In my last 34 years of chiropractic practice, there have been some debatable terms used in medical and chiropractic history, as well as plaintiff and defense attorneys’ histories. The buzzword in post-traumatic injury, in trying to discount the seriousness of the patient’s injuries, is defining them as “soft tissue injuries.” Some defense attorneys embrace this expression because they believe it belittles the injury. In the past, I’ve been in depositions where the term “soft tissue” prevailed. No one really knows what it means, and there’s no written explanation that’s satisfactory. It’s become a clichéd smoke screen.
Soft tissue injuries have been discussed in most depositions. The following questions come with answers as flimsy as the questions: Would a stick in your soft eye be serious? Or would a heart attack, being somewhat soft tissue, be serious? I’m often told, “Now surely, Dr. Zinser, you can’t compare a minor whiplash with those types of injury or disease.”
One then should ask the question: what is minor whiplash, if there is such a thing, when the patient experiences migraines, vertigo (dizziness), memory loss, dementia, minute tumors, strokes, blood clotting, micro hemorrhages, and depression?
Interestingly, the average female is at greater risk than the average male by approximately 30 percent, according to one doctor who conducted research at the University of Wisconsin. He discovered that the facets posterior to the cervical spine are structurally weaker by 30 percent in females compared to males. There’s also a 40 percent greater risk of serious injury to senior citizens.
Always try to remember the seriousness of the phrase, “Don’t become the victim twice.” If your attorney, for or against you, starts throwing around the terms “minor soft tissue,” “pre-existing condition,” “standard and customary,” or “reasonable and necessary,” these may be the rotten apples of a good bushel. Beware of language that belittles your health and human rights. Your creator gave these privileges of health to you, and no person has the right to belittle the importance of your health through useless verbiage that carries no weight. IBI