Table of Contents
Soft tissues help to surround, protect, and bind the structures in your body, such as muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons, all examples of soft tissues. Damage to any of these components, resulting in pain, swelling, irritation, or a loss of mobility, is referred to as a soft tissue injury.
The cause of these injuries may range in severity and seriousness, and some, of course, are much worse than others regarding pain and the possibility of disability.
Soft tissue injuries get divided into two categories depending on the seriousness of the injury and how it occurred, which we discuss here. So, if you were seriously injured in a car accident, Michael Ehline and the team at the Ehline Law Firm can help you today.
Based on the severity of an injury a soft tissue injury can get categorized as either a Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3 injury based on its severity. This categorization of soft tissue injuries allows us to understand better how much damage got done to an individual and how serious the injury should get taken—classifying all soft tissue injuries as the same would be foolish in a sense as it would allow for the proper assessment of the injuries sustained by the individual involved in the accident that caused these injuries in the first place.
When the tissue fibers become overstretched, this is the least serious form of soft tissue injury. Grade 1 injuries normally only impact a small portion of the soft tissue fiber, making for a quicker and smoother recovery over a few days or weeks. Mild swelling and tenderness in the injured area are common symptoms.
A Grade 2 injury is significantly more serious than a Grade 1 injury. It causes a partial tear of the soft tissue fibers, but the tissue remains intact. Swelling, tenderness, and discomfort are more noticeable, and recovery time can be much longer than for a Grade 1 injury. A Grade 2 injury can take anything from a few weeks to a couple of months to heal.
The most serious injury is a Grade 3 injury. It entails a complete soft tissue breakup. There is much more swelling than with Grade 1 or Grade 2 injuries and a lot of stiffness in the affected joint structure. A Grade 3 injury gets described by the inability to use the injured limb. Depending on the structure that got injured as well as the type and severity of the injury, recovery should take anywhere from six weeks to a year.
Numerous events can occur to cause soft tissue injuries. There are two rather broad categories that they can get broken down into. These two categories are acute injuries and overuse injuries. The way that these two types of injuries occur is very different, and as a result, they should get treated individually.
A sudden trauma typically causes these injuries to the affected area. They often occur in sporting incidents or accidents. There are a number of terms that may sound more familiar to you when talking about these injuries: sprains, strains, and contusions.
These terms classify the types of acute common soft tissue injuries.
Overuse injuries occur when a movement or action gets repeated over a long period without allowing the body to heal itself. Tendinitis or bursitis may develop if you continue to stress a soft tissue without allowing it to heal after the action.
You would much rather avoid these injuries than have to deal with them, and they often result in pain and inflammation.
The RICE technique is the traditional first-aid treatment for nearly all cases of these injuries. For the first 48 to 72 hours, the RICE treatment includes resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the damaged soft tissue. These four measures aid in relieving pain and inflammation and preventing further injury to the injured region.
The remainder of your condition may get determined by the type and nature of your soft tissue injury. The majority of muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries recover over time. Specific strengthening and stretching exercises may help to reinforce these soft tissues and keep them from getting injured again. Surgical intervention may be required for severe injuries like a full-structure tear.
Over time, contusions appear to heal on their own. Following the RICE protocol should help you recover faster. However, it is best to speak with a doctor to prevent permanent injury. Anti-inflammatories get used to treat bursitis and reduce swelling. A doctor can prescribe procedures to remove the fluid accumulated in the bursa, depending on the location and severity of the injury. Alternatively, they can administer a corticosteroid injection to the patient to alleviate swelling and pain.
Surgery usually is only used as a last resort. If the pain continues following non-invasive procedures, doctors would generally prescribe surgery.
After an injury, no matter how minor it may seem, it is always a good idea to thoroughly examine it. Some injuries are more severe than their apparent signs suggest. After analyzing the outcomes of multiple medical tests, a doctor is in the best place to prescribe the appropriate care. If your symptoms continue and do not change within the timeline indicated at your previous appointment, you should see a doctor again.
If you have a soft tissue injury and are considering filing a compensation claim, seeing a doctor should help your attorney bring your claim together.
Should you sustain an injury relating to joint soft tissue, you can do several things to alleviate the pain and assist the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in recovery. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the best ways to deal with sprains, strains, and similar injuries. Should you have a Grade 1 injury, your doctor would likely prescribe rest, ice compression, and elevation as the best way to allow the muscle’s tendons to recover appropriately.
These methods improve blood flow to the connective tissue and provide sufficient time to heal. It is essential to give all these connective tissue injuries enough time to recover to prevent further damage. If a more serious injury occurs, treatment such as physical therapy may be necessary. So, you may consider this treatment if you have any mild to severe symptoms relating to a ligament or sports injury. This treatment allows for complete recovery without the risk of a recurring injury.
Should your injury get caused by someone else, you may want to consider a Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney to fight the case for you. Our legal services can give your significant subject weight and ensure you get the best settlement offer. You can contact us to get a free consultation today. Contact us either through our website or via phone call.
You can phone us by dialing (213) 596-9642 or request an online consultation for a faster response. We can provide you with an experienced and aggressive attorney who works for Ehline Law Firm, which has won over $150 million for numerous satisfied clients.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.