With the number of individuals/vehicles on the road today, automobile accidents are frequent and even minor ones can cause damage. The most obvious is the destruction of the vehicle during and after the collision. But these crashes and accidents also cause serious damage to the body that is not immediately visible or felt. Almost every accident and crash results in injuries to one or more of the individuals involved. Vehicle collisions both great and small involve force being applied as two or more vehicles collide. The direction and amount of force can cause damage to the body from twisting, bending, slamming, and jolting in ways the body was not meant to do. There is a 1 in 5 chance of being involved in an automobile accident that causes bodily injury.
The most frequent injuries include:
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Even a minor automobile accident can cause bruising. A collision can jerk/jolt the body from the seat belt, while it is doing its job of keeping the individual from flying out the window, it can leave bruises for days afterward. Bruises are rarely serious injuries that require medical attention and usually heal within a week or two.
The physical force from an accident can cause the head to move at speeds that it should not move at. Pain or discomfort in the neck and back after a collision can indicate a sustained whiplash strain to the muscles and ligaments. These strains can be painful and take weeks for a full recovery and if left untreated could result in chronic pain.
The intense force that the body endures from a collision can cause serious damage to the body that is not immediately apparent or present with inflammation/pain letting the individual know that something is not right. Herniations or ruptures of the discs in the spine can occur. This can lead to serious injuries that cause intense pain and limit mobility and flexibility. If pain continues after several days, or there is a history of neck/back injury/s and/or condition/s, consult with an accident chiropractic specialist or spine specialist to see if there is an injury to the spine or surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy are important to return the body to optimal health. Surgery could be an option if there is sustained serious neck or spinal injury.
During a collision, hitting the head on the steering wheel, window, or roof is frequent and can cause a concussion. Individuals can experience problems with memory, like not remembering what happened before the collision, or feeling like brain function is not as quick. Treatment for any kind of head injury is crucial. Treatment will help alleviate headaches and help restore the brain to a healthy state.
These injuries can cause life-altering effects. A traumatic brain injury can change:
Recovery from a brain injury is possible but can take time, depending on the type and severity of the damage.
When the body goes through extreme stress like an automobile accident there is the potential to develop emotional and mental conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Symptoms can include:
Treatment is vital and psychologists and therapists can help individuals express their feelings, and educate individuals on techniques to deal with stresses, anxieties, and fears to get them to a healthy life.
The impact of a collision can cause the body to hit various areas of the vehicle, stressing the musculoskeletal system that it can’t take. This can occur in a variety of ways, with the torso, arms, or legs getting pinned by a part of the vehicle causing fracture/s. Also, depending on the speed of the collision, the seatbelt could stop the body suddenly causing a fracture of the ribs. Broken bones are frequent in auto accidents/crashes, however, some fractures could require surgery and hardware to reset the bones to allow proper healing. Depending on the type of break, individuals could require a month or more of rest. Chiropractic care and physical therapy could help expedite recovery.
The body’s organs are delicate and fragile. The impact forces from an auto accident can cause all kinds of damage, causing them to bleed. These are serious injuries and are quite common in high-speed collisions.
Body positivity is about every individual having a psychological representation of their body or body image. This includes:
Fitness and fashion industries used to promote what the perfect body should look like and those with a body image that did not fit these criteria could develop a sense of inferiority. In response to this, body positivity has become a rapidly growing movement on social media. The movement’s objective is to challenge society to focus on an individual’s overall health, and not their body. It encourages acceptance of all body types, no matter the size or shape. The movement has a companion known as the Healthy at Every Size or HAES movement that focuses on health indicators other than weight. It encourages the focus on developing healthy habits that lead to improved health. HAES involves three components:
These movements offer realistic and encouraging ways to recognize and achieve optimal health. They accept body and health at every stage of an individual’s fitness and health journey.
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico
Duncan, G J, and R Meals. “One hundred years of automobile-induced orthopedic injuries.” Orthopedics vol. 18,2 (1995): 165-70.
Hamilton JB. Seat-belt injuries. Br Med J. 1968 Nov 23;4(5629):485-6. doi: 10.1136/bmj.4.5629.485. PMID: 5697665; PMCID: PMC1912721.
Sims, J K et al. “Automobile accident occupant injuries.” JACEP vol. 5,10 (1976): 796-808. doi:10.1016/s0361-1124(76)80313-9
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