There were 7.2 million motor vehicles involved in car accidents and just under half of those, or 3.4 million motor vehicles, were involved in rear-end collisions. While these rear-end collisions are generally less fatal than other car accidents, they still pose their own set of dangers.
Many people will assume that they escaped a car accident without injury if their injuries aren’t obvious. However, they are ignoring the change that they could have soft tissue injuries that can cause years of pain if left untreated.
Read on to learn about the common types of soft tissue damage from car accidents and the steps you should take if you’ve had the misfortune of being in one.
Soft Tissue Damage You May Experience After a Car Wreck
Soft tissue injuries are often ignored compared to more dramatic injuries such as cuts or broken bones, but these injuries are quite common as the result of an accident and require medical treatment. Many people choose to consult with a chiropractor about these issues.
There are two types of soft tissue injuries. Acute injuries are caused by a sudden trauma whereas overuse injuries happen over a period of time when the body cannot heal fast enough.
Some common soft tissue injuries are sprains, strains, contusions, and whiplash.
A sprain occurs when a joint overextends leading to the underlying ligament being damaged. Common symptoms are pain, cramping, visible swelling or muscle spasms.
A strain, by comparison, is when a tendon overstretched or tears and presents with similar symptoms as a sprain.
A contusion is a severe bruise. Where an everyday bruise affects only your blood vessels, a contusion can damage the muscle fibers and connective tissue below.
Finally, whiplash is a soft tissue injury that occurs when your head is moved rapidly forward and backward. The danger of whiplash is that symptoms often don’t appear immediately but it can result in persistent neck and lower back pain.
Whiplash frequently occurs during rear-end collisions where injuries are, unfortunately, treated as less severe than other car wrecks.
Immediately Following the Car Wreck
Until you can see your family doctor, use the RICE method to help manage any pain symptoms.
The RICE method is rest, ice, compress elevate. Resting is important in case you have suffered some kind of internal injury. Ice will help to soothe the pain as well as reduce swelling. Remember not to put ice directly against your skin.
Compressing the area will prevent swelling or blood loss and finally, elevation will help with reducing the swelling.
Go see a Doctor
No matter how benign your injuries seem, you need to go see a doctor after you’ve been in a car accident. There are two reasons for doing so.
One is to make sure that you don’t have any serious underlying injuries. The other reason, however, is that if you do have any injuries that require hospitalization or rehabilitation, you will need the record of this consult to make a claim with your insurance company.
As part of the rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries, especially where the patient has suffered whiplash, you should consult with a chiropractor. Seeing a chiropractor soon after the accident is essential to prevent chronic pain.
You Don’t Need to Live With Chronic Pain
This article is a helpful guide for what to do in the future if you suffer soft tissue damage. But what if you were in a car accident many years ago that may be now causing you pain? It’s common for untreated injuries to lead to chronic pain later in life.
Contact us today and schedule an appointment so you look forward to pain relief in the future.