Car accidents can happen at any point of time. When they do, they can change your life instantly. Understanding a few common injuries that might occur and knowing about their treatment options, could prove to be of immense help to you, should you or any of your loved ones ever get involved in any serious car accident.
The sudden movement of your head and neck can lead to whiplash injuries that can end up damaging your neck muscles and ligaments. A generalized neck and head pain and temporary vocal cord paralysis are also possibilities.
You can apply ice to reduce inflammation in the affected area. This can be followed by moist heat, pain killers, and muscle relaxers. Physiotherapy may be advised to help you regain your lost strength. If it is a whiplash you may be advised to wear a soft foam cervical collar for short periods of time.
Lower back injuries are very common in car accidents. From minor sprains and strains, they may go up to serious issues such as fractured vertebrae and herniated discs. If the accident happens while driving at high speeds, it might even lead to thoracic spine or upper back injuries that might be serious.
Over-the-counter pain medications should be good enough to treat mild soft tissue injuries of the lower back. Bed rest and physiotherapy should heal sprains, strains, and minor tears of tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Herniated disc might need a lumbar decompression surgery, only if none of the other treatment options work.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The serious kinds of injuries caused by car accidents generally involve the spinal cord. From mild bruising or excessive pressure, this might go up to a permanent impairment of the spinal cord that might lead to partial or total paralysis.
Immobilizing the spine with a stiff neck collar is very important before getting to the hospital. In most cases, the effects of spinal cord injuries may be reduced or reversed through advanced rehabilitation as well as experimental technologies. However, the outcome may vary from patient to patient, depending upon the extent of the injury.
Drivers involved in car accidents are the ones that are more susceptible to chest injuries such as broken ribs and collapsed lungs. In addition, a high level of force from the seat and shoulder belt can lead to some amount of bruising. In some cases there may be internal bleeding, damages to the internal organs, and even cardiac arrest.
Wearing seat belt while driving can reduce the chances of serious injuries and death.
Car accidents can end up causing damage to the upper arm, collar bone, and shoulder blade, as the shoulder tends to move in multiple directions. The injury might lead to restricted mobility, pain, strains, dislocation, or even fracture.
An experienced doctor can maneuver a dislocated shoulder back into its socket so that you may not need a surgery. You may be advised to wear a sling for a few days and then go for some physical therapy to regain your strength and motion.