained muscle or torn ligament, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you collect compensation for your injury-related expenses.
Soft Tissue Injuries Defined
Soft tissue injuries are almost always caused by some kind of trauma, such as a sudden impact. For this reason, many car crash victims suffer from soft tissue injuries, as do those who experience falls. These types of injuries usually fall under one of the following categories:
- Bruises, which are caused by damage to small blood vessels and torn muscle fibers;
- Sprains, which are indicative of a torn ligament; and
- Strains, which occur when the tendons that hold muscles to bones are strained.
Bruising is usually caused by a direct blow to the muscle fibers and connective tissue underlying the skin and are primarily characterized by discoloration. Both sprains and strains can also involve bruising, especially if the injury was severe.
A sprain is the result of the stretching or tearing of the ligaments that connect the end of one bone to another. There are a few areas of the body that are especially susceptible to sprains, such as the ankles, wrists, and knees. Severe sprains in these areas can make the affected joint essentially nonfunctional and may even require surgical repair and physical therapy.
Strains occur most often when the tendons connecting the muscles to the bones in the foot, leg, and back are overstretched. In some cases, the tendon may even partially or completely tear, causing pain, cramping, and muscle spasms. Although soft tissue injuries generally heal with rest and icing, the rate at which injuries completely heal also depends on the age and health of the victim.
Those suffering from soft tissue injuries are usually encouraged to take specific steps, including:
- Icing the affected area for 15-20 minutes every one to two hours;
- Gently exercising and stretching to improve muscle strength and joint flexibility;
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications as directed by a physician;
- Resting and avoiding strenuous activities;
- Gradually increasing activity levels over time; and
- Elevating the injured limb above the level of the heart.
Although the effectiveness of these measures depends largely on the severity of the injury, they can make all the difference in the speed at which minor sprains and strains heal.
Contact an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney
Even minor strains and sprains can take a significant amount of time and seriously restrict a person’s ability to perform daily activities. As such, if you live in Pennsylvania and recently suffered a soft tissue injury in an accident, please call van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin at (215) 486-0123 to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney today.