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What to know about soft tissue injuries from car accidents

Experiencing a car accident can be emotionally overwhelming, and physical harm is always a possibility. Soft tissue injuries, which impact the muscles, tendons and ligaments, are some of the most prevalent consequences of roadside collisions.

Although they might be less frightening than a skull fracture or the loss of a limb, they often have lasting impacts.

Recognizing soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries sometimes result from a car wreck’s sudden, forceful movements. Whiplash occurs when the head is abruptly jerked forward and backward; this rapid movement strains the muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back. Contusions or bruises may develop after the body collides with hard surfaces inside the vehicle.

Delayed onset of symptoms

Identifying soft tissue injuries can be challenging, as symptoms may not manifest immediately. Soreness, stiffness and pain might appear much later. Bruising typically takes 24 to 48 hours after the incident to become apparent. Seek medical attention if discomfort arises, as early detection and treatment can prevent long-term complications.

Visiting the doctor

After a car accident, a prompt medical evaluation remains necessary. Even if the individual feels fine, a healthcare professional should conduct a thorough assessment to look for hidden problems. A physician may recommend X-rays and other diagnostic tests to rule out organ damage or other worrying issues.

Treatment and recovery

Healing soft tissue injuries involves a combination of rest, physical therapy and pain management. Applying ice to affected areas helps reduce swelling, while gentle exercises improve flexibility and strength over time.

Although soft tissue injuries may not seem like a cause for alarm, anyone suffering their impact is likely to suggest the opposite. Reckless drivers need to understand that the people they hit may suffer even if they seem fine at the time of the incident.