Auto accidents can cause both physical and psychological damage for everyone involved, resulting in severe consequences if not treated in a timely manner. The impact of vehicles during an accident can produce severe injuries that are not always discovered at the time of the accident. In addition to producing costly property damage and loss of time from work, auto accidents have the ability to increase the levels of stress for victims.
Physically speaking, injuries resulting from auto accidents can compromise an individual’s normal activities of daily living. Injuries from trauma such as an auto accident can affect multiple areas of the body including the neck, mid back, low back, shoulders, wrists, knees and ankles.
Below is a detailed description of the three most common injuries caused by auto accidents:
Whiplash is one of the most common and delicate injuries produced by auto accidents since it affects the cervical spine. It results from the hyperflexion and hyperextension of muscles, ligaments and joints in the neck. The forward and backward motion is similar to a whip, which is why it is known as “whiplash.” Even a relatively low impact collision can cause a flexion/extension or whiplash type injury.
During an auto accident, the body works at full speed to react quickly against impact, performing abrupt stretching movements and involuntary thrusts that cause reflex muscular contractions. These injuries occur most frequently in the lumbar region, at waist level. The symptoms associated with this type of injury can be constant or irregular, and they can last a few days to weeks or even months depending on the injury and the treatment.
Another type of injury suffered by auto accident victims is strain/sprains or dislocations. They are caused when the bones of a joint separate improperly. The dislocation can be total (dislocation) or partial (subluxation) and usually occurs in the shoulders, knees, hips and spine. Depending on the impact they may also cause damage to the surrounding ligaments and nerves.
Treatments for these types of injuries vary. Some may include, taking medication and using bracing such as cervical collars, slings, or other devices. However, during the last few decades, the increase of motor vehicle traffic has increased the number of auto accidents and statistics motivated experts to look for other treatment alternatives for accident related injuries. Chiropractic care has proven a highly effective alternative treatment.
Dr. Dean M. Zusmer
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