Every year, nearly 6 million passenger automobile accidents occur in the United States.
1 million people in the United States are hospitalized for typical vehicle collision injuries, costing an estimated $18 billion in lifetime medical expenditures and $33 billion in lost work.
Injuries are common and can alter the way of life in ways that keep you from enjoying life and doing the things you have always done.
Most people that are involved in motor vehicle collisions suffer some kind of injury or experience pain after the accident. Often, there is a prolonged period of time where the person suffers at the hand of injuries and pain, with no real answer on what is causing the issue and no plan of treatment to eliminate or reduce the effects of these problems.
We recommend coming to see us at one of our Sports Physical Therapy locations if you are still experiencing pain from an accident and if there are concerns about an injury, you need to see a medical expert to help you diagnose and come up with a treatment plan to avoid worsening the problem.
Here are some of the common injuries and pain that we see in our offices, and some things you can be doing to help treat the issues you are having after being involved in a motor vehicle collision.
Common Injuries and Pain Suffered From Motor Vehicle Collisions
Back Injuries and Back Pain
Back injuries are a common result of vehicle accidents since the human body and spine are not intended to withstand high impact. Back injuries might appear months or years after an injury. A major back injury can cause severe and long-term pain and impairment.
Even if you do not get a hit to the back, rapid, jarring motions may cause discomfort. Back discomfort may have no obvious reason other than the impact. You can also have lower back discomfort without having whiplash.
Most people associate whiplash with neck injuries, but whiplash can also cause lower back pain. Your spine is a network of interconnected vertebrae. Even if the damage originates in the cervical spine, you may have lower back discomfort and soreness.
Lower back pain can be debilitating and make life very uncomfortable. When not treated the problem can worsen and a patient could start to experience issues that keep them from exercising and enjoying life.
Neck Injuries and Neck Pain
Neck injuries, which can occur in any sort of automobile accident, are more prevalent in rear-end collisions.
Individuals involved in these sorts of incidents are more prone to get serious whiplash and neck strain injuries. In certain situations, individuals may have more serious neck injuries, such as cervical dislocation or ruptured discs. But, a common issue that we see in our offices deal with whiplash.
Whiplash and neck strain occurs when the neck and head are suddenly pulled back and forth during a low or high-speed car collision. The muscles and ligaments of the neck are stretched beyond their usual range of motion when the neck is rapidly dragged back and forth. This can be excruciatingly painful.
Whiplash and the majority of neck injuries are soft tissue injuries that might be difficult to diagnose. Neck injuries restrict head and neck movements and create visual problems. So while it can be difficult to identify the root of the issues, we can come up with a plan to treat the problem areas to improve the strength of the muscles in the neck and alleviate
Shoulder Injuries and Shoulder Pain
Car accidents may result in a wide range of ailments, including shoulder discomfort. A shoulder injury, if left untreated, can cause severe discomfort and have a significant impact on your everyday life.
In motor vehicle collisions, a seatbelt will keep you from serious injury or worse, and when it does its job it will also have an impact on your body. It is absorbing the impact and force by keeping you in the seat in these high impact moments. Because of this, it could cause different areas in the body to experience pain and result in injury.
The shoulder is a common area where we see injury or pain as a result of an accident.
Shoulder discomfort can make it difficult to conduct daily chores such as lifting something or reaching above to get an object. If you have shoulder ache, do not try to ignore it. As soon as possible, seek medical examination and treatment. Shoulder injuries that are not adequately managed might become chronic.
Treatment for injuries and pain as a result of a motor vehicle collision
Physical therapy is another popular treatment for automobile accident injuries. The particular physical rehabilitation schedule will vary based on the type of injury experienced. Hands-on stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as other methods, may be used in treatment.
Therapists collaborate with patients to create a personalized program of exercises to help them rebuild muscular strength and flexibility. Strengthening is just as essential as recovering flexibility, and physical therapy programs include a variety of exercises to accomplish both.
A physical therapist can lead patients through exercises and offer them a list of exercises to do at home on their own.
There are some exercises that you can do at home that could help alleviate pain after your accident. Here are a handful of ones that could help you:
- Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop posture, with your wrists immediately under your shoulders and your knees directly above your hips. Once you’re comfortable, extend your right arm forward and your left leg back. Maintain a flat back and hips that are parallel to the floor. Drive your foot on the wall behind you and squeeze your abs as tight as possible for 30 seconds. Return to the beginning position and do the opposite side.
Seated Clasping Neck Stretch
- Clasp your hands together with your fingers interlaced while sitting on the floor or on a chair. Bring your palms to the back of your head, maintaining a tall spine. Firmly press your hips into your seat. Allow your chin to sink into your chest as you gently press your hands down toward your thighs. To increase the stretch, move your head away from your shoulders with the heels of your palms. Hold for at least 30 seconds before releasing your hands and rising to your feet.
Behind the Back Neck Stretch
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides. Grab your left wrist with your right hand and reach both hands behind your glutes. Straighten your left arm gently with your right hand, drawing it away slightly. Lower your right ear near your shoulder to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
Seated Heart Opener
- Place your feet on the floor so that your legs meet all the way through your feet. Lean back, palms flat on the floor eight inches behind you, fingers pointing away. Lift your chest and arch your back as you press your palms firmly into the ground. Your hips should press into your heels. Lower your head behind you to intensify the stretch, straining your throat and chest even further. Hold for 30 seconds before raising your torso and head.
Still have back, neck, or shoulder pain suffered after a motor vehicle accident?
If you want to continue being active, stay busy on the weekends hiking, play sports with family, and want to avoid aches and pain or relying on painkillers after a motor vehicle accident, arrange a free accident injury screening.
We’ve worked with many patients that are experiencing pain after an accident, and through Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy we have been able to alleviate or eliminate pain experienced after a motor vehicle collision.
To find out how our rehabilitative experts utilize a variety of physical therapy techniques that can help you overcome your pain and stay active, Arrange a free accident injury screening by completing our online contact form in under 30 seconds or call our friendly team on (425) 252-3908.
Unsure whether we are right for you?
We understand that you may not have visited a Physical Therapy clinic before and be unsure whether it’s going to help you.
If so, check out this review from K J Wright, Linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks:
“Can’t thank SPT enough for getting my body back strong! They understand how to be smart and work hard at the same time! Awesome group to work with”
Our team were able to help KJ, and we can help you too!