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Common types of soft tissue injuries resulting from car accidents

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Posted on January 10, 2023

If you experience a motor vehicle accident, you might feel like a lack of broken bones warrants the confidence to walk away from the incident without seeking medical attention. The fact is, however, that even a minor accident can cause soft tissue injuries that are not apparent until much later.

The National Safety Council reports approximately 4.8 million medically-consulted injuries resulting from car accidents for the year 2020. While the number of crash-related deaths for the year is considerably lower at 42,338, it is still important to understand the nature of soft tissue injuries and how they can affect your life.


When an impact forces the overextension of a joint, it can result in ligament damage in the form of a sprain. Your wrists, knees and ankles are common sprain sites, especially if you instinctively brace yourself at the moment of impact during a collision.


Strains occur when muscles or tendons suddenly stretch to the point of pain or even tearing. Whiplash is a common form of strain associated with vehicle accidents that many people believe will recover over time. While this is true in many cases, a severe tear might call for surgical mending.


Contusions, known simply as bruising, can occur when the impact of a car crash causes blunt trauma. You can often treat contusions the same way you might reduce swelling, but be aware that further medical action may be necessary if the bruising does not subside.

Many people do not take sprains, strains or contusions seriously until it is too late. Neglecting to seek proper treatment for lasting symptoms can lead to permanent damage, even in the case of soft tissue injuries.