You’re stopped at a red light waiting for your turn, and then it happens. Someone rear-ends you. Simple accidents like this happen all the time.
Most of the time, people are more concerned about the damage to their car than the potential damage to their body. But what can really happen to your body if you’re in a minor car accident?
Even minor car accident injuries can affect virtually every part of the body. Head, neck and back injuries are certainly the most common with minor car accidents.
Everyone has heard of whiplash, but car accidents are capable of producing injuries to the entire body. It is possible to suffer headaches, hip pain, mid or low back pain, and much more following an accident. Most people associate these symptoms with a serious accident. However, a minor accident can also cause damage and serious symptoms.
No matter what the speed of the accident, a sudden jolt to the body is capable of causing serious problems
Neck injuries vary from whiplash, one of the most common and annoying injuries caused by car accidents, to disk injuries. Whiplash is an injury frequently associated with rear-end impacts. Whiplash injures the joints and soft tissues of the neck; nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Aside from causing neck pain and headaches, it limits neck movements especially affecting rotation. It may be temporary or permanent and can affect all aspects of life.
Temporalmandibular joint (TMJ) injury is an injury to the joint and ligaments that allow the jaw to move. Similar to whiplash, the TMJ joint is injured in the acceleration and deceleration of a car accident. This may occur with direct or indirect injury to the jaw and effects chewing, eating and speech.
Intervertebral discs make up the spine. The disks lie between each bone (vertebrae) in the spine and form joints giving the spine flexibility. Discs are made up of an outer skin called an annulus that surrounds the inner nucleus, a jelly like substance. If the annulus is torn, a disc may deform or herniated.
Intervertebral disks in the neck, cervical discs, are not the only discs injured in car accidents. Thoracic, mid-back, disks and lumbar, lower back, disks may also be injured in car accidents. Compression fractures may be caused in such accidents causing permanent disability.
In the same way whiplash injures the joints and soft tissues of the neck, these same structures through out the spine may be traumatized by a car accident causing pain and disability.
Hands, forearms, arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers are often injured in car accidents as well. Rotator cuff injuries are frequently caused by car accidents. Hips, legs, knees, heels, ankles, and feet are also commonly damaged in car accidents.
If you’ve been involved in an accident you should have you condition evaluated as soon as possible.
When you have a sprain/strain injury to the spine, relieving pain and restoring normal motion is important to ensure the injury heals properly.
Gentle chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy can be used to help maintain proper motion, relieve pain, and promote proper healing.
Rehabilitative therapy generally includes: joint manipulation, heat, hot packs, hydrotherapy, cold packs, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, muscle strengthening, traction, massage, or acupuncture.