Often, the least obvious injuries take the longest time to heal and cause the most anxiety. Most breaks or fractures can be seen on X-Ray. The fractures can be reset and in a few months the patient is feeling normal. Minor Impact Soft Tissue injuries, or MIST injuries, are often more troubling. They’re one of the more common types of accident injuries. Soft tissue injuries include damage to muscles, tendons or ligaments. MIST injuries can be hard to diagnose. Many soft tissue injuries leave the victim with a lifetime of chronic pain. Some victims never fully recover and never enjoy the life they had before the accident
How MIST injuries occur
Car accidents are perhaps the most common cause of soft tissue injuries. Rear-end accidents often cause occupants of the car in front, the one that’s hit, to suddenly jolt backwards/then forwards. This quick movement can cause the neck to be injured. Many rear-end car accident victims don’t even realize they’ve suffered whiplash until the next day or a few days later. This is why anyone, in any type of car accident, should seek immediate medical attention. Doctors can anticipate and treat MIST injuries.
Soft tissue accidents due to car crashes include more than just the neck. A head-on crash, a T-bone crash, a sideswipe, or any type of car accident will cause the driver and passengers to move about the car, often striking each other and immovable objects such as the dashboard. Soft tissue back injuries are very common – even when the cars are barely moving, or one is stationary.
Other types of seemingly minor accidents that can lead to soft tissue injuries include:
- Slips and falls on the property of another person. Property owners can be held liable if they failed to keep their property safe for visitors. A twisted ankle can take weeks to properly heal.
- Workplace accidents. Many workers can wrench their back, suffer carpal tunnel syndrome, hurt their neck, and suffer damage to the muscles, tissues, ligaments, and joints. When these MIST injuries occur, workers can file a workers’ compensation claim.
- Nursing home abuse. Staff need to understand the lines between helping seniors and residents and physically abusing them. As we grow older, it becomes easier to suffer soft tissue injuries if we’re pushed too hard or are moved without caution.
Treatment for soft tissue injuries
The most immediate symptom of a soft tissue injury is pain. The pain may be accompanied by swelling. Stiffness and bruises are also common. If there is soft tissue injury to a calf or leg muscle, the victim may not be able to walk. Doctors generally treat soft tissues by taking diagnostic tests to make sure there are no fractures or other causes of the pain. The goal is to help the accident victim regain full function.
Treatments vary from patient to patient. Common immediate treatments include:
- Compression such as using a bandage
- Elevation of limbs to reduce the swelling
Many patients need to work with physical therapists to regain function of their limbs and to help their back and neck return to normal function. In severe cases, patients may need to treat with a pain management doctor.
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, our Chattanooga personal injury lawyers understanding how devastating soft tissues can be – even when they’re low impact. We work to hold all responsible parties accountable for your pain and suffering, all your medical bills – past and future, and your lost wages. We work with your doctors and independent doctors when necessary to help understand all your physical limitations and emotional stress. For help now, please call us at 423-756-7923 or complete our contact form. We represent injury victims in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, and in North Georgia.