Whiplash and Back Injury Caused by Car Accidents
Whiplash injury happens when the neck’s discs becomes dislocated or twisted due to the sudden impact. According to doctors, this kind of injury can result even in slow-traveling cars since a sudden impact is enough to injure the muscles, vertebrae, and ligaments in the neck.
Based on years of study, safety experts concluded that whiplash injuries are very common in car accidents. However, some causes of this injury are also attributed to blows to the head, falls, slips, and sports-related accidents.
Doctors said that many car accident victims have not been aware that they have sustained whiplash injuries until the first few days or weeks after the incident. However, after some time, they can experience these symptoms:
- Severe neck pain
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Problems in sleeping
- Numbness/pain in the arms or hands
- Lower back pain
- Neck stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Memory problems
- Difficulty with concentration
When a person experiences these symptoms, he/she should immediately go to a neurologist or chiropractor to prevent the condition from getting worse.
According to doctors, treatments for this injury usually include massage or physical therapy and certain medications to reduce the swelling of the muscles or ligaments. However, if the injury is extensive, doctors may require victims to undergo surgical procedure.
In several studies, researchers concluded that most people with whiplash injuries can recover two to three weeks. But in serious cases, some individuals reported having chronic pain which lasted for decades.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 40,000 people are killed and at least 2 million individuals are injured in car accidents every year.
Because car accidents often involve sudden impact, back injuries such as damaged rotator cuffs (muscles in the shoulder), herniated discs (irritation of the spinal nerves), and contusions (damaged blood vessels) are very common for victims.
According to several studies, rear-end collision is the most common type of car crash in the US. In this accident, even when the car is traveling at a low speed, back and shoulder injuries are very common.
In rear-end collisions, researchers discovered that herniated discs or the irritation of spinal nerves is the most common type of back injury. This happens when the cushion between the vertebrae is moved outside its normal position.
The second most common back injury in rear-end collision is muscle strain which happens when the tendons or muscles become twisted because of the sudden impact.
With years of studies, experts concluded that head-on collision is the most dangerous of all types of crashes. In this accident, compression fractures in the spine may occur. This injury happens when vertebrae compress against each other, creating fractures.
Here are some other common symptoms of back injuries caused by car accidents:
- Chronic pain
- Weakness or chronic fatigue
- Stiffness in the body