Monday, February 24, 2020

Injuries From Motor Vehicle Accidents

Road safety is a serious and still a major issue around the world in spite of the fact that the number of road accidents have slightly decreased over the last few years. According to The National Safety Council, it is estimated that 40,000 vehicle fatalities occurred in 2018, which is a slight improvement from 2017’s 40,231 deaths. Despite the advancements in car safety systems, factors like distracted driving and higher speed limits are canceling out their benefits. 

Motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of spinal injuries treated by chiropractors. Injuries sustained in auto accidents can range from minor to severe, including being fatal. Auto accidents are not only scary but traumatic and often lead to treatment beyond physical scars. Common injuries sustained by car accident victims are whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and head injuries. Soft tissue injuries happen when there’s damage to the muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body.
Here are some common spinal injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents: 

1. Bulging disc. When one of your inter-vertebral discs in the spinal column is injured in your back or neck, the disc weakens and it can bulge or extend into the spinal canal.  A bulging disc can commonly be referred to as a slipped disc or a protruding disc. A bulging disc in your back or neck can cause pain. 

A bulging disc can be provoked by a motorcycle crash, car accident, truck wreck and many types of other accidents. If you are injured and someone else is at fault, you may be entitled to damages.
Image from Mayo Clinic

2. Herniated disc. According to Mayo Clinic, a herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) that sit between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack to make your spine.

A spinal disk has a soft, jellylike center (nucleus) encased in a tougher, rubbery exterior (annulus). Sometimes called a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disk occurs when some of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus.

3. Neck pain. Neck pain / neck strain is often just called whiplash. Although it's usually associated with car accidents, any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward can cause neck strain. The sudden force stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck. 

4. Degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease typically occurs in the lumbar spine, the lower back area, causing pain and stiffness. While it can occur as part of the aging process, trauma, such as a car accident, can also cause it.

5. Shoulder pain. Some common car accident injuries that can cause shoulder pain include: Torn rotator cuff – A torn rotator cuff is a tear in the group of muscles surrounding the shoulder. This can occur during a high impact incident like a car accident. 

Seeking immediate chiropractic treatment after an auto accident for any known (or unknown injuries) will do wonders as it will allow you to maintain the well-being of your spine after it’s been subjected to a trauma. By not receiving the proper treatment for injuries such as whiplash can lead to long-term pain.  When any body part sustains an unexpected, strident trauma, it can stretch or even tear the surrounding ligaments. Luckily, chiropractors specialize in caring for muscles, bones, nerves and connective tissue of the body, so it’s best if you start looking for  auto accident chiropractors in case you sustain a spinal injury from an auto accident. 

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