Car accidents are a part of modern living and can happen to anyone at just about anytime. Many car accidents are minor, with the car suffering more scrapes and bumps than any of the passengers, but the risk of injury is real for anyone on the road.
The most common injuries sustained in car accidents are to the neck and back. Whiplash is the most common and occurs when the head is suddenly or violently thrust forward and then backward when a car is rear-ended. The neck hyper extends and the delicate tendons and muscles can be damaged even at speeds as low as 15 mph. Symptoms of whiplash include swelling, neck pain, tenderness in the back of the neck, muscles spasms in the side or back of the neck, difficulty moving the head and neck, headache, and shooting pain from the neck down the arms. The neck can also be sprained, strained, or fractured and produce similar symptoms. Back pain is also a common injury and symptoms like pain and soreness may indicate a more serious injury.
Legs, knees, hands, arms, and heads are also susceptible to injuries as they may come into contact with hard surfaces during the collision. A concussion is also common in collisions where the head strikes a hard object and victims need to be closely monitored if this is the case. Concussions can get worse over time, and a doctor can instruct you on signs to look for. Any body part can get bruised or cut.
It is always important to seek medical care after a car accident if you feel pain or stiffness, even if it doesn’t appear right away. You may be in shock or get a rush of adrenaline right after the accident and not realize you have an injury. Imaging tests like x-rays can show if there are any fractures, but more expensive tests like an MRI or CT scan will be needed to show soft tissue damage. If the injury is relatively mild, rest may be the best cure. A doctor can prescribe medicine like muscles relaxers and painkillers to allow the damaged muscles to relax and you get some rest. For more severe injuries, physical therapy may be needed after a period of rest to regain strength and mobility. Muscles and tendons that are damaged may take a while to heal and it is important to follow the advice of the doctor to heal properly.