One out of every eight drivers are involved in a motor vehicle accident each year, according to the National Safety Council. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported over 202,810,000 licensed drivers in the U.S., so the chance of an accident is likely.
Whiplash injury – One of the most common injuries caused during a car accident is whiplash, which is a cervical strain. This is soft tissue injury to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. On x-rays, this type of injury is not visible. Whiplash can result in long-term pain if left untreated and unresolved.
Amputated limbs – Amputation of a limb can be a serious problem, affecting the injured person for the rest of his/her life. This is causes a significant physical effect on the patient’s daily life, causing much pain and suffering.
Brain/head trauma – A common injury from auto accidents is brain and/or head trauma. This can lead to headaches, blurred vision, loss of memory, and trouble concentrating. Serious brain injuries can result in long-term damage.
Knee/shoulder damage – Injuries to the knee and/or shoulder can result in immobility and problems with daily activities. These injuries often require surgical repair and physical therapy rehabilitation.
Spinal cord and back injuries – Injuries to the back and spinal cord are common after an automobile accident. These types of problems result in long-term pain and recurring back issues. Disc problems result in limited activities and mobility activities.
Car seatbelt injury – Regardless of the type of injury, the seatbelt can cause misaligned vertebrae and ribs, which pinch or pull nerves. This can occur in a side impact, a rear-end collision, or any other accident. Bruising and soft tissue trauma is common with these types of injuries.
Many treatment options for someone who has been involved in an auto accident. These include:
Chiropractic treatment – The chiropractor can use spinal manipulation and alignment movements to elicit the body’s own healing abilities.
Medications – Depending on the type of pain, the doctor will prescribe appropriate medicines. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and/or narcotic analgesics.
Physical therapy – Used to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility, the therapist teaches certain exercises, provides heat/cold therapy, uses massage to relax muscle groups, and utilizes ultrasound therapy.
Epidural steroid injection (ESI) – For back pain, the doctor may offer the ESI. This involves instillation of a corticosteroid agent into the epidural space near spinal nerves. According to research studies, the success rate of ESI is 80-90%.
Acupuncture – As a traditional Chinese therapy for pain relief, this involves insertion of tiny needles near the affected region to stimulate release of endorphins and restore energy flow.