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.

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 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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