Connective tissues are located throughout your body. These tissues are tough, flexible, fibrous tissues that connect bones, cartilages, or which hold together a joint. Your neck, spine, knees and elbows are chalked full of connective tissues, so it’s no surprise that injuries to these parts of your body are very common during acute trauma, such as that from a car accident. Today we take a closer look at connective tissue injuries and how to treat them.
Causes of Connective Tissue Injuries
Some ways your tissues can get injured in a crash include:
- Direct impact to the area
- Abnormal body twisting
- Hard jostling while bracing yourself for impact
Overview of Connective Tissue Injuries
Here are a couple common connective tissue injuries we see, and how we typically treat the conditions.
- Knee – The knee is prone to connective tissue damage and your legs can get twisted, leading to sprains or tears. Complete tears typically need surgery to repair, but minor knee issues usually recover with rest and physical therapy.
- Back – There are a lot of ligaments and soft tissue in your back, especially in your lower back. When ligaments and tissue in your back are injured, you might experience muscle spasms, numbness and pain that extends into your buttock and thighs. Conservative treatment may alleviate symptoms, but because of the sensitive nature of your back, you’ll want to visit a specialist for an individualized rehab plan.
- Neck – Connective tissue injuries in the neck are typically referred to as a whiplash injury. Although your body stays stationary when you have your seatbelt engaged, your neck can be thrust forwards or backwards, causing injury. If left untreated, neck injuries can result in chronic neck pain. Rest, neck braces and anti-inflammatory medications are common ways doctors treat neck injuries, and then patients progress to stretching exercises and physical therapy to extend comfortable range of motion.
If you’re experiencing pain in any of these areas, you’ll want to swing into a physical therapy clinic for an examination. Your PT will ensure there isn’t an underlying issue, and they can help you manage your pain.