Soft tissue injuries such as microscopic tears, known as sprains and strains, impact the soft tissue and ligaments surrounding the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal bony structures that protect the spine. Sprains and strains of this kind are very common in rear and front-end car accidents. The tares are microscopic but can cause small amounts of bleeding into the soft tissue. The swelling from these microscopic tears can even lead to the formation of scar tissue and muscle spasm.
These mechanics of the injury are usually caused by a sudden and rapid forward and backward acceleration of the upper back, usually the neck, during a rear and front-end car collision. Depending on the age and muscular health of the patient, the soft tissue injury usually resolves between four and twelve weeks. This condition, however, especially in older people, can become chronic and even permanent. Soft tissue injuries are normally treated through the use of physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, and pain medication. Many patients and some doctors prefer chiropractic care rather than the traditional use of physical therapy.