Common Types of Soft Tissue Injuries found in Vehicle Accidents
Generally, soft tissue injuries are caused by whiplash injuries or some other way that your body is thrown about in an accident. Even if you wear seat belts, those very safety items can lead to more violent types of whiplash injuries just because they restrain your body from being tossed about like a rag doll. The sudden cessation of your body movements in a car wreck can often cause the kinds of painful injuries that these safety restraints work to avoid. It’s ironic in its way, but for every solution, another problem arises in life. And since the advent of mandatory seat belts, whiplash injuries in car wrecks has been on a steady increase.
Whiplash injuries place greater tension on your spine, sometimes even stretching it between your head and the base of your spine. It’s simple physics. You’ve seen magicians pull a tablecloth out from underneath a fully-set table. The same “shock” properties are involved. When your body is fastened into the seat with a seatbelt, unless your head is also securely fastened, a vehicle strikes your car, the head keeps going, but the body stays where it is. This “whips” the head back (forward, or sideways, depending on the direction in which you were hit) and puts tension on the spine and “stretches” it sharply in less than a second. When the back returns to where it was a couple of seconds later, it doesn’t always return to the way it was.
Whiplash is so painful because it causes damage to the actual spinal tissue, which houses a tremendous amount of nerves and causes neck pain. Whiplash can cause headaches: even severe migraines. Spinal tissue is just part of the brain that resides in the spine. When you sharply compress the spinal tissue, it pulls at the back of the brain, which can cause minor damage to the brain tissue: hence, chronic headaches in whiplash victims.
Nerve damage is another severe form of soft tissue injury. Nerve fibers are exceptionally delicate, and they connect thousands of points in the body to the brain through the spinal column. Hundreds of nerves go to different parts of our body between each of our vertebrae. The common cause of nerve damage in a car accident is due to the stretching of a body. Various parts of a body can be stretched or bent awkwardly so that the outer tissue in the bend stretches in a direction counter to the usual way the nerve membranes are supposed to stretch. Think of your elbow that is normally designed to stretch one way. If something happens and instead of bending in, it was to bend out suddenly; that’s an excellent example of how a nerve can be stretched and become a source of chronic and sometimes excruciating pain.
Nerves can also be compressed in generally the same way. But instead of them being stretched, they are compacted by some violent force. Over hundreds of thousands of evolution, certain nerve tissues became resistant to certain loads or stresses. So, when they experience such a shocking load, they become damaged. This damage can result in loss of motor control (in the case of damaging a “motor neuron” within nerve tissue), or, arguably worse, the nerves associated with pain receptors themselves can become damaged, which causes immense and almost constant pain. Nerve tissue takes considerably longer for the body to heal than do most other forms of tissue. Some nerve tissues can’t be repaired at all.
Muscle tissue injuries are just as painful. Most lower back pain is that of muscle tissue damage rather than spinal tissue damage. Pain in the shoulders and other obvious muscle groups display the same chronic pain characteristics after the victim has been hurt in a car accident.
Minor joint injuries can have their origin from compressive injuries like we’ve mentioned above. When someone braces for impact or slams on the brake pedal, all of their mass becomes multiplied due to the G-forces resulting from rapid deceleration and is concentrated on – for example – one ankle in the driver’s brake pedal foot. In other words, your ankle that is designed to support 180 lbs normally, now has to support up as much as twice that amount for a brief period. This action compresses the cartilage and other soft tissues resulting in injury. We’ve seen severe cases where someone’s leg snaps under these compressive forces. This same phenomenon also commonly applies to the knees, wrists, and elbows. The knees have another potential injury, as they often slam into the dash in an accident.
In short, the forces of an auto accident don’t have to cause catastrophic injuries for them to be severe. If you are left with any form of soft tissue injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have a right to be compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and disability if it applies.
The time after being seriously injured in a car accident is often stressful and confusing to the victims and their families. Don’t add to the stress and confusion by letting an inexperienced attorney handle your case or represent yourself when you are unqualified to look out for your or your family’s best interests. We are uniquely qualified and fully prepared to fight for and win the fairest compensation for your total damage claims. If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, contact an attorney at our Law Offices today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.