MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Car Accident Related Injuries
If you are in a minor "fender-bender" with no damage to your car, you still may have
When you are involved in an auto accident, your adrenalin spikes preventing your brain from interpreting pain. This is why you may not even know that you have been hurt or injured. It can take up to two weeks for your adrenalin levels to decrease back to normal levels and this is why you may not notice any symptoms initially after the accident. In the state of Michigan you have up to 1 year from the time of accident to file an insurance claim. While you have up to 1 year from the time of accident, waiting is not recommended. Delaying care after a traumatic event like a car accident may increase the length of needed care and may limit overall recovery.
Whiplash is a term used to describe neck pain that occurs when a force is applied to your neck that causes abnormal movement beyond the normal range of motion of your neck. A whiplash injury can include soft tissues damage (specifically ligaments, tendons, and muscles of your neck) and bone (or vertebrae) misalignments / subluxations.
Whiplash occurs most frequently in motor vehicle accidents such as car crashes, auto accidents, and truck accidents. Whiplash can also occur during sporting activities, accidental falls, and assault. Recently, concussions and concussion like symptoms have come to the forefront in sports such as football and hockey. Along with concussions, many of these athletes are also sustaining whiplash.
The amount of physical damage to your car is not related to the severity of injury to your spine and soft tissues of your neck. Speeds as low as 5 miles per hour can produce enough energy to cause whiplash injury in occupants, whether or not they wear seat belts. Documented studies done by Charles Carroll, M.D., Paul McAtee, M.D. and Lee Riley, M.D. revealed that: "The amount of damage to the automobile bears little relation to the force applied to the cervical spine (neck) of the occupants."
Sprains and Strains
A muscle strain occurs when the muscle and tendon are stretched or torn. The most common reason is the overuse and stretching of the muscle. The damage may occur in three areas:
- The muscle itself may tear.
- The area where the muscle and tendon blend can tear.
- The tendon may tear partially or completely (rupture).
Ligaments are fibrous tissue that surrounds a joint and attach bone to bone keeping them in place. If a ligament is stretched or torn, the injury is called a sprain.
Traumatic events such as a car accident can cause headaches. Most of the time the headache will dissipate over a week or two and everything will be fine.
But what if the headaches don't go away? What happens if the headaches continue or get worse? Some signs that your headache may be an emergency or life threatening condition include changes in mood, dizziness, loss of consciousness, non responsiveness and loss of vision to name a few.
Post traumatic headaches that get better in four to six weeks are considered acute headaches, but those that stay at the same pain level, start to get worse, or go beyond six weeks are more concerning. The headaches may be all over the head and moderate to severe in pain with stabbing, throbbing pain that affect your ability to concentrate. These are symptoms seen in a more severe form of headaches. If the headaches are severe, chances are that it will take several months to recover fully from post traumatic headaches.
Numbness and tingling down the arms and legs, also known as paresthesia, can also include symptoms such as pain, burning, pricking, or ants crawling along the skin. These symptoms generally indicate a malfunction of sensory nerves caused by a misalignment of the vertebrae in the neck or back causing irritation of the sensory part of the nerve. While many sufferers of numbness, tingling, and pain in their arms and legs recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, which could have injured their spines, some do not. An examination is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an injury is present and to determine treatment.
Car Seatbelt Injury
Another common type of personal injury experienced from a car accident is seatbelt injury. Seatbelts are important and help prevent serious injury. They can however cause injury as well. The seatbelt can cause bruising, misaligned ribs and vertebrae which in turn pinch and stretch nerves. The result is pain.
Why go untreated after an automobile accident? Pain does not have to become a way of life after an accident. If you're involved in an accident, whether it occurs on the job or on the road, contact our office for a complete post accident examination. It could save you from having to say, "....it's never been the same after the accident." If you are in a car accident, time is of the essence. Call us today at 810-632-5252 to schedule a consultation and examination.