Car accidents happen. That’s why they are called accidents. But these seemingly “just part of life” events can have a significant impact on your short-term and long-term health.
According to DriverKnowledge.com, every year 3 million people in the United States are injured in a car accident. That’s over 342 accidents every hour. Furthermore, 2 million of those people are permanently injured. If you’ve been in a car accident and are experiencing pain, here’s what you should know.
Get Checked Out by a Qualified Physician
Seeking medical attention after an accident is important, not only to check for any injuries, but also to ensure you’re not at risk of developing further injury after the accident. It’s common to think of car accidents as external, physical things like having a bad fall, but a bruise or a cut isn’t the only type of injury to be aware of. A car accident can also cause internal injuries, such as a herniated disc or nerve damage, without leaving any viewable indication of injury. It may even take a day or two for bruises and/or swelling to appear.
It is possible that the longer you wait to seek medical attention after a car accident, the more your injuries could worsen; a moderate injury could become serious. Internal injuries are just as serious as external injuries and in some situations, they can be harder to diagnose and take a lot longer to heal. This is why it is critical to see an experienced qualified physician who is familiar with the unique nature of car accidents and how to diagnose resulting injuries. The experts at Oasis Orthopedic & Spine care specialize in treating injuries that arise from moderate and severe car accidents with the goal of getting you on the quickest path to a pain free life.
Common Injuries After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you may be more than just a little shaken up; you may be injured. Some injuries are minor and can be taken care of at home. Other injuries are more serious and may need a doctor’s care or even hospitalization. Here are some of the most common injuries after a car accident.
- Whiplash is caused by sudden movement of the head and is most commonly seen in car accidents. Whiplash can occur when the neck is twisted suddenly, such as when the car is hit from the side or rear. Whiplash can also occur when the head and torso are thrust forward, followed by a sudden rearward movement. This causes the soft tissues in your neck to stretch beyond their normal limits. This injury can range from mild to severe and can cause a number of symptoms including headaches, dizziness, neck pain, stiffness, and shoulder pain. Usually, it goes away after a few weeks, but some people need physical therapy to recover from the injury.
- Neck and shoulder pain is a common result from a high impact car accident. Cervical pain from a car accident, often referred to as a “stiff neck” is usually caused by muscle or joint strain and often goes hand in hand with a whiplash injury. Shoulder pain is also commonly associated with neck pain from a car accident. This is because the upper back muscles get stretched out and overused when you’re involved in a collision. The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body so it’s a known area for issues such as nerve impingement or tendon injury. Neck and shoulder pain can be one of the most painful and debilitating experiences. Not only does it affect your ability to move around but it can also affect your ability to sleep and perform daily tasks.
- Lower back pain after a car accident is a common complaint and can be the result of a number of different factors. One of the primary causes is soft tissue damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the lower back. If you’ve experienced severe back pain after a car accident, you’re not alone. Lower back pain is the most common injury from motor vehicle accidents.
Options for Pain Management After a Car Accident
You were just involved in a car accident, and now you are suffering from physical pain. The pain can be debilitating and keep you from living your life to the fullest. When you are in this situation, it can be overwhelming to think about what to do. One of the first things that you will need to think about is treating that pain. There are many different treatment options available to help you manage your pain.
- Over-the-Counter or Prescribed Pain Medication: Over-the-counter pain medication can help ease muscle aches and pains, while prescription medication can help with more severe ailments and pain that’s caused by injuries.
- Chiropractic Treatment: Chiropractic treatment uses adjustment of spinal vertebrae to relieve pain and improve physical functioning. Chiropractic treatment is used to treat back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other musculoskeletal issues.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is an effective treatment in preventing further injury and managing pain. Physical therapists can help you with strengthening and stretching exercises to improve your flexibility and mobility.
- Massage Therapy: Massage therapy is a beneficial treatment in reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and alleviating pain.
- Epidural Steroid Injections: Epidural steroid injections consist of a steroid medication with local anesthetic which are injected into portions of the spine where inflamed nerves are causing pain.
- Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA):RFA uses electrical currents produced by radio waves to heat targeted nerves disrupting the transmission of pain signals to your brain.
If you have suffered a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention right away, even if you don’t think you have been injured. There could be underlying or developing issues that could impact your daily life. Oasis Orthopedic & Spine specializes in accident recovery with a plethora of conservative, non-surgical pain management treatment options. Led by Board Certified Radiologist & Interventional Pain Management Specialist Dr. Ralph Wheeler, we can help you get your life back.
If you’re ready to get a head start on your accident recovery, fill out our quick pain assessment tool below.
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