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Muscle Soreness After a Car Accident

December 5, 2010

In a car accident, soft tissue injuries are those involving non-bony parts of the body. Such parts can include muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  Soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents and they are present in the form of tears, sprains, strains, and general muscle soreness.

When a car accident occurs, the impact of the crash can cause the passengers to be jolted around.  Hard braking and bracing against the impact lead to even more jolting.  As a result, a large number of people involved in car accidents experience soft tissue injuries. The force of impact in a car accident can cause soft tissues to stretch considerably, resulting in significant damage. As a result of this damage, individuals often experience pain, swelling, and loss of function.

Though soft tissue injuries are very common, they cannot be detected using x-rays.  For this reason it is more difficult to detect soft tissue injuries quickly than it is to detect bone injuries.  Often, an individual with soft tissue injuries will not experience symptoms for hours after a car accident. In some cases, it takes days for car accident victims to begin experiencing symptoms.

Once a person with soft tissue injuries begins having symptoms, he or she may experience persistent pain. This is a natural result of soft tissue injury and helps to make the accident victim aware that a body part has been damaged. The pain, however, can be significant and can stall or inhibit healing if left untreated.

One of the most common soft tissue injuries is whiplash. This injury occurs when a person in a car is hit from behind in a car accident. In this type of collision, the head of the accident victim often snaps forward and back again. The head weighs a considerable amount, and when it snaps backwards, it exerts significant force on the neck. The resulting whiplash can lead to a range of serious conditions, including but not limited to chronic pain, joint dysfunction, and herniated discs of the cervical spine.

Symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain, stiffness, headache, and burning sensations. Shoulder, back pain, and dizziness may be present as well.  Some sufferers also report memory loss, depression, fatigue, and nervousness.

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