Understanding Automobile Accident Injuries


I got into a car accident, I was rear-ended on Valentine’s Day, and things weren’t quite right in my body, the aches and pains started coming. So after I visited another chiropractor and talked to my client, they told me about this place, and when I arrived, I was like, okay, I’m not going back to the other place. And that’s how I head about him (Dr. Alex Jimenez), and I’m so grateful. – Terry Peoples

Based on information referenced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, approximately more than three million individuals are injured annually in automobile accidents throughout the United States alone. While the unique conditions of every car crash can ultimately result in a wide variety of injuries, some types of automobile accident injuries are more common than others.

Fortunately, a majority of automobile accident injuries may resolve on their own without the need for treatment. However, more significant health issues caused by the auto collision may require some amount of therapy and rehabilitation and others may, unfortunately, become permanent if left untreated. It’s fundamental for the victim of an automobile accident to seek immediate medical attention for them to receive a proper diagnosis for their motor vehicle injuries before proceeding with the most appropriate treatment option for them.

Before following any necessary medical procedure, understanding some of the most common automobile accident injuries can help you become aware of the steps you can take to ensure that you are getting the proper care for your health issues. Furthermore, the type and severity of motor vehicle accidents suffered by the victims involved in a car crash may largely depend on several variables, including:

  • Was the individual wearing a seatbelt?
  • Did the person’s car gets hit from the back, side or front?
  • Was the occupant facing straight ahead in the seat? Or was the person’s head or body turned in a particular direction?
  • Was the incident a low-speed collision or a high-speed crash?
  • Did the car have airbags?

There are two broad categories of automobile accident injuries: impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Impact injuries are generally characterized as those caused when a portion of the individual’s body hits some part of the interior of the car. Frequently, this can be a knee-slapping a dashboard or the head hitting the seat rest or the side window during an auto collision. Penetrating injuries are generally characterized as open wounds, cuts, and scrapes. Shattering glass or loose items flying inside the car on impact can often cause these types of automobile accident injuries. Below, we will discuss the most common automobile accident injuries and describe them in detail.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are some of the most common types of automobile accident injuries. A soft tissue injury is typically characterized as trauma, damage or injury to the body’s connective tissue, including tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Soft tissue injuries can vary depending on the type of connective tissue it affects as well as on the grade and severity of the harm. Because soft tissue injuries do not involve open wounds, it may be challenging to diagnose these type of automobile accident injuries.

A whiplash-associated disorder, most frequently referred to as a whiplash injury to the neck and upper back, is a type of soft tissue injury. In this form of harm, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are stretched beyond their natural range due to the abrupt movements imposed on the neck and head from the force of the impact at the point of collision. These same mechanisms may additionally cause soft tissue injuries in other regions of the body, such as the back. Automobile accidents can also often cause mid-back and low-back muscle sprains, and at times, these may cause severe back injuries and even aggravate underlying conditions due to the sheer force from the impact on the spine.

Cuts and Scrapes from Automobile Accident Injuries

During an auto collision, any loose objects inside the car can immediately become projectiles which can be thrown about the vehicle’s interior. This includes cell phones, coffee glasses, eyeglasses, purses, books, dash-mounted GPS systems, etc.. If one of these objects strikes your body at the time of the incident, they can easily cause cuts and scrapes as well as additional cause trauma, damage or injuries.

Occasionally, these cuts and scrapes are relatively minor and require no immediate medical attention. More severe cases of these type of automobile accident injuries, however, could create a relatively large open wound and may need stitches to prevent blood loss. Cuts or scrapes can also occur when your airbag deploys from the auto collision.

Head Injuries

Head injuries in the form of automobile accident injuries can take some types, where some can be considered comparatively minor, and others can virtually be quite severe. The sudden stop or shift in direction by a motor vehicle during a car crash can cause an individual’s head and neck to jolt or jerk abruptly and unnaturally in any direction, overstretching the complex structures of the cervical spine beyond their normal range, leading to muscle strains and whiplash-associated disorders.

The head itself can also be injured during an auto accident. Impact with a side window or with the steering wheel may cause cuts, scrapes, and bruises to the head, as well as even deeper lacerations. More severe collision impacts can create a closed head injury. In that circumstance, the fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged due to the abrupt movement or impact of the head. Less acute closed head injuries often result in concussions, while the most severe head injuries can cause brain damage.

Chest Injuries

Chest injuries are also common auto accident injuries. These type of injuries are usually identified as contusions or bruises. However, these can also take the form of much more severe injuries, like fractured ribs or internal injuries. Drivers often experience chest injuries due to their position behind the steering wheel, which offers very little space to move before the torso collides with the steering wheel. If an individual’s body is thrown forward during a motor vehicle collision, even if their chest doesn’t impact the steering wheel or dashboard, the torso will experience tremendously high amounts of force, specifically against the shoulder harness or seat belt, which may cause severe bruising.

Arm and Leg Injuries

The very same shear forces which unexpectedly throw a person’s head and neck back-and-forth during a car crash can behave similarly on arms and legs. If your vehicle experiences a side impact, your arms and legs may be tossed hard against the door. Also, if you’re a passenger, your legs typically have very little room to move. As a result, automobile accidents often cause an occupant’s knees to strike the dashboard or even chairs in front of them.

Based on the circumstance of the auto collision, automobile accident injuries to your arms and legs may include bruises, scrapes, and cuts. However, sprains and even fractures in both the upper and lower extremities can happen. Keep in mind that some injuries aren’t apparent following a car accident. It may take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to manifest. Therefore, if you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, it is best to seek immediate medical attention.

After being involved in an auto accident, it may sometimes take days, weeks, even months for symptoms to manifest completely. For your health and wellness, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention following the car crash. While many types of injuries can occur, there are several common automobile accident injuries which can develop due to the sheer force of the impact, such as whiplash-associated disorders. Whiplash is a frequent auto accident injury which is characterized as a type of neck injury which happens when the complex structures surrounding the cervical spine are stretched far beyond their natural range of motion. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment option which can treat a variety of auto accident injuries.

Chiropractic Care After an Automobile Accident

Many healthcare professionals are qualified and experienced in the treatment of a variety of automobile accident injuries, especially chiropractors. Chiropractic care is a favorite, alternative treatment option which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of numerous injuries and conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system. If you’ve been involved in an auto collision, chiropractic care can offer substantial benefits towards your current well-being, supporting your recovery process.

After a car collision, you may experience pain and discomfort, decreased range of motion, stiffness or soreness. Remember that these symptoms may not always manifest immediately after a motor vehicle accident. Through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, chiropractic care will help you manage painful symptoms, as well as help, enhance flexibility, increase strength and improve mobility, promoting a faster recovery. Also, it can prevent long-term symptoms from developing, such as migraines and chronic pain. The sooner you get chiropractic care after a car wreck, the more likely you are to recover fully.

By carefully restoring the original alignment of the spine, chiropractic care helps reduce pain and other painful symptoms. Furthermore, a chiropractor can recommend a series of exercises and physical activities to help pump oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the injury site and enhance recovery. A doctor of chiropractic will develop a personalized treatment program targeted to your specific automobile accident injuries. Chiropractic care also makes it possible to avoid the need for surgical interventions. It strengthens ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which shield the body’s structures. It’s also a far more cost-effective solution.

Chiropractic care can also restore function in patients with older vehicle collision injuries. You are still able to benefit from chiropractic care even if you had an accident years back. Employing spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, as well as rehabilitation techniques, it helps relieve old pain and improve function. Additionally, it is a non-invasive treatment option, and you won’t end up needing to rely on pain drugs and medications for relief of your symptoms.

Chiropractors can even treat vertigo resulting from a car crash. In as little as one treatment, they could fix dysfunction in the vestibular system. Other types of chiropractic care treatment techniques include massage, ultrasound, ice and cold therapy, specific exercises, and physical activities, and even nutritional advice. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment approach which can help treat automobile accident injuries without the need for drugs and medications as well as surgery.

If you suffered a car accident injury, don’t delay any longer. Contact a chiropractor and allow them to help you follow the best treatment path. Chiropractors can provide you a consultation to perform a comprehensive evaluation and make a treatment strategy targeted to your injuries. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

Additional Topics: Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain has been attributed to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

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