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Why Soft Tissue Injuries Are Hard to Recover From

In most accidents, our bodies suffer the brunt of the damage in our soft tissue,
namely the muscles, ligaments, or tendons. These parts of the body are important
for balance, flexibility, and movement, and any untreated injuries can impact
every aspect of our lives, from our jobs to how we sleep to our weight. Unlike
bruises or broken bones, soft tissue injuries can take longer to heal than you
might think.

Identifying Soft Tissue Injuries

If you sustain a soft tissue injury, you are likely to experience immediate
pain, along with delayed or immediate swelling, stiffness of the area, and
bruising that develops after 24 to 48 hours. You may also have difficulty
maintaining your balance, particularly when weight-bearing joints, such as the
hips, knees, and ankles, are affected. Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury
that occurs in car accidents, and affects the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of
the neck. Other common soft tissue injuries are strains or sprains, which can
range from mild pain to complete immobility of the affected area. A strain is a
trauma to the muscles or tendons caused by overstretching. In contrast, a sprain
involves overstretching of the ligaments. Both sprains and strains are
classified based on the severity of the injury:

  • Grade 1: These are mild injuries that occur due to
    overstretching, such as by lifting a heavy weight or falling while playing a
    sport. The fibers may suffer damage on a microscopic level but will feature
    only mild tenderness and swelling.
  • Grade 2: The fibers that encompass the soft tissue will
    become partially torn in these moderate sprain or strains. Victims can
    expect moderate pain, swelling, and tenderness, and will have difficulty
    putting weight on the injured area without experiencing pain.
  • Grade 3: A severe, grade 3 strain or sprain occurs when the
    tissue surrounding the joint, ligament, tendon, or muscle completely tears.
    This is accompanied by significant pain and swelling, loss of balance or
    flexibility, and the inability to move the injured body part. A torn
    Achilles tendon is a well-known grade 3 strain.

Average Recovery Periods

For mild sprains or strains, treatment may be as simple as the RICE method,
which involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In grade 1 injuries, the
RICE method should be applied for one to two weeks and three to four weeks for
grade 2 injuries. This means time off work, especially if you work construction
or retail. Sadly, most workers do not take time off to recover, which can cause
the injuries to worsen and result in further discomfort and pain. If your injury
occurred when you were on the job, make sure to take advantage of your workers’
compensation benefits to ensure you make a full recovery. For the most extreme
cases, such as with grade 3 injuries, the recovery times are often much longer
and can vary depending on a number of factors, including: lifestyle, health,
other injuries, age, and activity level. Grade 3 soft tissue injuries should be
assessed and treated immediately.

Why It Is Important to Seek Compensation for Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries can have a significant impact on your life. They can cause
pain and discomfort and prevent you from working out or participating in
physical activities. Many people with soft tissue injuries experience pain with
routine, daily activities such as driving a car or lifting a bag of groceries.
Parents will have significant difficulty playing with their kids and tending to
their homes, as severe sprains and strains can take some time to heal. You may
need ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, and time away from work. It is
important to seek compensation for the losses you have suffered so you can get
the treatment and rest you need. At Sorey & Gilliland, LLP, our Longview personal injury attorneys provide personalized, client-centered legal services. When we review your
case, we will analyze both your medical history and financial costs to ensure no
detail is left out of your claim. If you have suffered soft tissue injuries at
the hands of someone else’s carelessness, such as in a car accident,
slip-and-fall, or other traumatic events, call us at (903) 207-5526 to arrange
for a free consultation.