Injuries from motor vehicle accidents are inevitable if this is your typical mode of transportation. According to the CDC, more than 2 million motor vehicle accidents happen every year. Injuries sustained from these accidents can vary, but we’ll take a look into 5 common injuries and how they can occur.
Whiplash is when the neck is thrust forward and backward quickly due to an unexpected force. In motor vehicle accidents this typically occurs when a person is rear-ended by another vehicle. Signs and symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, headache, stiffness, dizziness and tingling down the arms. Whiplash can not only affect the neck, but can also cause concussions and trauma to the inner ear. In these cases blurred vision, memory problems and ringing in the ears can also be symptoms of injury. Sometimes symptoms of whiplash come up immediately, and other times it takes a day or two for the symptoms to occur.
Chest injuries are frequently seen in motor vehicle accidents due to the close proximity of the steering week to the chest. Similarly, when a seat belt works properly to hold the body in place, it may cause bruising to the chest area from the force required. The majority of motor vehicles have air bags, which help prevent fatal injuries, but can cause some secondary bruising when deployed. More serious injuries involving the chest include broken ribs and damage to internal organs.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body. These are very common and occur from either a quick force or impact. Examples of soft tissue injuries include neck or back strains, ankle sprains, achilles tendon ruptures, and rotator cuff strains. Contusions (bruises) to the muscles are also considered soft tissue injuries.
Injuries to the Extremities
Bracing the arms and legs during impact is a common cause of injury to the extremities (arms and legs). Being thrown from a motor vehicle or movement within can also cause these injuries. Fractures to the humerus, radius, ulna, wrist, pelvis, femur and the bones around the ankle can occur. Shoulder and hip dislocations can also happen in extreme cases.
Spine injuries can involve any part of the vertebrae, intervertebral ligaments, nerves, discs, or spinal cord. Forced flexion, extension or crushing injuries can cause damage. Herniated discs can commonly present with nerve pain, numbness and tingling, and weakness in the arms or legs. Vertebral fractures may be unstable, so it is important to wait for emergency medical professionals to stabilize your spine if you suspect spinal fractures.
Treatment After Motor Vehicle Accidents
Did you know that after an accident, injured parties must be evaluated by a physician within 14 days of the accident in order to receive any personal injury protection (PIP) health benefits? If you are injured, and you do not do so, you forfeit all of the valuable available medical benefits that you pay for in your mandatory auto insurance policy.
The Florida auto laws allow for the freedom of policy holders to choose their doctor. At Silver Chiropractic and Wellness we want to be your “first” choice when it comes to seeking treatment for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. After all, it is your health. Once immediate emergency injuries are ruled out, give Dr. Shane Silver a call to feel better, faster.