Why is Immediate Medical Care After a Car Accident Important?

Experienced Medical Care After an Accident?
Why getting medical attention right after after a car accident is so import?

What is the Goal?

Not every accident produces an injury.  It is not uncommon for accident victims to leave the scene of the accident feeling that they were uninjured and then wake up the next day or two days later with extreme soreness, tightness or muscle spasm.

A study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery stated that “…an individual involved in a motor vehicle accident is nearly 7-times more likely to suffer neck degeneration within 7-years of the accident…” than individuals that have not been involved in an auto accident.

The goal of immediate medical care is to return the injured to complete, healthy function thereby reducing this increased risk of long term pain.

Neck Injuries
Car accidents can result in neck injury ranging from mild whiplash and neck strain, to more serious like cervical dislocation and disc herniation.
Brain and Head Injuries
One of the most common injury suffered by drivers and passengers is an acquired brain injury caused by the head being hit or hitting an object violently (called a traumatic brain injury).
Back Injuries
The most common form of injury in a car accident is to the lower back. This includes sprains and strains, herniated discs and fractured vertebrae. Back injury can cause long lasting pain and discomfort. These injuries can cause pain and limit mobility. Often, the symptoms of even the most serious back injuries can take a while to appear after an accident.
Internal Injuries
As a result of a vehicle accident, the victims could suffer internal injuries including, injuries to bowels, kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, heart or any of the internal systems. Fractured ribs are also common, causing punctured lungs and other damages to internal organs. Internal injuries are life threatening and should be treated by a medical professionals immediately.
Facial Injuries
Injuries to the face are common in a car accident. These can be caused by the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, windshield, side window, car seats or shattered glass.
Psychological Injuries
Auto accidents involving severe injuries and even loss of life, can result in drivers and passengers suffering short or long-term psychological injuries. These are classified as emotional stress, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), persistent anxiety and depression. These psychological injuries as a result of an accident can impact every aspect of the victim's life.

How Can Acupuncture Help Me to Get Better Faster?

Acupuncture treats pain by activating the body’s "self healing capacity." Acupuncture increases the circulation in the body and damaged tissues. This Increased circulation restores the tissues to a normal state faster, increasing flexibility and reducing pain.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Auto Accident Injuries?

A chiropractor can treat neck injuries (whiplash), back injuries, soft tissue injuries.  Chiropractors specialize in complementary and alternative medicine. They diagnose, treat, and prevent disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system. A chiropractor will use manual techniques to manipulate the positions of vertebrae to alleviate pain and maintain correct positions.

What is Dental Trauma?

Dental trauma usually occurs from a direct hit to your mouth or jaw after a car accident.  Temporomandibular joint disease, TMJ, is a painful condition which carries the same symptoms as whiplash.  A reconstructive  dentist experienced with, auto accidents and trauma victims can easily recognize signs of trauma in the mouth.

Can a Dietician Help Me?

Have you have gained weight as a result of an accident? Sometimes following a head injury, you may not be as physically active as you used to be. It is not uncommon for people to gain weight following a head injury. The dietitian or nutritionist will help you to a more healthier diet and get rid of that extra weight.

Do I need an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor (ENT)?

After a car accident, you may smash your nose or suffer a blow to the front part of your head. As a result of this, you may experience difficulty breathing because the cartilage in the nose has been crushed.  This may require that you see an ear, nose and throat Specialist.

Who is an Internist?

An Internist is your primary care doctor.  Internist deals with the complex interaction of systems inside your body.  As a result of an accident if you need surgery a primary care doctor has relationships with hospitals, emergency rooms, and specialists and surgeons, and will facilitate and coordinate the care.

How can a Neurologist Help Me after a Car Accident?

Pain from trauma may be caused by a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues. Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and/or range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. Occasionally, pain felt in one part of the body may “radiate” from a disorder or injury elsewhere in the body. Some acute pain syndromes can become more serious if left untreated.

Who is a Orthopedic Surgeon?

Orthopedic doctors are specialists in treating all aspects of the spine and the musculoskeletal system. Many orthopedists further specialize in the back, neck, shoulder, elbow, spine, hip or knee.

If you have suffered injuries that require a specialist to help you recover, it is best to seek immediate help.

Why do I need Pain Management Doctor?

A car accident or any abrupt jerking motion to the head and neck -- and suddenly you have serious neck, shoulder, back pain. Standard X-rays of the neck may not show any injuries.  The feeling of physical pain can vary greatly -- mild, sharp, severe, dull.  Pain medicine doctors are experts at diagnosing why you are having pain as well as treating the pain itself. Some of the more common pain problems they manage include: arthritis, back and neck pain, cancer pain, nerve pain, migraine headaches and phantom limb pain.

Why do I need Psychologist?

A Psychologist is a neuropsychologist with specialized training in how brain injures can effect human behavior. The Psychologist performs tests that are designed to measure the effects of a brain injury. This testing will locate areas of the brain that may be damaged. Recovering from a head injury is stressful and may also require counseling to help the head-injured person and immediate family members to deal with the recovery process.

Who is a Physiatrist?

Physiatrist is a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation.  You should discuss any questions or concerns you have with a physiatrist (rehabilitation specialist) or the rehabilitation team. It is important to mention new problems as they develop. New problems could be the result of car accident.

Why do I need Physical Therapy after a Car Accident?

Physical therapists are licensed health care professionals who can help patients after a car accident, reduce pain and improve or restore mobility.  Physical therapy is the primary method for repair and strengthening of damaged tissue and for avoiding excessive scar growth.

Why do I need Plastic Surgeon due to a Car Accident?

After you have healed and recovered from the trauma of car accident, a plastic surgeon may be necessary to help you cover the scars and bumps, etc. as a result of surgery or the accident itself.  A plastic surgeon is a person who performs these procedures.

Why do I need Occupational Therapy after a Car Accident?

After a car accident, especially, if you have suffered head injury, a occupational therapist can help you with  high-level thinking and motor skills necessary for you to work fully at home and at work.

Why do I need Radiologist after a Car Accident?

Radiologist is a physician who specializes in reading X-rays, CT Scans or MRI's. A radiologist will diagnose  your medical condition using X-ray or other imaging equipment. Your physician or specialist will refer you to a radiologist.

Role of a Recreational Therapist after a Car Accident?

A Recreational Therapist is an expert who will work to bring your life back to normal as it was before the accident.  The goal of a recreational therapist is to help people reclaim the enjoyable parts of their life.

Who is a Speech Therapist?

A speech therapist has specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of speech, voice, and language disorders. Sometimes after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), people can have cognitive problems as well as communication problems, which can impair their ability to live independently.  In such cases, an intervention by a speech therapist may be necessary.

Who is a Social Worker?

A Social Worker is a trained professional who works with patients to develop plans after they leave the hospital.  It is part of their training to help the patient and family members to cope with their medical problems after they get back to daily routines of living at home and employment.

Who is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is a trained specialist will assist you with a successful return to work, school, or volunteering after a car accident. They will provide guidance for work space modifications and accommodations and may even work directly with the employers.  If you have been involved in a significant car accident, the experience and expertise of a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will make a significant difference in the outcome of your work life.

Back Injuries
What are the symptoms and what kind of care do you need?

Symptoms of Back Injury

Most times, during the early days, signs and symptoms do not normally appear. It may take weeks, months and sometimes even years to realize that a car accident has actually dealt damage to your spine or back and it might just be too late if you wait for the symptoms when you could have just visited your doctor.

This is why it is important to get experienced medical care right away.

What is a Back Sprain Injury?

A back sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments — the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect one bone to another in your joints.

What is a Back Strain Injury?

A back strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon, a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.

Damage to the Spine

The spinal cord was made to withstand serious impact. The vertebrae rarely cleanly breaks in a car accident and, if it does, you likely have a wrongful death case as opposed to a client with a spinal injury. Typically, such an injury puts pressure on the nerves running along the spinal cord that send messages to the brain, causing myelopathy or damage to the nerve roots sending messages to the brain.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common sources of pain following a car accident. The lower back is greatly associated with stability, and the muscles found in the lumbar region will be activated and often strained during an accident. This results in sharp or pulsating pains originating near the base of the spine and radiating up the spine or down the legs. This type of pain involves muscle sprains and strains, and can be treated with pain management medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and a great deal of rest.

Injuries to Heart

One of the most dangerous types of injuries that people will experience during an auto accident is an injury to the heart. This single body part is one of the most important, if not the most important, organ in our bodies. It continuously circulates blood in our body and beats regularly to keep us alive.

Injuries to Spleen

The spleen is the most commonly injured organ in the abdomen as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls from a height, or other traumas. When the spleen is injured, blood may be released into the abdomen. The amount of bleeding depends on the size of the injury. A hematoma of the spleen does not bleed into the abdomen at first but may rupture and bleed in the first few days after injury, although rupture sometimes does not occur for weeks or months.

Injuries to Kidneys

Traumatic renal failure (e.g., kidney failure from a car accident) is particularly dangerous, since it is resistant to therapy and contributes to the development of post-traumatic multiple organ failure. Symptoms of kidney failure may include: severe flank pain, blood in urine, swelling, fluid retention, seizures, nausea or vomiting, which may last for days after the car accident with kidney damage, and shock.

Injuries to Lungs

There are multiple ways of suffering a personal injury to the lungs in a car accident. The most obvious way is a head-on accident, but side-impact accidents and rear end accidents can also do great harm to one or both lungs. This is generally caused by compression due to seat belts.

Fractured Ribs

A fractured rib is a crack or break in one of the bones of the rib cage. A break in the thick tissue (cartilage) that connects the ribs to the breastbone can also be called a fractured rib, even if the bone itself is not broken.

Soft Tissue Injury

Often times, injuries incurred during an auto accident cannot be seen externally, such as soft tissue injuries (injuries to muscles, ligaments and discs) and can heal with scar tissue which can hurt years later.

The damage to the spine can lead to recurring headaches, neck pain, stiffness, chronic muscle tension and spasms, lower back pain, spinal disc degeneration, inflamed arthritis, sore and tight inflexible muscles, greater chance of repeat injury and aid in poor posture.

What is a Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when a sudden, jarring movement of the head is sustained backward, forward or even to the side. It destabilizes the spine and causes severe pain.  Some of indicators are:

• Blurred vision
• Neck pain
• Headaches
• Dizziness
• Shoulder pain
• Reduced range of motion in the neck
• Arm pain
• Neck stiffness
• Low back pain

Speed & Whiplash

Whiplash can occur in sudden changes of speed of only 2.5 miles per hour!

The standards in automobile bumpers are made to withstand damage at 5 mph.  But the human body does not withstand damage at this speed (or any speed for that matter). As a result the occupant of the vehicle suffers many forms of neck, back and spinal injuries.

Long Lasting Pain and Discomfort

Even in slow-speed car accidents that result in minor damage to the vehicles involved, the bodies of both the drivers and passengers can still suffer significant trauma. Most car accidents result in what some might consider minor injuries (i.e., are not life-threatening). This does not mean that those who survive a car accident with minor injuries will not have lasting effects; some “minor” car accident injuries can result in long-lasting pain.

Minor Scrapes and Bruises

In a car accident, injuries to the face are common and can be caused by contact with the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag, windshield, side window, car seats or shattered glass. These injuries can range in severity from scrapes and bruises, to laceration and fractures, even serious disorders affecting the jaw and serious dental injuries.

Minor Laceration and Fractures

The weakest part of an automobile is the windows and windshield. Often times, the glass of an automobile will break in even minor automobile incidents. Broken glass in a car accident, as well as the introduction of any sharp object as a result of two cars colliding, can cause severe cuts and lacerations. Cuts and lacerations can be more serious than you think, so you should seek immediate medical treatment to ensure the injury is treated properly. Without immediate treatment, cuts and lacerations can become infected; as such, it's important to take good care of these injuries to avoid it becoming worse.

Depression

Depression is a disorder that may arise after a car accident. It is an emotionally straining condition that may take time to subside, and with treatment and therapy, could be financially troubling for you and your loved ones. These feelings will be combined with a low sense of energy and well-being. Victims of depression often experience disturbed sleep and appetite patterns and, in extreme circumstances, feelings of suicide.

Emotional Stress

Emotional injuries are the emotional reactions experienced by injured auto accident victim(s). The emotional reactions, also called emotional injuries, can include (but are not limited to) fear, depression, withdrawal, sadness, unhappiness, frustration, hopelessness, anger and irritability.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A Traumatic Brain Injury is an injury to the brain that results from an external force, or trauma, to the head. In essence, it is a head injury that causes damage to the brain. The "external force" can be a direct blow to the head such as hitting the floor in a fall accident or striking the steering wheel in a car accident.

Brain & Head Injuries
What are the symptoms and what kind of care do you need?

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