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Auto Accident Injury Chiropractic Care & Physical Therapy in Scottsdale

Dr. Hruby Discusses Auto Accident Injury Treatment

According to the CDC, nearly 200,000 Americans are hospitalized for crash-related injuries each year and roughly 2.5 million people visit the emergency room due to a car accident. A hospital stay due to car accident injuries costs around $57,000, whereas an emergency room visit costs about $3,300.

Not having a collision in the first place is the only way to keep people safe on the roads and prevent costly medical expenditures. However, even if a collision that leads to a serious injury does happen, further bodily damage can be prevented by using tried-and-true medical and rehabilitation techniques.

To avoid worsening or long-term injuries, it’s important that you work with an experienced and effective physician. Continue reading to see how Dr. Hruby and staff can help you or a loved one return to optimal health after a major auto accident.

9 Most Common Car Accident Injuries We Treat

While you may or may not know the full extent of your personal injuries after an automotive collision, our medical team works diligently to identify the cause of your pain and treat you accordingly. The following are many of the most common car accident-related injuries we see patients for.

1. Whiplash (Neck)

Whiplash is a neck injury brought on by the neck moving violently and quickly back and forth, similarly to a whip – hence the name.

Rear-end automobile accidents often result in whiplash. Whiplash, however, may also be caused by falls, physical abuse, and sports accidents, to name a few. Whiplash is often referred to as a neck strain or sprain, although this terminology also includes other neck-related issues.

Most whiplash sufferers recover within a few weeks by adhering to a therapy regimen that includes over-the-counter (OTC) pain meds and exercise. However, some individuals have persistent neck discomfort and long-lasting pain due to their accident.

Symptoms of Whiplash

  1. Neck tenderness, stiffness, and/or pain looking over shoulder
  2. Worsening pain around the neck and mobility
  3. Loss of range when moving your head in different positions
  4. Headaches, especially ones that radiate from the base of the skull
  5. Shoulder, upper back, and/or upper arm pain
  6. Numbness in the arms or a tingling sensation
  7. Abnormal tiredness or fatigue
  8. Feeling dizzy

2. Spinal Cord

According to NIH, the lumbosacral spine is most commonly affected in a car accident, while general spinal cord damage is also a frequent result.

The bulk of injuries in auto accidents happen to the car’s driver and there is evidence to suggest that drivers and passengers sustain different types of injuries.

The most frequent cause of spinal fractures is due to rollover accidents.

In today’s world, even with major safety advances, there is a great likelihood of suffering a major spine injury as well as other related injuries in a vehicle accident.

Determining Spinal Cord Damage

  • X-rays are used to identify degenerative changes in the spine, tumors, fractures, and issues with the vertebral column.
  • CT scans provide enhanced pictures of anomalies, seen on an X-ray for example, and are used to create a number of cross-sectional images that can identify bone, disk, and other spine issues.
  • MRIs use powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to create computer-generated imaging. This examination of the spinal cord is beneficial for locating herniated disks, blood clots, and other masses that might compress the spinal cord.

Your First Step to a Better You

You shouldn't have to live in pain after being in a car accident and our team wants to help. Let our experts help identify where and why your pain is occurring and provide a non-invasive treatment regimen.

If you live in Scottsdale, or Phoenix's East Valley, reach out to Dr. Hruby and team today to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to serving you!

3. Upper & Lower Back

Following a vehicle accident, lumbar spine sprains and strains are a common cause of back pain. The lower back’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments may overstretch or rupture as a result of the force of the accident.

Sprains and strains, as the result of an accident, often lead to stiffness, lower back pain, and muscular spasms.

In the vast majority of patients with auto injuries, back pain usually goes away at around the six-week mark with proper medical care. Once the injured soft tissues heal and the swelling goes down, the majority of the pain often diminishes within a few days.

A good pain management strategy will speed up the body’s healing process.

Back Pain Treatments:

  • Physical therapy helps improve pain due to injury after a car accident. Physical therapy stretches and strengthens muscles and soft tissues, aiding in recovery time.
  • Acute and subacute pain responds well to chiropractic and spinal manipulation. Chiropractic treatment realigns the spine and restores natural mobility.

    Spinal manipulation is also helpful in treating chronic headaches due to a car crash and works to prevent long-term injury.

4. Internal Injury

The impact of a car accident can cause blood vessels in the body to burst. This may prevent blood vessels from clotting and repairing themselves. In extreme cases, to halt the bleeding and mend the blood vessels, surgery may be required.

Bruised and broken ribs are common internal injuries that are hard to treat. However, certain strength-building exercises can expedite recovery time.

Following a vehicle accident, it’s critical to get medical treatment as quickly as you can. If you suspect that you have internal injuries, a doctor should examine you and begin a treatment plan as soon as possible.

Internal Bleeding Symptoms:

  1. Stomach discomfort
  2. Lightheadedness
  3. Body chills
  4. Weariness

5. Fractures & Broken Bones

Fractures of the clavicle, sternum, and ribs are among the most common bone breaks due to car accidents. Most of the body’s midsection is protected by the rib cage, which is prone to breaking when there is an impact there.

Due to its low density, the clavicle, which spans the top of your rib cage, is the most brittle bone in the human body. These fractures often occur as a consequence of being struck by an airbag or being thrown forward into the seatbelt.

Fractures to the face and the skull are also common in collisions, leading to painful headaches. Head strikes on the dashboard, windshield, or windows are common strike areas in severe auto crashes. Broken cheekbones and noses are also very typical in a crash. Traumatic brain injury (TMI) might potentially result from more severe cranial fractures.

Although the lower leg’s fibula and the upper leg’s femur are two of the body’s strongest bones, they may, nevertheless, suffer fractures if the impact zone collapses on the legs. This often occurs during head-on collisions.

The hand and wrist are made up of 27 bones, several of which are fragile and can break easily. When a vehicle collision happens, the steering wheel transfers kinetic energy from impact to the driver’s hands and wrists, which may result in bone fractures. Other times, airbags are known to cause hand and wrist injuries.

Spine and back fractures often occur in head-on crashes as well as significant rear-end collisions when the seatbelt or airbag impacts the body. Although seatbelts can be the main cause of injury in a high-impact crash, not wearing one almost certainly leads to far worse injuries and possibly death.

6. Knees

Injury to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is so common in car crashes that it’s commonly referred to as “dashboard knee.” As the name suggests, this happens when the driver’s or a passenger’s knees strike the car’s dashboard.

Damage to the ligament securing the tibia (shinbone) to the femur (thighbone) is also a very common outcome with dashboard knee.

If your pain and symptoms do not improve within a few days after your accident, with the aid of rest and OTC anti-inflammatory medications, seek medical help. To avoid long-term knee problems, you should schedule a consultation with your doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, or an orthopedic expert to further assess the damage.

Knee Pain Symptoms Requiring Medical Treatment:

  1. Pain you can’t manage with OTC remedies
  2. Pain that doesn’t get better when you sleep
  3. Pain that keeps you awake
  4. Fluid drainage
  5. Open wounds
  6. Puncture wounds
Patient x ray after car accident

7. Feet & Ankles

The foot is one of the most intricately designed parts of the human body, with more than 100 working components. These moving parts of the foot include nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. In a major collision involving a vehicle that impacts the foot or ankle, damage is likely to be sustained.

You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you develop ankle and foot discomfort after an automobile accident. Despite the possibility that ankle and foot injuries are minimal, recovering from this type of injury can take time and may still need surgery, physical therapy, and other forms of care that shouldn’t be put off.

Treating Foot & Ankle Injuries:

  • Rest your foot/ankle and avoid doing things that hurt, itch, or cause discomfort.
  • Use an ice pack or soak your foot/ankle in an ice bath for 15 to 20 minutes right after injury.
  • Compress the ankle with an elastic bandage until the swelling subsides to help halt it.
  • Elevate, if possible, to prevent additional swelling.
  • Physical therapy and/or chiropractic care if pain persists.

8. Shoulders

Shoulders are commonly injured in high-impact road collisions. Here are four of the most common shoulder-related injuries due to vehicular accidents.

  • Dislocation happens when your arm bone pops out of its socket and causes a great deal of pain and discomfort, while limiting nearly all the arm’s mobility. Treatment options include closed reduction, surgery, mobilization exercise, medication, and physical rehabilitation.
  • A ruptured ligament between the collarbone and shoulder blade is also common and, in addition to a great deal of pain, this type of injury causes shoulder separation. The collarbone may shift and impinge on shoulder tissue, which can be extremely painful. Depending on the degree of your ligament tear, you may need surgery and a lot of rest to fully heal.
  • Collarbone, upper arm bone, and shoulder blade are commonly fractured in bad accidents. Treatment depends on fracture type and location. Follow your doctor’s advice and if your injury or pain worsens, contact a specialist.
  • Rotator cuff muscles and ligaments are made up of four muscles and two ligaments. High-impact accidents, such as those that involve trucks or SUVs, can cause rotator cuff injuries. Impingement syndrome usually results from a damaged rotator cuff. Non-surgical therapies include steroid injections and PT. If needed, rotator cuff surgery can be conducted.

9. Wrists & Hands

As mentioned above, hands and wrists have many easily damaged bones, ligaments, nerves, and connective tissue. Injury location and severity determine how hand treatments are conducted.

Not all hand injuries are immediately apparent after a crash. You can experience discomfort or swelling in your hand or fingers abruptly when the endorphins and shock wear off. Anything from a soft tissue injury to a bone fracture can cause a lot of pain.

Hand Injury Symptoms After Vehicle Collision:

  1. Painful grasping, squeezing, or moving the hand
  2. Tenderness and swelling
  3. Bruising
  4. Deformity that is noticeable (i.e., crooked finger)
  5. Finger or thumb stiffness
  6. Numbness
  7. Tingling sensation

When to Visit a Physical Therapist:

  1. Pain not improving with home therapy
  2. Pain worsens in days following accident
  3. Does not respond to doctor-administered therapy
  4. Limited mobility
  5. Running a fever
  6. Exhaustion

5 Car Accident Injury FAQs

Have questions about an injury sustained from an auto accident? If so, see if your question is answered below. If it’s not, reach out to our team directly.

Your body is forcibly rocked during a vehicle collision, causing damage and injuries. Broken bones, burns, head and neck trauma, brain injuries, plus back and spinal cord damage are a few of the most frequent injuries.

Headaches are very common after a vehicle collision that involves neck or head injury, though pain isn’t always immediately present after an accident. Other common symptoms include neck, shoulder, back pain, bruising, numbness or tingling, mood swings, upset stomach, abdominal pain, swelling, and/or ringing in the ears.

The typical recuperation period after a vehicle accident is around six weeks. While some sufferers may feel like themselves sooner than this, others will endure anguish and suffering their whole lives. Recovering from any significant injury depends on the treatment approach and how quickly your body is able to heal.

After a vehicle accident, you can easily feel overly exhausted for a variety of reasons. Your physician will probably do an assessment for symptoms of anxiety, depression, and/or PTSD. These issues are often seen in patients who have had an automobile accident, and they are all capable of causing extreme tiredness.

If you are in pain or traumatized after a vehicle accident and require medical attention, you don’t necessarily have to go to a hospital’s emergency room for treatment. If you are suffering from life-threatening injuries, you certainly should go to the ER; however, if your injuries do not require immediate medical care, you can be treated for your condition at a lower cost via general practitioner, chiropractic care, or physical therapy.

Don't Put Your Pain Off, Treat it Today!

You shouldn't have to live in pain after being in a car accident and our team wants to help. Let our experts help identify where and why your pain is occurring and provide a non-invasive treatment regimen.

If you live in Scottsdale, or Phoenix's East Valley, reach out to Dr. Hruby and team today to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to serving you!

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