5 Common Vehicle Accident Injuries and Treatment Options

By May 14, 2021Blog
5 Common Vehicle Accident Injuries and Treatment Options

There are different causes of car accidents; the injuries associated with such incidences range from mild to severe. However, the specific type of injury sustained after an auto accident is almost similar to injuries sustained in other vehicle accidents. This is because a human body confined in a small space like a car is likely to make repeated motions, particularly during a collision. Here are the common car accident injuries and how they can be treated. Please keep in mind that self-treatment in such cases isn’t a good option, and thus you can always consider contacting us for personalized physiotherapy in Pickering.

1. Whiplash

If your head jerks violently during a vehicle collision, it creates excessive pressure on your spine and most likely neck, causing whiplash. This type of injury is by far the most common one and linked to rear-end vehicle collisions. If not treated on time, the impact of whiplash will result in lasting health-related issues.Many healthcare professionals unanimously agree that whiplash symptoms may not be evident immediately after the car accident. Instead, they tend to develop after 24 hours or even days following an accident. The earliest symptoms may include dizziness, blurred vision, headache, neck stiffness, pain, numbness in the arms, fatigue, limited neck movement, plus can be followed by pain in the upper back area, arms, or shoulders. Severe whiplash is characterized by depression, concentration or memory issues.

The treatment for whiplash is quite intensive and may take time to unfold. This is because this particular type ofinjury needs enough time to heal. The treatment approach involves the use of anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant prescription medication to alleviate discomfort and pain.

Your healthcare provider may recommend an experienced physiotherapist who can offer massage therapy to promote effective tissue healing, direct various range of motion exercises, and perform ultrasound therapy. In some cases, patients may need to wear a neck brace to effectively support the weight of the head during the healing process.

2. Concussion

When you get a hard blow to the head, chances are your brain will move inside the skull, causing a minor or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Concussions, in some cases, go undiagnosed after a car accident because symptoms may not be evident immediately after the accident. Some of the common symptoms of concussion include sensitivity to loud noise or light, double vision, headache, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness. Effective concussion treatment requires rest followed by specialized physical therapy to help the patient regain strength and balance, motion exercises, electrical stimulation, and massage. In severe cases of concussions, particularly if a brain scan shows internal swelling or bleeding, you will have to consider surgery as the only option and to do it fast.

3. Herniated disc

Car accidents are associated with high impact that can cause your back’s disc(s) to slip or shift out of alignment. This can create a rapture to the surrounding tissue, resulting in pain, severe weakness, and nerve injury that extends to the thighs. To determine if you have herniated disc, your healthcare provider may need to perform X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. Be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible because herniated disc and other related injuries often cause a lot of pain.

Treatment for herniated disc involves extensive testing, application of ice and heat to the affected area, and spinal decompression or adjustment. Remember, these remedies should be attempted by an experienced medical professional. A physiotherapist can also offer massage therapy and various motion range exercises to ensure timely recovery. If your injuries are severe, surgery may be necessary to adjust the herniated disc. After the surgery, you will need to work with a physiotherapist to help you regain strength and ensure proper healing.

4. Lower extremity injuries

The overall impact of a vehicle collision can cause foot, leg, and knee injuries. These injuries often occur when a driver isn’t wearing a seatbelt because the collision’s impact can push the driver’s knees into the dashboard or steering column. Some of the common symptoms of lower extremity injuries include broken bones and pain.

Generally, the treatment approach for lower extremity injuries usually involves pain-relieving medication, physiotherapy, and crutches to keep pressure on the affected area. Keep in mind that the treatment should be administered by an experienced healthcare provider to avoid the instance of misdiagnosis or doing something that would worsen your injuries. Surgery may be necessary, particularly in severe instances of lower extremity injuries.

5. Chest injuries

Broken or cracked ribs are common following a traffic accident due to the impact that could send you forward into the steering section or dashboard. Besides, the pressure of the seatbelt pressing into your chest and lap can also lead to chest injuries. The common symptoms of chest injuries range from mild chest pain to difficulty breathing or not breathing at all.

It is essential to mention that internal organ bruising and any other form of internal damage aren’t easily detectable. So, you must undergo a full-body X-ray or CT scan to accurately determine the extent of the internal damage. Effective treatment of chest injuries involves pain medication and rest, followed by specialized physiotherapy to help the patient regain strength.

Importance of visiting a physiotherapist after a vehicle accident

Following a traffic accident, your healthcare provider will recommend a reliable physiotherapy clinic. Even when your physician prescribes pain medication and rest, you must work with an experienced physiotherapist to help you heal or recover properly.

When you rest for a long time, your strength diminishes, and that means you can reinjure yourself easily. A trained physiotherapist can help you get back to your feet and prevent instances of reinjuring yourself. Additionally, rehabilitation following a traffic accident may take several months to get you back to your routine. An experienced therapist can create a custom program designed to address your current mobility and recovery needs. Physiotherapists also work in tandem with a patient’s physician to help manage pain effectively.

If you were recently involved in a vehicle accident and sustained any of the injuries discussed above, there is a good chance you need a physiotherapist. Talk to your healthcare provider about consulting with an experienced physiotherapist. This can make a huge difference in your healing and recovery process following a car accident.