• The Four Most Common Injuries in Auto Accidents

    on Sep 1st, 2017

A car accident can be a traumatic experience, both mentally and physically. Even a minor crash can leave drivers and passengers feeling rattled, from the fear and anxiety that inevitably manifests during and after a crash to the painful injuries the body can suffer. Many injuries sustained in auto accidents are immediately apparent, like lacerations and broken bones, but other injuries can be less severe and might not cause symptoms right away. If left to linger, these injuries can worsen over time and lead to chronic conditions.

Emergency personnel and first responders are well-trained to deal with auto accident injuries, and while they typically do an excellent job tending to the most pressing issues at an accident scene, they can often miss smaller or more subtle injuries. This can leave an accident victim in pain or discomfort that lingers far beyond the date of the accident.

If you've been in a car crash and are feeling a bit off or experiencing pain of any kind, it's a good idea to consult with a doctor to identify any potential issues, reduce your pain, and undergo treatment to promote proper healing and a return to a normal, comfortable lifestyle. There are numerous types of injuries that can be sustained in an automobile accident, but below are a few of the most common.

Bone Fractures

Despite the leaps and bounds made in automobile safety, bone fractures are still a common result of auto accidents, particularly crashes that involve high speeds and heavy impacts. The body is only built to withstand so much, and impacts that cause the car to crumple can result in lower body injuries like fractures  to the tibia, fibia, or hip. Rib fractures are another common auto accident injury, as the airbag or seatbelt can inflict damage to the chest area. Of course, a fractured rib is better than a severe head injury, so seatbelts and airbags still do much more good than harm. Patients who experience fractures might need treatment for pain or rehabilitation to strengthen the area as it heals, but bones typically heal well and these injuries usually don't impact the patient long-term.

Neck Injuries

Multiple studies have found that neck pain is a significant consequence of a motor vehicle accident. In fact, it's perhaps the most common injury sustained in a car crash. Neck injuries can be extremely dangerous and often occur due the jarring and sudden stop a vehicle can come to in an accident. The head and neck can be suddenly jolted forward and backwards, commonly known as whiplash. Whiplash can occur from even a minor impact, and symptoms might not show right away. It can takes days or sometimes even weeks for symptoms to appear, including neck and shoulder stiffness and headaches. During whiplash, the muscles in the neck are overextended and can even tear. At-home treatment like ice and rest can help in minor cases, but more severe cases often require the attention of a doctor. At Enhanced Medical Centers, we are experts in neck and shoulder pain – particularly from auto injuries – so if you need treatment, you'll be in good hands.

Head Injuries

While neck injuries like whiplash can result in headaches and head pain, the head itself can also sustain injury in a car crash. The most common head injury that results from an automobile accident is a concussion. Fortunately, seat belt use has been found to reduce concussions by nearly 70 percent, but even when a seat belt is used and an airbag deploys, the head is still subjected to extreme force in an accident. A concussion occurs when the brain smashes into the interior of the skull, and this often happens during car crashes, regardless of whether or not the head makes impact with anything in the crash. The rapid back-and-forth whiplash motion can cause a concussion in-and-of-itself.  This can result in headaches, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. Because whiplash and a concussion share many symptoms, it's important to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Back Injuries

Because it spans such a significant portion of the body,  there are a number of different areas of the back that can be injured in an auto accident. The back is a delicate area of the body, and the impact from a car crash – particularly a rear impact – can cause anything from a herniated disc to a compression fracture. Back pain can be extremely difficult to live with on a day-to-day basis, so it's crucial to address the problem and get the healing process started. Chiropractic treatments like spinal manipulation and decompression, spinal realignment, acupuncture, and even massage can all help to heal a sore or injured back, depending on the severity of the injury.

Conclusion

The stress of a car crash is hard enough to handle, let alone dealing with any lingering physical injuries. If you've been in a car crash and aren't feeling 100% healthy, it's possible that you have an injury that was not properly diagnosed or treated. Finding these potential problems as early as possible and properly treating them is crucial to ensuring you can return to a happy and healthy lifestyle. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our team of reliable experts looks forward to making a difference in your life with top-notch treatment!

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