If you have ever sprained your ankle or suffered a bruise, you have suffered a soft-tissue injury. A soft-tissue injury is an injury to any muscle, ligament, or tendon in the body. Soft-tissue injuries are caused by a traumatic event or occur over time through repetitive motions and other activities.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are connective tissue that connects bone and cartilage. Ligaments also hold joints together. Sprains usually occur when the ligament is torn or overstretched. Sprains can cause pain and swelling. In worst-case scenarios, a sprain can affect the function of the joint, and may require surgery to repair the ligament.
An injury to the muscles or tendons is referred to as a strain. Tendons are tissue in the body that connect muscle to bone. Sprains also range in severity and can require surgery to repair. People typically suffer strains of the back and legs. In addition to pain and swelling, strains can cause muscle spasm and cramping.
A contusion is also considered to be a soft-tissue injury that is caused by a blow to the body. This results in the discoloration of the skin as blood rushes to the area of the injury.
Tendinitis is a common type of repetitive stress injury. Overuse of the tendon causes inflammation and irritation. Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, or jelly-like sacs that cushion the joints. Bursitis causes pain with use of the joint. It can be caused by overuse or by a traumatic injury.
Examples of Soft-Tissue Injuries
Soft-tissue injuries can happen suddenly (acute) or occur over time (chronic) and can affect every area of the body.
Some examples of soft-tissue injuries include:
- Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs when the head is thrown forcibly forward and then backward. People with whiplash can experience headaches and neck pain that travels into the shoulders and arms.
- Back injuries, also referred to as lumbar sprains and strains, occur when there is an injury to the muscles that support the lower back. Symptoms of back injuries include muscle spasm, pain, and stiffness, as well as a restricted range-of-motion.
- Neck injuries other than whiplash can involve damage to the cervical spine, including the cervical discs. When a disc in the cervical spine erupts, it is referred to as a herniation. A herniation disc can compress the spinal cord and cause significant pain.
- Knee injuries are common types of soft-tissue injuries and can consist of bursitis and tendinitis. Additionally, tears in the anterior cruciate ligament or posterior cruciate ligament are also considered to be soft-tissue injuries.
- Foot injuries result when there is damage to the ligaments in the front of or on the side of the foot and ankle. These types of injuries are very common and are typically caused by trauma.
- Shoulder injuries can involve the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff, which results in pain and weakness of the shoulder joint with a reduced range of motion.
Common Causes of Soft-Tissue Injuries
Whether they are acute or chronic, there are many different causes of soft-tissue injuries. These may include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Boating accidents
- Cumulative trauma injuries
- Warehouse accidents
- Steelworker accidents
- Sports-related accidents
- Injuries caused by defective products
If you have a soft-tissue injury that resulted from an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. You should speak to a soft-tissue injury attorney to understand the type and amount of compensation that you could recover.
How Long Does It Take for a Soft-Tissue Injury to Heal?
The length of time it will take for a soft-tissue injury to heal will depend on the nature and severity of the injury.
Soft-tissue injuries typically take about three to four weeks to heal. However, some soft-tissue injuries can take from six months to a year to heal. Some soft-tissue injuries will never heal, and their symptoms will have to be managed and treated for a person’s lifetime.
Treatment for Soft-Tissue Injuries
There are different stages of treatment for people who sustained soft-tissue injuries in an accident.
After the accident and resulting injury, it is very important to protect the part of the body that was injured, so that it is not damaged any further. This can be done by the use of medical devices such as crutches, a sling, or a neck brace.
Rest is very important after experiencing a soft-tissue injury. Don’t use the affected area for any reason. Ice should be applied intermittently to the affected area to reduce swelling. Compression and elevation are also advised to reduce swelling.
Also, make sure to avoid heat, alcohol, and massage in the three days following an accident that causes a soft-tissue injury. These activities can increase swelling and defer the healing process.
You may also be required to undergo a course of physical therapy to recover from your soft-tissue injury fully. Therapy can last from three months to a year. Some people find therapy helpful, while others’ conditions will not improve over time.
Compensation Through a Personal Injury Claim
If you sustained soft-tissue injuries in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation from the person who caused your injury.
You may be able to recover compensation for any medical bills that you accumulate due to your soft-tissue injury. If you cannot work because of your injury, you may be able to recover the income you lost during your time off from work. Depending on the circumstances, you could also be eligible to collect compensation for your pain and suffering, and other damages.
If the accident happened at work, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help with treatment and to replace a portion of your lost wages as you work toward recovery.
Because the type and amount of compensation you may be eligible to soft-tissue injury claim will vary, it is crucial to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case.
How a Soft-Tissue Injury Lawyer Can Help
Call the soft-tissue injury attorneys with Kentucky Courage at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer to discuss your rights and legal options.
Many people mistakenly think that soft-tissue injuries are not serious, and therefore do not warrant legal action. We’re here to tell you that this is not true, and you could be owed soft tissue injury compensation for a serious soft tissue injury settlement.
Our Kentucky injury attorneys will be ready to discuss your rights when you call us or contact us by email or by online chat. There is no risk and no cost to reach out to us.