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Can Soft Tissue Damage From a Car Accident Be Permanent?

While car accidents can leave you with significant physical and psychological damages, not all injuries are visible—including soft tissue damage. Soft tissue damage can be painful and uncomfortable, leading you to wonder if these injuries can be permanent.

The answer to this question is not straightforward—the severity of your injury and your path to recovery is unique to your situation. Read on for a closer look at the signs, symptoms, and treatment of soft tissue damage after a car accident, so you know what to expect and what steps you can take for a speedy recovery.

What is Soft Tissue Damage?

Soft tissues are the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that surround and support your bones. When you’re in a car accident, your body is subjected to tremendous stress and pressure, leading to soft tissue injuries. These are different from broken bones or bruises, and they may not show visible signs of damage.

Soft tissue injuries are classified into three degrees of severity:

  • First-degree injuries: Minor injuries that affect only the superficial layer of the soft tissue. They are characterized by swelling, stiffness, and soreness.
  • Second-degree injuries: Moderate injuries that affect deeper tissues and are characterized by pain, tenderness, and impairment of movements.
  • Third-degree injuries: Severe injuries that cause complete or partial tearing of soft tissues, which can lead to significant pain and mobility issues.

Signs and Symptoms of Soft Tissue Damage

Soft tissue damage can manifest in several ways after an accident. Common symptoms include:

  • Stiffness or soreness in the affected area
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty with activities of daily living

If you feel any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor will examine you and may order tests like X-rays or MRI scans to assess the extent of the damage.

How Are Soft Tissue Injuries Treated?

Treatment for soft tissue injuries varies depending on the severity of the injury. Mild injuries like a first-degree injury may require rest, ice, and compression. Third-degree injuries may require surgical intervention. In cases where there is significant pain, your doctor may prescribe pain medications or recommend physical therapy to help with your recovery.

It’s essential to follow your doctor’s recommendations and not attempt any physical activity until you get the go-ahead as this can aggravate the injury and cause more damage. Additionally, your doctor may recommend you consult with a personal injury lawyer to document your medical expenses and injuries to pursue compensation for damages.

Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident—Even If You Feel No Symptoms

Car accidents can have lasting effects on your body, and soft tissue injuries are no exception. Fortunately, soft tissue injuries from a car accident are not necessarily permanent—especially with early medical intervention. If you’ve been in a car accident, call Impact Medical Group of Brandon today at (813) 522-8885 to schedule your free medical evaluation. With proper medical care, rest, and—in some cases—physical therapy, you can recover and regain full mobility.