Law Offices of Robert N. Edwards
Anoka Office 763-244-3140 Phoenix Office 602-467-3959

"Permanent" Soft Tissue Sprain? Nonsense!

If you or someone you know has been injured in car accident and has been told that there are permanent soft tissue injuries or some kind of permanent sprain/strain injury, you can almost be guaranteed that the diagnosis is incorrect.

Ligaments, muscles and tendons (called soft tissues) are present throughout our bodies. They are in your ankles, your wrists, your elbows, your knees, and up and down your spine. Many times people involved in car crashes have complaints of neck pain and headaches, and less frequently complaints of low back pain, and the doctors can't find anything on an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan to explain the pain. So they tell the patient that they have some sort of sprain or strain injury. If it doesn't go away after six months or more many doctors just told the patient that it's permanent and there is nothing to do but learn to live with it. That is, in most cases, bad medical advice.

The plain fact of the matter is that if you have lived for any length of time you have sprained something in your body. Maybe an ankle. And it healed up after a few weeks, at most. Unless the tissue is torn, any kind of sprain or strain injury will heal up usually within days, sometimes weeks, but never longer than that. Therefore, if a doctor is telling you or someone you know that they have a permanent sprain or strain injury, they are wrong.

Recent advances in the treatment of chronic neck and back pain from car accidents has proven, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the usual source of chronic neck pain or back pain which cannot be traced to a damaged disk or broken bone, is caused by damaged facet joints. These are small joints on either side of the spine which allow for a certain amount of movement of your spine, but not too much. These joints are very small and delicate, and can be damaged in car crashes fairly easily. There is a diagnostic tool known as a medial branch block which a qualified physician can use to determine if there is facet joint damage and which joints have been damaged. If the test results are positive there is a treatment called radiofrequency ablation which can eliminate the pain completely, for on average about 12 months at a time. These procedures are performed by dozens of physicians in every major metropolitan area in the country.

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