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.

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. 

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) . Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain and the area effected.  Even when there is no visible sign of trauma (i.e. cuts or bruises), the brain may have been jostled inside the skull due to the force of impact causing bruising, bleeding and swelling of the brain.

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. They vary in severity from minor scrapes and bruises, to minor laceration and fractures, to most serious injuries affecting the jaw and dental structures.

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.

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.

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.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The damage to the spinal cord cab be caused by displaced bone fragments, disc material, or ligaments bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue, destroying axons.  This is the part of our nerve cells that carry signals up and down the spinal cord between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal cord often results in a loss of function or feeling.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop following a traumatic event that threatens your safety or makes you feel helpless. Commonly associated with military veterans, it can arise from any traumatic life experience, like a car accident. PTSD can affect those who personally experience the trauma, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those that experienced the actual trauma. 

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 Physical 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.

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