Car Accident Injuries
On the Road to Recovery
Being in a car accident, even a fender bender, can be a traumatic experience. This is especially true if your child was in the car with you when it happened. You’re not only worried about your pain and injuries, but you’re worried about your child’s well-being. Long after you’ve gotten your initial medical care, aches, pain, and stiffness can linger.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We believe one of the first steps in finding long-lasting pain relief is understanding your pain and finding long-term solutions. Keep reading to learn more.
Getting emergency care is of utmost importance, but don’t ignore the long-term effects of car accident injuries.
Seeking Medical Care After a Car Accident
If you have been in a serious car accident, it’s likely you will be treated on the scene and possibly at the hospital by both an emergency medical team as well as doctors in the emergency room. These providers are trained in the treatment of life-threatening and serious injuries.
However, if you are cleared at the scene to go home, or seen at the ER and released, your need for medical care is not over. Emergency doctors are specialists in the care of traumatic injuries, but they’re not pain specialists. If you’re in pain, or pain starts in a few days or even weeks, you should schedule a visit to a chiropractor.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
The injuries you sustain in a car accident will vary, based on the speed of the crash, whether you were wearing a seat belt, the type of vehicle you were driving, and more.
Here are the most common types of car injuries. Let’s take a look.
Neck injuries can include soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, neck sprain or strain, or a herniated disc, fractures, and more.
A sudden blow or jarring of the spinal cord can happen in just about any car accident. Spinal cord injuries can range from misalignment to herniated discs to severing of the spinal cord.
Paralysis may result from a severe spinal cord injury. Paraplegics are paralyzed below the waste but still have use of their arms and control of their upper body. Quadriplegics have a higher spinal cord injury and are paralyzed from the neck down.
Car accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries, especially if the collision was at high speed. Drivers and passengers can hit their head on the steering wheel, dashboard, side window, or windshield, or suffer a TBI if they are thrown from the vehicle. The mildest form of brain injury is a concussion.
Back pain resulting from a back injury sustained in a car accident is one of the most common reasons people seek the help of a chiropractor. Back injuries can include:
- Back strain
- Back sprain
- Slipped disc / herniated disc
- Ruptured disc
- Pinched nerve
Internal injuries are not visible, unless there is extensive bruising. A sudden impact can injure your liver, spleen kidneys, lungs, and more. Internal injuries are more common in high-speed impact accidents.
The force of a car crash can crush your car such that it cuts off a limb or causes extensive damage that requires the limb to be fully or partially removed. Loss of a limb can mean dealing with chronic pain, physical rehabilitation, prostheses, and other assistive devices.
Higher speed crashes, T-bone accidents, and ejection from the vehicle can result in numerous fractures and broken bones. Emergency response teams will evaluate you for these injuries.
If you’re hit from behind, your knee can hit the dashboard very forcefully. Your knee can also hyperextend or twist forcefully. This can result in pain and bruising, an ACL tear, or a torn meniscus. You may not realize you have a knee injury until days later, due to the adrenaline rush you feel after an accident.
Foot and ankle injuries can result from slamming on the brakes or bracing for impact in a head on or side-impact car accident. The force of the crash is absorbed from the floor of the car. You might have a sprain, a fracture, or one or more broken bones.
Wrist and hand injuries in a car accident happen most frequently when you move your hand or arm to protect a child raise your hand and arm to protect your face from shattering glass. You may suffer cuts and bruises, a sprain, or broken bones.
Car Accident Injury FAQs
Q: What is the most common injury from a car accident?
A: Whiplash. The Mayo Clinic estimates that 120,000 people sustain whiplash injuries in car accidents every year. When two vehicles collide, the force can cause rapid back-and-forth movement of your neck, like cracking a whip. If not treated properly, whiplash can cause chronic neck pain.
Q: What happens to your body after a car accident?
A: You may experience pain throughout your body, or in a few areas. You may have a headache, feel dizzy, or have ringing in your ears. You may also have flashbacks of the accident. All of these issues require medical care.
Q: Should I see a chiropractor after a car accident?
A: Even if you’re not experiencing any pain, it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor within a week after a car accident. The sudden stopping of your car and the impact from another car can cause problems with your spinal alignment. If you wait too long to seek medical care after your accident, you may be forfeiting your right to insurance coverage.
How Cima Health Can Help
Cima Health provides restorative, lifelong solutions that will help you recover from your car accident injuries and live a healthy and active life in the future. Your care will start out with a comprehensive evaluation to assess your pain and range of movement.
We will also ask questions about your health history, home life, lifestyle, and habits before making recommendations for an integrative plan of care. Together, we come up with conservative and alternative treatments that can help you for years to come.
Treating and preventing recurring pain involves several treatment modalities, all of which you or your child can receive in one location. They include:
After a thorough evaluation, the chiropractic care team may make precise adjustments of your spine, neck, and extremities. Which treatments you receive will depend upon your specific injuries. In addition to spinal manipulation and extremity manipulation, we may use other tools, including:
- Class IV laser
- Shockwave therapy
- Dry needling
- FootMaxx orthotics
Our Palm Beach Gardens chiropractors who treat adults include:
We can work with your lawyer and your insurance company to help ensure you get the care you need.
Dr. Natalie is our doctor who specializes in pediatric care of infants and children, along with helping expectant moms and other adult patients. Chiropractic adjustments for children, adolescents, and teens can help your children deal with pain and stiffness after a car accident.
You may also receive medical care in the form of joint injections as appropriate. A steroid injection, or cortisone shot, can help reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness in your any of your joints. You are limited in how many steroid shots you can receive in a year. We may also recommend a series of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections where we use your own plasma to help you heal.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Physical therapy can help you recover from your car accident injuries as well as help with adjusting to life with a permanent injury. Treatments may include:
- Manual therapy
- Shockwave therapy
- Class IV laser
- Dry needling
- Strengthening exercises
- Flexibility exercises
- Orthotic management
- Balance training
- Gait training
Our physical therapy team will show you a range of therapeutic exercises and self-massage techniques you can do at home as well as with the therapist. You’ll gradually increase the number of repetitions until you reach peak mobility.
Massage therapy is another form of treatment we offer to help give you pain relief. Your massage therapist manipulates your muscles and fascia to help restore your flexibility and relieve your pain. Regular massage can also help your mental health and emotional stability by reducing your stress and anxiety.
Getting physically fit and strengthening your muscles can help prevent your pain from returning. If you were laid up after a car accident, you likely lost muscle strength and even muscle mass. Our physical fitness team can develop an exercise program tailored to your capabilities and goals. Regular exercise can also help with weight loss and improve circulation, targeting several causes of pain and stiffness.
Team up with the providers at Cima Health to find restorative, lifelong solutions.
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Book an Appointment
Whether your car accident injuries landed you in the hospital or are causing back and neck pain, we can help. If you’re looking for a conservative treatment for your pain and stiffness, book an appointment today.
One of our chiropractors will do a comprehensive examination to get to the root cause of your pain and develop an integrative plan of care to relieve your pain and inspire you to achieve whole-body wellness.