Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can cause a variety of serious personal injuries. Motor vehicle injuries are typically due to slamming into another vehicle or object, a rollover accident or being hurt from broken glass or torn metal. A frontal crash can cause injury to the head, neck, chest, legs and feet. A side-impact crash can cause injury to the head and pelvis. According to the NHTSA, the head, neck, pelvis, abdomen, legs, knees and feet are the most common parts of the body to be injured in a motor vehicle collision.
The most frequent car injuries are:
- Brain and head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Chest injuries
- Diaphragm rupture
- Pelvis and abdominal injuries
- Leg and knee injuries
- Foot injuries
Impact to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It may be mild or severe. Head injuries include jaw fractures and facial fractures. Whiplash is the most common injury incurred in a car crash. The neck stretches back and forth quickly. It can cause damage to the neck, back, ligaments or discs. Even less severe neck and back injuries can cause chronic pain. The crushing impact of a crash can break ribs and the breastbone. Even with airbags and safety belts, this can still occur. A diaphragm injury can occur by blunt trauma occurring to the lower chest. Pelvis and abdominal injuries include injury to the kidneys, spleen and liver. Leg and knee injuries are crush injuries. They can range from contusions and fractures to a meniscus tear. Ankles and feet can be easily sprained, strained or fractured in a car crash.
Physical Therapy Services for Motor Vehicle Injury
Without proper rehabilitation, the injuries from a car accident can be devastating. Physical therapy is an important treatment method. Without correct treatment, there’s a risk for long-term health issues. Typically, the first treatment after a motor vehicle accident is painkillers, rest and a brace. While this may provide temporary relief, it doesn’t repair any part of the body that has been damaged. Physical therapy actually repairs and strengthens injured tissue. A physical therapist can also help reduce pain and swelling after a car accident.
A physical therapist uses a wide variety of techniques to eliminate pain, increase mobility and return patients back to normal daily function. A physical therapist will do a full evaluation to determine physical condition, pain level and limits. Stretching physical therapy exercises may be done to improve range of motion. Ice and heat therapy, ultrasound and manual manipulation may also be done to get the patient on the road to recovery after incurring a car accident injury.