If you have been in an accident, you may be feeling more than a little banged up. Even if you escaped without any broken bones, soft tissue injuries can leave you sore and aching for weeks or even months after the collision.
Recognizing the most common soft tissue injuries can help you determine when you should seek medical attention.
One of the most frequently reported soft tissue injuries is whiplash. This occurs when the head is suddenly jerked back and forth, straining the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Some whiplash symptoms include neck pain, reduced range of motion, headaches, shoulder pain or numbness/tingling in the arms. Proper treatment usually involves rest, ice, over-the-counter pain medication and gentle stretches.
Sprains to the muscles and ligaments of the back are also very common after accidents. You may feel pain or muscle spasms in your lower, middle or upper back depending on the location of the sprain. Seeking medical attention ensures that your symptoms result from a sprain and not more serious complications.
It is common to see extensive bruising after a collision. Bruising results from blood vessel damage under the skin. The affected area may feel tender and sore. Using a cold compress can help minimize swelling and discomfort. Most bruises fade after a few weeks. Severe bruising and prolonged discomfort warrant further medical attention in case of more significant injuries.
The average bodily injury settlement for car accidents is a little over $20,000. Recognizing soft tissue injuries ensures that you seek adequate compensation for the discomfort you experience.