Twin Cities Car Accident Injuries.
Dealing with the pain resulting from car accident injuries is an unfortunate part of life. In fact Minnesota residents have a 1 in 78 chance of being injured in a car accident in a typical year. In 2018 there were 146,107 motor vehicles involved in crashes. So, if you haven’t been in car accident, consider yourself fortunate.
The car insurance industry estimates that the average person will file a car accident claim about once every 17.9 years. For someone getting a driver’s license at age 16, odds are though experience some kind of car crash by the age of 34.
How Common Are Car Accident Injuries?
Motor vehicle accidents are frighteningly common occurrence. According to national spinal cord injury statistical center, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury in 38%, which is even more than falls at 31%. Car accident injuries are also the most common reason people seek treatment for back pain.
Symptoms of a serious injury are not always immediately visible, often taking several days or even weeks to appear. However, it is important to seek medical attention within the first 24 to 72 hours following a car accident, even if it seems minor and there is no pain. Furthermore, by seeking immediate care, you’ll improve your chances of a successful recovery.
Seeking immediate care following an auto accident is also important because, anyone injured in an auto accident is eligible for personal injury protection (PIP) to help cover the costs of injury related expenses.
What Are Common Types of Car Accident Injuries?
The head, neck, legs (including the knees), and feet are most likely to be injured in a car accident.
- Head Injuries are common in car crash victims and can result from a blow to the head upon impact. A blow to the head during a car accident can cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Concussions are often the result of the head hitting the steering wheel, window, or any hard surface; but, they can also happen without the head hitting any surface. Symptoms of a concussion include loss of consciousness immediately following the impact, headache, impaired memory, dizziness or even vision problems.
- Whiplash is the most common car accident injury. Most accidents occur at speeds of 14 mph or less, which may not cause damage to the vehicle. However, whiplash can occur at speeds as low as 2.5 mph. When a car stopped suddenly, the body continues to travel forward. At the end of the body’s movement, the jerky motion can cause injury to the vertebrae, ligaments or desks, or the spinal cord itself. Even less severe neck and back injuries can cause chronic pain that significantly reduces the quality of life. If left untreated, whiplash can develop into chronic neck pain.
- A Neck Injury can occur in milder forms such as whiplash and neck strain, to more serious injuries like cervical dislocation and disc injury.
- Spinal Cord Injury can occur when the impact of an accident causes displaced bone fragments and disc material to tear into spinal cord tissue. This tank destroy part of the nerve cells that carry signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal cord often results in the loss of function or feeling.
- Back Injuries are also very common results of car accidents. Any damage to the spinal cord can cause significant nerve damage. There can be reduction in the sensation of, spinal damage can leave patients permanently paralyzed.
- Lower Back Pain is the most common back pain. He usually involves the soft tissues and muscles that can result in lower back pain. Anyone in a car accident who is experiencing intermittent back pain before the accident may experience worse pain after the accident.
- Mid and Upper Back Pain can occur when the injury is where the ribs connect to the spine. The thoracic region of the spine is a very stiff area of the body, protecting vital organs.
- Herniated Discs can cause numb or tingling sensations, muscle weakness, and pain in the arms or legs, as a result of material leaking out of the disc and either pinching or irritating a nerve.
- Sciatica is severe pain in a leg along the sciatic nerve. The pain commonly runs from the buttock, down the leg, and to the toes. It is often caused by some type of compression of a spinal nerve in the lower back.
- Sprains and Strains can occur when a back muscle is overstretched or a ligament tears. When a sprain or strain occurs, the area around the muscles can become inflamed and lead to a back spasm. A back spasm can cause severe lower back pain and difficulty moving because the spasm immobilizes the muscles in the injured area to protect the ligaments and joints from further damage.
- Fractured vertebra can range from a compression fracture (Bone collapses upon itself) to burst fractures (pieces pierce nearby tissue), to fracture dislocations (broken bone and torn ligaments allowing bones to slide away from each other).
- Leg and knee injuries can result in wounds that range from contusions (bruises) to multiple fractures. The knees are particularly prone to tearing and dislocation if they are abruptly twisted or turned.
How Are Car Accident Injuries Treated?
Many effective treatments are available to help ease the pain of car accident injuries. Only a thorough medical examination can determine the exact treatment. The following are some of the treatment protocols that will help deal with the pain of a traumatic car accident.
- Chiropractic care is often used to help the body regain optimal spinal alignment, which is lost after a traumatic car accident. A method of spinal manipulation (adjustment) involves the use of controlled force to align the vertebra, stopping them from placing painful pressure on spinal nerves.
- Medication anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and painkillers can help alleviate the pain and swelling.
- Neck or back brace. Often a neck or back brace can be a temporary pain management option. However, to heal correctly, restore normal movement to the muscles is important. This is where chiropractic care focuses its practice on.
- Exercise therapy. The exact exercise therapy treatment depends on the patient and the type of injury neck pain, whiplash, back pain, and most musculoskeletal discomforts can improve with the addition of exercise therapy.
Depending on the injuries, and after a complete physical examination, certain treatments performed at home can help with recovery from a car accident. These activities include:
- Over the counter medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such is ibuprofen or naproxen can help with general pain and swelling. I was check with a medical professional before strain a course of pain relievers, especially of taking other medications.
- Ice. The application of ice to the affected area can often help reduce swelling and pain to a muscle ligament, or tendon.
- Resume normal activities. The natural inclination after car accident is to take it easy and remain inactive. Most of the time, though it is more beneficial to stay active. Avoiding activity may lead to the deconditioning of the musculoskeletal system, and further increase pain levels. Furthermore, it is important to maintain proper posture and avoid slouching to help with recovery.
Is it Possible to Prevent Car Accident Injuries?
Driving on public roads is always going to be risky, if for no other reason than mistakes by other drivers. The best way to avoid an accident, therefore, is to drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings while driving.
Here are things every driver can do to help prevent car accident injuries.
Child Safety Seats. Always transport children age 2 and younger and rear facing child safety seats in the vehicle’s backseat. Children less than 12 years of age should always ride in the backseat as well.
Sit Upright. Seatbelts work best when the occupant is seated upright. If the driver passenger is leaning forward, they are closer to the steering wheel or dashboard. Leaning back at an extreme angle makes it possible to slip out of the seatbelt at the moment of an accident.
Drive the Speed Limit. Because of the kinetic energy involved in the collision, there is generally less risk of injury at slower speeds. Modern automobiles are designed to absorb and dissipate the impact of a collision. At excessive speeds, the energies are greater that the vehicle can properly absorb, and are transferred to passengers in the form of G forces that increase risk of injury or death. So, you can reduce the risk of injury by driving the speed limit.
Avoid Distracted Driving. Anything that takes attention away from driving can be a distraction. Sending a text message, talking on cell phone, and eating while driving are some obvious examples of distracted driving. However, using a navigation system and adjusting the radio can be just as distracting. Anything that takes a drivers eyes off the road, even for a second, can result in an accident. There are three main types of distraction:
- Visual- taking eyes off the road.
- Manual - taking hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive - taking mind off driving.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. Sending or reading a text message takes about five seconds. 50 mph, a vehicle travel over hundred and 33 yards, which is more than the length of a football field, and five seconds.
Drive a Safe Car. Driving a safe vehicle can go a long way toward helping survive a car accident. Newer model cars have many advanced safety features. When buying a vehicle, consider safety. Consumer Reports has many useful tips for car buyers.
Soli chiropractic is located in Brooklyn Park Minnesota and specializes in treating pain from car accident injuries. We work together with patients to restore function and regain an active lifestyle, while minimizing the need for opiates.
To schedule an appointment, please contact us online, request a call back, or call our office at 763-560-0750.