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Common Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries – Types and Treatment Methods

Motor Vehicle Accident InjuriesCar accidents are traumatic, whether they are caused by rash driving or because of the negligence of another. Recently, Hollywood star Uma Thurman revealed details of an injury that she suffered on the sets of the movie “Kill Bill” after director Quentin Tarantino allegedly made her do a car stunt. The video footage released by the actress (after nearly 15 years) from the film set shows her driving the car, losing control of the car at one point, and crashing into a tree. Her body is thrown violently and she is seen sitting there in a state of shock until the film crew members shows up moments later. In her case, the car seat was not screwed down properly and hence the car drifted off the road and smashed into a palm tree. As a result of the crash, Thurman received severe knee and neck injuries from which she still suffers today.

Motor vehicle accidents are very common in the United States. While some are relatively minor, other catastrophic crashes take thousands of lives every year. According to estimates from the National Safety Council, motor vehicle accidents claimed about 40,100 deaths in the year 2017 (a drop of one percent from the previous year). People who happen to drive as little as 3miles/hour can still get into an accident, resulting in serious injuries. What do you do when you get in an accident? You need immediate care and the best place to go to is a reliable pain management center. Leading multi-specialty healthcare centers in Brooklyn, NYC offers effective pain management treatment modalities for managing every aspect of motor vehicle/personal injury. Treatment is focused on helping patients manage pain and regain strength and mobility to quickly return to their active lifestyle.

Types of Motor Accident Injuries

The type of injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents can vary from one person to another and may depend on the type and severity of crash/accident. The symptoms of auto accident injuries and the associated trauma may often take a long time to actually appear. Pain management doctors evaluate the extent and severity of symptoms by conducting a detailed physical examination. As part of the diagnosis, several imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans or open MRI scan will be conducted to study the injuries. In some cases, neurologists examining the patient may recommend advanced neurovascular imaging techniques such as Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) for diagnosing the brain’s neural tracts for signs of injury or disorder.

Some of the common types of motor vehicle injuries are:

  • Knee injuries – Motor vehicle accidents or collisions often cause an occupant’s knees to hit the dashboard or seat in front of them. Depending on the nature of the collision, injuries can range from mere bruises or scrapes to fractures. The knees are also susceptible to meniscus tear (tearing of cartilage in the knee) if they are abruptly twisted or turned.
  • Whiplash injury – Also called neck sprain or neck strain, this involves injury to the soft tissues of the neck. It is caused when an impact or blow causes the head to jerk forward or backward beyond its normal range of motion. Whiplash injury is usually associated with car accidents, sports, physical abuse, accidental slips or other trauma which result in sudden head movements.
  • Shoulder injuries – Most cases of shoulder pain problems involve the use of muscles, ligaments, cartilage and tendons. Typically, athletes are more susceptible to different types of shoulder pain problems due to repetitive and intensive training routines. Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. Rotator cuff tendinitis is a degenerative condition that primarily occurs when the tendons and muscles that help move the shoulder joint becomes irritated or inflamed. This injury most commonly occurs among people who repeatedly perform sports activities (such as baseball or tennis) that require repetitive overhead motions.
  • Post concussion syndrome (PCS) – Also known as post-concussive syndrome, this condition refers to a cluster of physical and cognitive symptoms that appear after a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms, in most cases, normally occur within the first 7-10 days and lessen within three months after the motor vehicle/personal injury that caused the concussion. But in some cases, these symptoms can persist for a year or more. Some of the common symptoms of PCS include – headache, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, dizziness, loss of concentration and memory, and fatigue.
  • Sprains and strains – Though both these terms appear to be similar, they are quite different. A sprain is an injury to a ligament whereas a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Common symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, swelling, and decreased range of motion. Factors that cause these injuries are – inadequate flexibility, muscle imbalance, muscle fatigue and poor muscle strength.
  • Delayed onset headaches – Also called post-traumatic headache, this refers to a headache that develops within seven days of suffering an injury to the head or neck or after regaining consciousness. It is usually the result of the contraction of the muscles of the neck and scalp.

Treatment Modalities

Multi-specialty healthcare centers in Brooklyn, NYC offer a wide variety of effective non-surgical treatment modalities to treat motor vehicle accident injuries. Initial focus of the treatment involves managing pain and swelling to promote healing. Generally mild or moderate cases of injuries are treated at home by using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen), ice or heat applications or other remedies. Additional treatment modalities include –

  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy exercises increase strength, restore mobility, and help patients return to their pre-injury level of activity. These include therapeutic exercise programs such as gentle strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercises.
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) – This therapy involves application of low-voltage electrical current for pain relief.
  • Chiropractic care – Chiropractic treatment involves gentle manipulation of the joint and other treatments to reduce pain and improve function.
  • Game Ready (cold compression shoulder wrap) – This method sets a new standard of care in injury treatment by integrating cold therapy and intermittent compression therapies through a control unit to almost any part of the body through flexible wraps.

Surgery option for treating these injuries will be considered only as a last resort, when patients don’t experience full recovery with the above non-surgical treatment methods.

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