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.