Car Accidents and Their Sequelae (What Happens After)Friday, April 4th, 2014, 4:11 pm
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there were over 2 million car crashes with injuries in the US in 2010. The good news is that since cars are safer than ever before, fatal crashes are down to their lowest levels in more than 50 years.
But it’s very likely that in the course of your lifetime, you may have a nonfatal car crash.
So what happens to your body in a car accident? Maybe you remember physics class in high school. A body in motion stays in motion. So when a car hits something or something hits a car, the car might stop, but the people in the car (and any loose items in the body of the car) keep moving. That’s why it’s imperative to wear a seatbelt, to keep you from sailing right through that front window or side window. Okay, so the seatbelt stopped your movement, maybe even saving your life. But what happened to the bones and muscles and joints in your body?
Well, you might have fractured (broken) a bone. You might have a laceration (a cut) and be bleeding. You may have suffered a sprain or a strain in a muscle or joint. You may have ruptured (to break suddenly) or herniated (to protrude in an abnormal way) a disc in your spine along your neck or back. Maybe you hit your head and lost consciousness momentarily (you might have suffered a concussion – the most common form, and the most minor form, of traumatic brain injury).
Some injuries are obvious right away – like a broken bone or a laceration. But some become apparent that night, when you finally get home, or the next morning, when you wake up bruised and stiff and feeling worse than the day before. Your body has been through a traumatic situation or a traumatic injury that asked your muscles and bones and joints to move in ways that they aren’t naturally designed to do. If a bone broke, you may have gotten a cast or a splint. You might have had x-rays. But maybe there was an injury they couldn’t see right away.
Hopefully, you saw your doctor or went to the hospital ER or an urgent care center after the accident. If you haven’t already, the doctors in our practice specialize in traumatic injuries of the spine and extremities. We can take x-rays to evaluate your condition and, in most cases, quickly start an individualized treatment program tailored to your needs.
If you broke a bone, your doctor may ask you to have physical therapy after the accident to rehabilitate (restore to health by training or therapy) your body after the injury. Sprains or strains can prevent full range of motion. Our team of physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, chiropractic and acupuncture specialists can help restore those muscles, ligaments and tendons to their pre-accident state.
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