What is a Soft Tissue Injury and How Can a Chiropractor Help You Heal?
March 03, 2022

Around 3 million people suffer injuries in car accidents each year in the US.

The most common injuries suffered during road accidents are soft tissue injuries. Understanding these injuries, their symptoms, and how to heal them is very important.

If you’ve been in an accident and are still feeling pain or limited mobility, it’s possible you are suffering from a soft tissue injury. Read on to find out more about them, and how a car accident chiropractor on the Accident Recovery Team at County Line Chiropractic Medical and Rehab Centers can help you heal.

What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?

Soft tissue injuries occur when there is damage to the body’s connective tissue such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Sudden force, such as a collision, causes damage to these tissues by pulling, tearing, or compressing them.

Depending on the severity of the impact or strain, soft tissue injuries can take weeks, or sometimes months, to heal. This is why it is important to seek help if you have suffered one of these injuries.

Types of Soft Tissue Injury

Types of Soft Tissue Injury - Car Accident Chiropractor

There are many forms of soft tissue injury. These are some of the most common ones experienced by victims of car accidents.


Whiplash is one of the most common soft tissue injuries and can be one of the most problematic. A sudden jolt to the neck at speeds as low as 5 mph can cause whiplash, which is usually the result of a rear-end collision. This causes an injury to the tissues surrounding the shoulders, neck, and base of the skull.

Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Stiff neck
  • Pain in the neck
  • Headaches
  • Back problems
  • Loss of memory or concentration

These symptoms can present themselves immediately after a car accident or can take hours or days to develop. If left untreated, whiplash can become a chronic problem, so it is advisable to seek treatment as soon as possible.


A sprain is a tearing or stretching of ligaments (tough bands of tissue that connect bones in the joints). The most common joint to sprain is the ankle.

Symptoms of a sprain include:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Feeling or hearing a “pop” in the joint at the time of injury
  • Limited ability to move the affected joint

Strains (Muscle Tears)

Also called a pulled muscle, a strain is when a muscle is stretched too much and tears. Strains are very painful and can be caused by a car accident, using a muscle in the wrong way, or overusing a muscle.

Symptoms of strains include:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising or redness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited motion
  • Muscle weakness

Contusions (Bruises)

A contusion – the medical term for a bruise – is a type of hematoma, which is a collection of blood outside a blood vessel. This is caused by injured blood vessels or capillaries leaking blood into the surrounding area.

Symptoms of contusions vary depending on whether they are located on your bone, muscle, or skin tissue and may include:

  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Difficulty using the affected area
  • A small bump
  • Discolored skin that’s green, red, black, blue, or purple

Common Causes of Soft Tissue Injuries

As we’ve discussed, car accidents are one of the main causes of soft tissue injuries. This is because the impact of a collision causes the body to jolt, which causes soft tissues to strain or tear.

Other causes of soft tissue injuries include:

  • Sports
  • Heavy lifting
  • Repetitive strain
  • Falls

Any activity that can cause a sudden impact on your body or repetitive strain can cause injury.

How a Chiropractor Can Help

Chiropractic Care After An Accident

There are a number of methods a chiropractor can use to treat a soft tissue injury. This always starts with a thorough examination of the injury and diagnosis.

  • Physiotherapy (Physical Therapy) – Also called physical therapy, physiotherapy uses specific exercises and activities to help you restore strength and range of motion in the affected areas of your body. Our Accident Recovery Team shows you how to safely perform each exercise in our office and may suggest exercises you can do at home to enhance your recovery journey.
  • Massage – Therapeutic massage helps loosen up stiff, tense muscles and joints. Not only is a massage relaxing, but it’s an important part of many recovery plans since massage can increase the effectiveness of other therapies, such as chiropractic adjustment.
  • Ultrasound Therapy – Ultrasound therapy uses a wand with a special crystal that vibrates very quickly when it’s charged, creating ultrasound waves that are aimed at your injured area. The ultrasound waves create heat, decrease swelling, increase blood flow, and improve your range of motion.
  • Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) – Used to decrease inflammation, relieve pain, and reduce muscle spasms, electrical muscle stimulation involves placing two or four sticky pads around your injured area, then sending light electrical pulses to the pads. This causes the muscles to spasm and contract, releasing pain-relieving endorphins. The EMS machine is fully adjustable, so you can get a perfectly therapeutic experience without pushing you past your pain limit.
  • Chiropractic Adjustment – Treatments for whiplash and some other soft tissue injuries involve gentle adjustments to realign vertebrae and body tissues. This takes pressure away from the injury, alleviates pain, and increases mobility.
  • Heat Therapy – Beneficial for strains, stiff muscles, and some other soft tissue injuries, heat therapy enlarges blood vessels under the skin’s surface, which decreases pain, stimulates the healing process, and relaxes muscles. Moist heat therapy is especially useful compared to dry heat (like a heating pad) since it doesn’t draw moisture out of your skin.

Don’t Suffer in Silence – Seek Help

If you’ve been in a car accident or suspect that you may have a soft tissue injury caused by something else, it is better to be safe than sorry and seek help from a car accident chiropractor.

At each of our 6 South Florida County Line Chiropractic Medical & Rehab Centers, we treat soft tissue injuries and can work with you to ensure your future is pain-free. Contact us today to make an appointment. Our Accident Recovery Team will help diagnose your injury and start you on your healing journey.

Benefits of Seeing a ChiropractorHow to Choose a Chiropracor

Load more posts

Want to learn more? Stop by one of our
offices for a consultation!

With six convenient South Florida locations to best serve you, there is nothing stopping you from making an appointment! Call today and start feeling better.

  • ‘86

    Helping patients for over 30 years

  • 6

    Full-service rehab centers

  • X

    Non-Invasive alternative to surgery


We treat our patients like our own family.

We are committed to providing each and every patient with the highest quality, customized care they deserve. You can count on our chiropractors to help you live a happy, healthy, and pain-free life without any surgical procedures or harmful medications.

We hope to hear from you soon!

If you’re ready to find the relief you’ve been longing for, you owe it to yourself to schedule an appointment at County Line Chiropractic today. We can’t wait to meet you and enlighten you on the power of chiropractic care and natural healing.