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Stages of Soft Tissue Healing After an Accident

If you’ve suffered a recent muscle, ligament, or tendon injury, you’re likely wondering when you’ll feel back to normal and fully recovered. Most people expect to fully recover within a few weeks of injury, but the body often takes much longer to complete the full tissue healing process.

Soft tissue injuries like a sprained ankle, twisted knee, or torn muscle trigger the body’s tissue healing process. Here’s an introduction to the four main stages of soft tissue healing, so you know what to expect as you heal from your injury.

Phase 1: Bleeding

Depending on the extent and type of your injury, you may experience bleeding. Muscles tend to bleed longer since they have very good blood supplies, so muscle injuries often result in a larger bruise. Ligament injuries bleed much less since they don’t have as good of a blood supply.

Bleeding usually stops between four to 6 hours after injury. It’s critical to rest during this period, so the bleeding can stop. 

Phase 2: Inflammation

The inflammation phase begins within one to two hours after injury and peaks around one to three days later. Generally, the inflammation stage lasts for a couple of weeks. During this phase, you may notice swelling and warmth around your injury. Don’t panic—this is a normal part of the healing process, triggering the next stage of tissue healing.

To help your body recover as quickly as possible, make sure to elevate the injured area when you’re resting. You can also ice the area to reduce the pain and swelling. Make sure you’re keeping the injured area moving within a comfortable range to maintain strength and flexibility which also aids in the healing process.

Phase 3: Proliferation

The proliferation stage of soft tissue healing starts within 24 to 48 hours after injury, then peaking around two to three weeks later. During this stage, your body starts repairing the injury by creating scar tissue. You’ll still experience symptoms as the healing process is in full effect. At this stage, you should exercise the area, but don’t try to push through the pain. Slowly build strength and flexibility, making sure not to overload the newly-formed scar tissue.

Phase 4: Remodeling

New scar tissue needs to be trained to behave like the structure it replaced. Around three weeks after injury, the body naturally remodels the scar tissue to mimic the function of the original tissue in a process that can take up to two years. Many people find success in their healing by following a targeted rehab program prescribed by a physical therapist.

Get the Care You Need to Fully Heal From a Soft Tissue Injury

Often, the full process of healing a soft tissue injury takes longer than most people expect. If you’re not completely back to normal even weeks after an injury, don’t panic—the physical therapy team at Impact Medical Group of St. Petersburg can help. We’ll create a customized treatment plan that meets your stage of healing, so you can get closer to full recovery. Call us today at (727) 722-8103 to schedule your free consultation!

Can Diet Affect Auto Injury Recovery?

After being involved in an auto accident, one of the last things on your mind may be your diet. But nourishing your body with a healthy diet could have an unexpected benefit—aiding in recovery after an auto injury.

Eating a balanced selection of foods can help to build strength and reduce inflammation that may occur because of an auto accident.

In this guide, our auto accident recovery team at Impact Medical Sun City Center explores whether the right diet can make the difference between a speedy or slow recovery from an auto injury.

Inflammation After an Accident

Inflammation after an accident isn’t all bad. It is the body’s healthy reaction to injury. In short, it is your body’s way of protecting itself from further injury. Too much inflammation can delay the recovery process, and if prolonged, it can cause long-lasting chronic pain.

Some foods increase inflammation including:

  • Refined carbohydrates and starches
  • Fried food
  • Red meat or processed meat
  • Soda
  • Sugars
  • Sunflower, corn, and soybean oil

Diet’s Role in Auto Injury Recovery: What You Need to Know

If you have recently been in a car accident and are suffering from injuries like headaches or neck pain, the foods that you choose to fuel your body with could have a big impact on your recovery process.

A proper recovery plan, including nourishing food, chiropractic care, physical therapy, and massage, can significantly decrease your recovery time.

We recommend eating the following foods when you are recovering from an accident:

#1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids can help the body fight inflammation. They are found in most fish oil supplements, but you can also eat nuts, seeds, and plant oils to help your injured body fight inflammation. 

#2. Zinc

Zinc is a vital nutrient that aids in the repair of damaged tissues. All cells require zinc to divide, which means when you are recovering from an injury, you will need zinc to help your cells repair and rebuild.

Wondering what foods have zinc? Great question! Zinc is found in shellfish, whole grains, eggs, red meat, nuts, and seeds.

#3. Vitamins C, D, and Calcium

Vitamins C, D, and Calcium all play important roles in the body and naturally occur in the same foods which is great.

  • Calcium: Plays a large role in the healing of broken bones. It also helps the brain signal to nerves and muscles contract properly.
  • Vitamin C & D: These vitamins are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties and help your body build healthy bones, muscle tissue, and tendons. Vitamin D also boosts your immunity and brain function.

#4. Protein

Protein is crucial for muscle building and repair. When you are injured, protein intake is especially important to help muscle fibers heal and reduce atrophy.

When adding more protein to your diet, choose high-quality protein such as:

  • Poultry
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is a high-quality source of protein, which is essential to the development of healthy new tissues.

#6. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables should always be included in a healthy diet, and more so when you are in recovery after an accident. Choose fruits and vegetables with Vitamin A and C such as:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Pineapples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus fruits and juice
  • Tomato juice

Drink Plenty of Water to Aid in Recovery

Your diet doesn’t just include what you are eating, it’s important to drink water to aid in recovery too. When you sustain an injury in an accident, your body utilizes all of its resources to begin the healing process. If you aren’t getting enough sleep or drinking enough water, your body won’t have the energy and strength it needs to heal itself.

Avoid sugary drinks and refined carbohydrates, including alcohol while you are healing. Bottom line? Don’t drink or eat junk.

Repair & Rejuvenate After an Accident

If you have been injured in a car accident, make sure to get proper rest, hydrate, and eat healthily to ensure a speedy recovery. It is also important to follow all instructions and the treatment plan from your doctor which might include physical therapy, massage, chiropractic care, and more.

Need help recovering from a car accident injury? Lean on our team at Impact Medical Sun City Center! Contact us today to set up an appointment at (813) 938-5195!

What Is Considered a Major Injury in a Car Accident?

Car accidents can be devastating, and the injuries caused by them range from minor to major. Major injuries are defined as serious physical or psychological traumas that have permanent or long-term implications.

It is important to understand what constitutes a major injury, and the associated treatments and legal implications, so that victims of car accidents can get the help they need in dealing with their injuries.

Keep reading to discover more from our team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills.

Unveiling the Seriousness of Car Crash Injuries

Most people are aware of the dangers that come with operating a motor vehicle and understand that they should take precautions when doing so, but unfortunately collisions do occur. Knowing what kind of injuries can result from car crashes is essential for understanding how dangerous they can be.

In general, a serious or major injury causes significant physical impairment and/or substantial pain and suffering.

Some common major injuries from car accidents include:

  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Severe burns
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Loss of limbs or amputation
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement

Let’s look at a few of these a little more in-depth.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Often, traumatic brain injuries cause brain damage through blows to the head or piercing injuries to the brain. This often occurs in high-speed collisions when victims strike their heads against steering wheels, windshields, or side windows.

A sudden jolt to the head can lead to a concussion but can also cause more permanent damage to the brain.

Limb Loss or Amputation

The forces involved in a car accident can cause a leg to strike the dashboard, the front seat, or a door, leading to shattered joints and broken bones. A victim’s arm or shoulder could sustain similar injuries as well.

Amputation of a limb might be necessary in extreme cases. An amputation involves the loss of a leg, arm, hand, finger, toe, leg, etc. during an accident. Car crashes lead to amputations regularly, as there is a lot of sharp metal and glass involved, and body parts can easily be cut or amputated.

Spinal Cord Injury

The spinal cord is a crucial component of our central nervous system. Think of the brain as the command center for your body, and the spinal cord as the means to transmit signals throughout the body. In a car accident, the spine is at risk of several injuries to the vertebrae, ligaments, and discs.

Damage to the spine can cause chronic conditions as well as paralysis as well as:

  • Loss of mobility
  • Muscle spasms
  • Loss of sensation
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Difficulty breathing

Risk Factors of Severe Car Accident Injuries

Several factors are used to evaluate the type and severity of the injuries sustained by those involved in a crash including:

  • Were the people involved wearing their seat belts?
  • How did the impact occur?
  • Which way did the occupants of the vehicle face at the time of impact?
  • Was it a low or high-speed crash?
  • Did the airbags deploy?

All these factors will have an impact on the severity of the injuries sustained in an accident.

Treating Major Car Accident Injuries

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating major accident injuries. All treatment plans are based on the specific needs of the patient and the severity of their injuries.

At Impact Medical Zephyrhills we have several treatment options available including:

  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Pain management including epidural steroid or facet injections
  • Splinting, casting, and surgery

We know that recovering from your injuries is a stressful journey. Our team is here to walk you through your recovery every step of the way.

After Accident Recovery

Recovering from a major injury, accident or medical issue can be incredibly difficult to manage. Impact Medical Zephyrhills can provide the care and support needed during this time.

Our knowledgeable staff, personalized treatment plans, and commitment to providing quality care are just a few of the reasons why we are an excellent choice for those in need of specialized treatment.

Though it may seem daunting, with the help of our team, recovery is possible. Contact us today for a medical evaluation at (813) 706-5156!

Why Do Seatbelt Injuries Occur?

Car accidents—even minor ones—can lead to a wide range of injuries, including those that involve seatbelts. While seatbelts are designed to protect you in the case of a collision, they can also cause injuries of their own, especially if they aren’t worn properly.

While the proper placement of the seatbelt, and a snug fit, can reduce the chances of seatbelt injuries, a serious collision and the force of impact can cause a wide range of damage, including injuries to internal organs. Read on to learn why seatbelt injuries occur, and what you can do to treat them.

Why Do Seatbelt Injuries Occur in Car Accidents?

Seatbelts are intended to provide protection in the event of a car accident, restraining the body when the vehicle comes to a sudden stop. While seatbelts often reduce the risk of injury or death in a car accident, they can also cause injury to a driver or the passengers when their vehicle is involved in a collision. There are many factors that can determine whether you’re injured by a seatbelt in a car accident, like:

  • Placement of the seatbelt on the body
  • Severity of the collision
  • Speed of the vehicles involved in the collision
  • Whether the seatbelt was functioning properly

Common Types of Seatbelt Injuries

Many car accident victims experience bruising or abrasions resulting from the seatbelt’s restraint on the body. The severity of the incident usually has a direct impact on the severity of the injury. Some of the most common types of seatbelt injuries include:

  • Abdominal injuries
  • Bruised or fractured ribs
  • Intestinal injury
  • Soft tissue injuries around the abdomen
  • Whiplash

You could also experience seatbelt syndrome after a car accident, depending on the position of the seatbelt at the moment of impact. Seatbelt syndrome involves internal damage that often isn’t immediately visible after the accident. You should always seek medical attention immediately after an accident—even a minor one—since symptoms may not present themselves for hours, days, or even weeks after the incident, even though the injuries themselves may be severe.

Preventing Seatbelt Injuries

The best way to prevent a seatbelt injury is by wearing it correctly any time you ride in a vehicle. According to NHTSA guidelines, here’s you to properly wear your seatbelt:

  • Let the shoulder belt rest across the middle of the chest, away from the neck.
  • Ensure the lap belt is placed firmly across the hips and below the stomach.
  • Ensure the shoulder strap is never behind the back or under the arm.
  • Ensure the belt is snug, and not too tight or too loose, enabling free movement.

If You’ve Been in an Accident, Seek Medical Attention Immediately

Seatbelt injuries are common following a car accident, and the symptoms may not present themselves until well after the incident. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential, so reach out to your trusted medical team immediately after an accident, even if you experience no symptoms. The medical professionals at Impact Medical Group of Clearwater will perform a full medical examination, providing a quick diagnosis of your symptoms to support your complete recovery. Call us today at (727) 292-0200 to schedule your free consultation.