Soft tissue injury to the neck and back.Injury to the soft tissue of the neck and back can occur as a result of an automobile accident. Soft tissue injury by definition is injury to those portions of the muscles and ligament structures that make up the spine rather than a bony malady. Additionally, soft tissue injury does not include disc material that separates each vertebrae and allows your spine to flex.
Soft tissue injury typically occurs with flexion/extension that is beyond that typically experienced by a person during their normal movement. For instance, when you are rear-ended, you head is thrust severely back and then forward as a result of the collision, and the muscles are extended further back and further forward than they would typically be during normal use of your head. As a result, muscle tissue is torn and extended. Recovery can be difficult.
Soft tissues injury can be more pronounced in the neck or back when the head is turned at an angle on impact. As an example, if you turn your head to one side and then try to bend it forward or back, you'll note and feel the strain on the neck muscles on the opposing side.
Soft tissue injury leaves many people disabled for 6 to 12 weeks. The typical therapy for soft tissue injury includes physical therapy to strengthen the muscular structure surrounding the neck, diathermy or deep tissue heat, ultrasound, and deep tissue massage. Massage is important to break down the crystalline structures that form in any damaged muscle. If soft tissue injury is not treated, scar tissue can form and it can become a problem for the balance of that person's life. It's far more difficult to break down scar tissue than scar tissue, so early treatment is usually recommended.
Chiropractic treatment is also useful for soft tissue injury. Chiropractic therapy is designed to stabilize the muscle structure and the spine but also align it so that the neck and the low back are not strained unnecessarily. Long-term chiropractic, however, has not been proven to be beneficial. Therefore, if chiropractic treatment is attempted over a period of several months, and it fails, other modalities, such as formal physical therapy should be considered.
If you have been involved in an accident causing soft tissue injuries to your neck and back, you should consult with a physician and/or chiropractor immediately. If you need help with your case, contact our office. We'd be more than happy to consult with you. Call 866-981-5596.