There many types of injuries that can occur to the human body after being in a car accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, a person may have injuries to their back or neck in the form of a disc bulge, herniation, or soft tissue injury. A soft tissue injury is an injury to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the spine. Soft tissue injuries can occur from a direct blow or extreme flexion or extension of the spine. A soft tissue injury is usually characterized by inflammation of the tissues, muscle spasms, tenderness, pain, and loss of motion. A soft tissue injury to the neck region is usually a result of whiplash. Soft tissue injuries to the middle and lower back are usually a result of strain or sprain to the tissues in the spine. A strain is an overstretching of tissues without tearing and a sprain is an overstretching of tissues with tearing.
Treatment for soft tissue injuries usually starts off conservative and is treated with orthotic devices such as cervical collars, medical pillows, and other support techniques. Treatment plans for soft tissue injuries also include the use of anti—inflammatory and muscle relaxant medication and physical therapy consisting of exercise spinal manipulations, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Sometimes trigger point injections of corticosteriods are administered which can decrease pain and increase range of motion. Complications of soft tissue injuries include chronic pain, permanent loss of use, and fibromyalgia. Insurance companies are often skeptical of soft tissue injuries when compared to disc bulges and herniations so it is important to report all your symptoms to your doctor in order to document your injuries appropriately. It is also helpful to keep a journal of times when you are in pain and when you are unable to do certain activities. Soft tissue injuries can be painful and documentation is often key with proving the extent of a soft tissue injury. Keeping detailed notes with dates and times is a great way to strengthen your case in the eyes of the insurance company and also with creating a helpful treatment plan with your doctor that will make you feel better.