Motor vehicle accidents remain one of the most common causes of accidental injury in the United States. In 2019, there were 4.5 million car accident injuries that required medical attention and an estimated $463 billion in associated costs, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). There are at least five types of car accident injuries for which you may need medical treatment.
Burns are pretty common in motor vehicle collisions. Vehicles sometimes burst into flames after a wreck. Other times, scalding hot automotive fluids can leak or spray into the cabin. Burn injuries are extremely painful, and doctors may have to treat severe burns with surgeries or skin grafts.
Named for its similarity to the cracking of a whip, whiplash occurs when your neck is subjected to a violent back-and-forth motion and is one of the most common injuries people sustain in car accidents.
Symptoms of whiplash usually manifest within a day or two after an accident. They include:
- Limited range of motion in your neck
- Painful neck movement
- Tingling or numbness in your arms
- Headaches at the base of your skull
More serious whiplash symptoms include:
- Memory problems
- Blurred vision
Physicians treat whiplash with a combination of pain medication and physical therapy, and in most cases, patients make a full recovery. Sometimes, however, whiplash victims develop chronic pain or other lasting effects.
Because back injuries are so diverse, it is difficult to say exactly how a physician will decide to treat a specific one. Depending on the type of back injury, your physician may recommend pain medication and certain kinds of exercise. He or she may also advise you to schedule an appointment with an accident chiropractor.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
TBI’s occur when you suffer a blunt-force or piercing blow to the head. Depending on the severity of the impact, your TBI symptoms could be temporary or permanent. Doctors don’t typically treat TBI’s beyond prescribing NSAIDs to manage headaches and keeping an eye out for any behavioral or cognitive changes.
Wrist and Hand Injuries
Wrist and hand injuries are a common occurrence in car accidents. They are often caused when you have your hands on the steering wheel during impact. The treatment for wrist and hand injuries depends on their severity and location.
If you have recently been in a car accident, it’s best to see a chiropractor so they can make sure you are okay, even if you feel fine. A lot of people will skip on making an appointment with one but later will feel the effects. It’s in your best interest to ensure that you are safe, and no harm is done.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.