Auto accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries, Some may not be apparent at the time of injury.
1. Headaches and Migraines
These are extremely common after car injury or other injuries to head and neck. Although more serious conditions like blood clots have to be considered but usually these headaches have their origin in the nerves around the head and upper neck. These headaches respond quite well to proper medical treatment including medicines, physical and chiropractic therapy when administered under the care of a neurologist.
2. Neck Injury (Whiplash)
Whiplash hurls your head violently backward (hyperextension) and forward (hyperflexion) injuring your neck. The injury is worse if the neck was turned to the side at the time of the accident. Whiplash is the most common injury resulting from car accidents. Whiplash can cause injury to inter-vertebral joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerves. Whiplash is often encountered along with concussions and more serious injury. The effects of whiplash can be short term or life long, and can leave the neck forever vulnerable to injury. The injury can also extend to shoulders and arms.
Whiplash can be diagnosed with a simple physical examination or using x-rays. X-rays will also be used to see if there are any fractures of the vertebrae and the extent to which the alignment of the neck has been altered. After a whiplash injury your neck’s natural curve may be reversed, which unevenly distributes the weight of your head and may further misalign the vertebrae. This condition can lead to arthritic degeneration and recurring pain.
3. Back Injuries from Car Accidents
Car accidents place enormous strains on the body. The sudden force and deceleration from a car accident may compress or damage the back. The complicated bones and discs that form the spine can be seriously damaged. Car accidents may cause herniated (slipped) discs, ruptured discs or spinal (vertebrae) fractures.
An added problem is that the spinal cord travels through the back. The spinal cord transmits signals for movement and pain through the body, so spinal cord injuries can cause severe pain and may require therapy to treat.
More severe injuries of the spinal cord can lead to paralysis.
4. Anxiety and Depression
A very common injury type commonly ignored by most physicians because of their own lack of knowledge and due to the common belief of society to underestimate the importance of psychological injury and its affects on the general health of the person. This may take the form of anxiety about driving, looking back frequently in the mirror when in a car, or avoidance of the highways. Some people may avoid the site of the accident. They may have trouble sleeping and may get flashbacks of the injury. A post-traumatic stress disorder may develop.
Uncommonly seen after the accidents and positively indicates an injury to the head. This can be an indicator of serious bleeding in or around the brain but may also occur with injury to the inner ear where our balance control system resides.
6.Knee and Leg Pain
Knee pain is quite common and is usually related to jamming the knee against the interior of the car. This may occur because of torn cartilage, ligaments or bony contusions. The nerves around the knee may also be damaged. Hip pain is often referred to the knee.
7. Shoulder and Arm Pain
Shoulder joint pain is seen either with direct injury to this joint or as referred pain/ radicular pain from the neck. An MRI of the shoulder is often needed when range of motion of the shoulder produces pain or there is suspicion of a dislocation.
8. Brain Injury
Car accidents are a leading cause of head and brain injuries. Brain injury can occur when the head has been struck usually by striking an object such as a windshield or the brain undergoes a sudden acceleration/deceleration movement (as in a whiplash injury) without direct external trauma to the head. Many brain injuries are the result of bruising, bleeding, twisting or tearing of brain tissue. Damage to the brain may occur at the time of the accident, or develop over time as tissues swell and bleed within the head.
9. Loss of Vision
Direct injury to the eye ball, nerves behind the eye or the nerve pathways in the brain may get injured in automobile accidents and require prompt attention and treatment by a neurologist and ophthalmologist. Blurring of vision is also extremely common and requires a careful neurological assessment and testing.
10. Numbness or Tingling
These are symptoms or nervous system injury and need prompt neurological evaluation to prevent permanent nervous system injury.
Nerve studies, MRI or other scans may be utilized by our Neurologist to study these conditions and to treat the root cause of the symptoms. It is noteworthy blind chiropractic and physical therapy treatments without determining the cause of patient’s numbness and tingling can lead to serious consequences.
11. Impotence or Incontinence
Infrequently seen but these symptoms have disastrous and embarrassing consequences for the people who suffer from them. Most other doctors never ask questions about these conditions and hence the injuries causing them are not discovered in a timely fashion. Delay in treatment can result in permanency of the condition. Even if no neurological cause for impotence is discovered treatment is available for this serious condition.
12. Memory Loss
Routinely ignored by most doctors are the symptoms of memory loss and attention difficulty which often translates in slowed speed of mental processing and reduced ability to solve problems.
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