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Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries in the United States. Each year, an estimated three million people are injured from car accidents across the country. Often, car accident victims experience similar injuries. It’s important to know what types of injuries are common after a crash and what steps you should take to expedite your recovery.
Scrapes and cuts
Even in a low-speed car accident where there are people with no major injuries, there’s still a chance that those involved could be scraped up from the impact. Although a scrape or cut is a minor injury, it’s still important to treat it so that it doesn’t become infected.
Head and neck injuries
Victims of car accidents commonly experience head and neck injuries after a crash. Often, these types of injuries can cause permanent damage. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention if you feel any pain in your head or neck after an accident. Whiplash is one of the most common types of upper-body injuries that usually occurs when a vehicle is in a rear-end collision. It occurs when passengers in a crash are jolted forward. Side effects can include extreme neck strain caused by overstretched muscles and tendons. Headaches, tenderness, and a decreased range of neck mobility are other signs that may indicate that you have whiplash.
Concussions are another common head injury resulting from car accidents. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a severe blow to the head that causes the brain to move. The rapid movement of the brain causes chemical changes, often damaging brain cells. Concussions are sometimes thought of as minor injuries, but their side effects can be serious if not treated properly.
Due to the seated position of drivers and passengers in cars, back injuries are common after a car accident. In the U.S., car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Side effects from a spinal cord injury include uncomfortable tingling or burning sensations, a loss of muscle function, and involuntary muscle movement. If not treated promptly, spinal cord injuries can occasionally lead to paraplegia. Herniated discs are another common back injury that occur from rear-end accidents. Symptoms of a herniated disc include back spasms, difficulty breathing, and a loss of movement.
When a driver in a car is hit by another car, he or she likely has his or her hands on the steering wheel. In the case in which the driver saw the car coming, they may even have braced for impact by grabbing the wheel tightly. Despite being a natural reaction, this motion can cause injury to the driver’s arm, wrist, and hands. In many cases, a driver should expect a sore or sprained wrist, and in some more serious cases, the impact can cause a broken arm or dislocated shoulder.
Chest injuries are common after a car accident and can be especially serious if a person’s ribs are injured. Due to the impact of a crash, a passenger’s chest can be thrust into contact with the vehicle, another passenger, or another item in the car. Chest injuries can occur when the driver is thrust forward into the steering wheel, an airbag deploys and hits a front-seat passenger, or a passenger’s seat belt tugs at them and causes bruising. Despite occasional injuries caused by airbags and seat belts, they protect passengers and should always be used.
Recovering and returning to the road
Car accidents are an inherent risk of driving and can cause serious injuries. If you are in an accident, it’s important to know what to expect and what to do to properly recover. After a crash, seek immediate medical attention, even if you’re not experiencing a lot of pain. Because many car accident victims experience similar injuries, a specialized chiropractor can offer expert advice specific to your injuries and pain. The right chiropractor can put together a recovery plan unique to your needs. Consider visiting a chiropractor to get a professional’s opinion on any injuries that you may have and a plan to return to full health.
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