Understanding Soft Tissue Injuries and the Impact They Can Have on Your Life
Soft tissue injuries can impact your lifestyle in many different ways. The conventional thinking is that they are not as serious as broken bones or internal organ damage, which is probably true. However, they can still wreak havoc on your life for a while.
Let's talk about some of the more common soft tissue injuries and how you can try to deal with them.
How Soft Tissue Injuries Occur
As you learn about soft tissue injuries, you'll understand that some of the more common ones are:
These might come about from a slip-and-fall situation or a car accident. You might incur a soft tissue injury on the job if you work outdoors. Sometimes they happen while you're attempting a DIY project around the house or in the yard.
Sometimes they occur while you're exercising or playing sports. Occasionally, they seem to happen for very little reason at all. You might simply take a bad step and land the wrong way.
Some of the Soft Tissue Injuries That Happen Easily
You would consider any of the following a soft tissue injury:
A muscle sprain
A muscle strain
An abrasion or laceration
A muscle sprain occurs when you tear your ligament. A twisting or wrenching motion is a common culprit. The shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle can be subject to one. A strain is usually where you overuse a muscle or joint. Force or trauma can also cause them sometimes.
Whiplash occurs when the neck jerks violently back and forth. Car accidents cause them, but this is a fairly common sports injury as well. Football players sometimes get whiplash from a nasty hit.
A contusion is blood pooling beneath the skin. Another version is restricted blood flow to an area. These injuries can be quite painful but usually won't take that long to heal.
Abrasions and lacerations are different kinds of cuts. You have open skin, and there is blood loss and infection risk. Doctors grade abrasions according to how deep they go, like first, second, and third-degree. With lacerations, you've cut the skin open in a jagged way. You might be missing a chunk of tissue or skin.
How a Muscle Sprain Impacts Your Life
Since muscle sprains often happen at an articulation point, like the ankle, it can make it difficult to do things like walk around as you usually would. You might not be able to walk the dog, mow the lawn, play sports, go grocery shopping, etc.
Depending on how serious it is, you can usually recover with some over-the-counter pain meds. You might employ ice for the swelling, or wear a support brace for a while. You may also need some physical therapy to get the tendons and ligaments strong again.
How a Muscle Strain Impacts Your Life
Doctors often treat strains in much the same way as they do sprains. You might employ ice, heat, over-the-counter-pain meds, or a brace.
If you strained your wrist because of an action that you do as part of your work, then you might need to wear a brace often to support it moving forward. Those who work typing away at computers all day may be prime candidates for this sort of treatment.
Whiplash is quite painful, depending on the severity. You'll probably need to wear a neck brace for a while.
You can employ pain meds, either over-the-counter or prescription, in some more extreme cases. You'll probably have to restrict your activities quite a bit for at least a while.
Car accident whiplash is usually more severe in older adults. Younger people can more easily recover. If the car that hit you was going very fast, a more serious whiplash injury is likely.
Contusion recovery is usually fairly straightforward. You simply need to wait until the soft tissue recovers. It will take shorter or longer, depending on how severe the damage is.
In the meantime, you might use over-the-counter pain meds and cold compresses. If you suffered many contusions because of a severe accident, then you may need to recover for days or weeks before you can move around comfortably again.
Abrasion and Laceration Recovery
An abrasion or laceration is an open wound, so you might need stitches to close one in some instances. If so, you'll need to go to an urgent care facility or hospital. You'll probably need to keep the wounds bandaged for a while.
With infected wounds, you'll probably need antibiotics. You might have a noticeable scar in some cases. In the meantime, pain meds will help you.
During the Recovery Process
Any one of these injuries can be painful, but what if you suffered many abrasions and contusions at the same time? Maybe you got whiplash as well, all resulting from the same car accident.
When that happens, you'll need to get off your feet and be a little bit patient. You might be eager to return to your life, but you need time for your body to recuperate from all that damage. If you're healthy and able-bodied, hopefully, it will not take very long. If you weren't in the best health when it happened, the recovery might take longer.
Ideally, you have some loved ones and friends who can help you while you recover. If you have several of these injuries at once, just walking around the house could be challenging. You may be able to get worker's comp to help with the bills during this time. Perhaps you can collect a settlement from the other driver if this happened in a car accident. Failing that, your savings might have to take the brunt of the medical bills.
People usually recover from soft tissue injuries after a while. You might be hurting for a bit, but doctors don't consider these the worst injuries that can happen to you. You can be thankful for that at least.