Motor Vehicle Injuries – How They Occur

The Insurance Research council stated that nearly one-third of those injured in car accidents see chiropractic care.  This number is impressive due to the fact that the National Safety Council (NSC) has stated that there are more than 12 million motor vehicle accidents annually.

One of the major reasons why an individual like yourself will choose chiropractic help for car accident injuries in a motor vehicle accident is quite simple – chiropractic care is an excellent treatment of soft tissue injuries of the spine.  Most of the common injuries in a motor vehicle accident are strains or sprains of the spinal ligaments and muscles which is why most of these types of patients seek a chiropractor.

There have been studies involving live humans that demonstrate that even impacts at 5 miles per hour can cause neck injury.  However, there have been studies that show some cars can withstand impacts of 10 miles per hour or more without taking damage.

A number of complex injuries can result in a car accident.  This is due mainly because of the various factors that can be involved with each crash.

Any sudden jerk causing forward-flexion or backwards-extension of your neck can result in a sprain or strain of your neck within the upper thoracic spinal regions and the cervical.  Upon the initial impact, your head is jerked in either excessive extension or flexion.  Luckily, there will be reflexes that are meant to naturally protect you but cause the muscles in your neck to contract “whipping” your head back.  From this injury there are various symptoms that can occur.  Some of which are typically misunderstood include:

  • difficulty swallowing (lump in throat)
  • lightheadedness
  • cervical reduced range of motion
  • cervical muscle spasms
  • neck, pain, tenderness, stiffness, and achiness
  • post-traumatic headaches (migraines, muscle-tension headaches)
  • shoulder and interscapular pain
  • blurred vision
  • numbness and tingling in hand or finger
  • dizziness and balance problems
  • post-traumatic depression
  • cognitive problems

The second most common complaint of auto-related injuries are headaches.  They may not present immediately after the car accident and may take several weeks to show.  Most of these headaches can originate from facet joints and soft tissues in the  neck as well as injury to the upper cervical spine.

The mid and lower back are also mentioned frequently in car accident related injuries.  The thoracic spine (mid back) is commonly injured due to the design of seat belts.  As your chest moves toward the front of the car the seat belt locks and your chest is stopped by the shoulder strap.  Because the strap moves across one shoulder (usually left), the side that does not have a strap (usually right) is able to travel further resulting in a twisting or forward flexing injury.

A lower back injury is also frequent.  As your pelvis and chest move forward, the pelvis is forcefully stopped by the seat strap.  The torso ignores this action and continues to move forward causing a force in the lumbar spine.  These injuries usually cause lumbar disc issues.

If you are looking to get relief from a car accident injury, whiplash, or any neck pain related to an auto accident or sports injury, then contact Dr. Adam Elsey, a chiropractor in Hazelwood and Florissant, Missouri.  Dr. Adam Elsey is experienced with treating many types of car related injuries and musculoskeletal pain.  Call Dr. Elsey at (314) 731-4201