Car accidents can range in severity from mild fender benders to major crashes or collisions. Just like their car, the driver can sustain any number of injuries to his or her body. Even with built-in safety precautions, such as seatbelts and airbags, drivers and passengers do not often escape automobile accidents completely unscathed. Here is a list of some of the most common injuries to watch out for if you or a loved one ever find yourself in this position.
-Bruises, cuts, and scrapes. These are probably some of the most common injuries. Shattered glass or a sharp bump against the dashboard can cause mild abrasions. They aren’t typically life-threatening, but they can be painful, sometimes causing discomfort and tenderness for days after the event.
- -Neck. A sudden stop or jolt of the vehicle can often lead to neck injuries, including whiplash. The sensitive nerves, muscles, and bones that surround and support your neck are easily traumatized.
- -Head. An accident may be forceful enough to cause the driver’s head to hit the steering wheel or the headrest. Head trauma can range in severity, but it is always uncomfortable. Concussions are particularly common for the more severe blows.
- -Wrists and hands. As the driver, both hands sit in front of you on the steering wheel. An accident can cause damage to the bones and tendons in your wrists or hands. This can range from simple scrapes and bruises to more serious wrist hyperextension. Your wrist is only meant to flex so far: roughly perpendicular to your arm. Hyperextension occurs when the hand is violently forced to stretch further than naturally capable.
- -Fractured bones. Fractures occur when the bone is struck with something more dense and less brittle than the bone itself. This makes the driver particularly vulnerable, surrounded by the steering wheel and gear shift. Nevertheless, fractures can affect passengers in the front and back seats as well.
- -Spinal cord. The spinal cord is surrounded and protected by the vertebrae of the spine. Even so, traumatic automobile accidents can lead to spinal cord damage. As the nerve center of your entire body, the most severe injuries can even lead to partial or complete paralysis.
- -Herniated disc and subluxation. The nerve discs that sit between and cushion the vertebrae can be damaged or irritated. A herniated disc is one that has become swollen. Herniated discs cause discomfort in the patient and can lead to problems in other areas of the body. A chiropractic adjustment will help alleviate the pressure and correct any spinal subluxations (misaligned vertebrae).
After an automobile accident, be sure to check yourself for signs of the above injuries. Make an appointment with a doctor or chiropractor if you have questions or concerns.