Auto and Work Related Injuries
A motor vehicle accident can cause various injuries to your brain, face, neck, back, spinal cord, internal organs as well as psychological injuries. Whiplash injuries are common injuries following an accident, and are characterized by neck pain. Symptoms may appear immediately, or after a few days or weeks, and can range from mild to severe depending on the extent of damage.
Some of the common symptoms of an auto-accident injury are:
- Neck injuries: Neck injuries are also a common form of auto accident-related injuries. Common symptoms include neck strain, pain, reduced range of motion or tenderness, disc injury and cervical dislocation.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries occur when broken bones, displaced vertebral discs or torn ligaments apply pressure or damage the nerves of the spinal cord. It can lead to loss of feeling or function in the region the damaged nerve supplies.
- Back injuries: Back injuries such as herniated discs, sprains, strains and fractured vertebrae may occur as a result of an auto accident, causing pain and limited mobility.
- Other injuries: Other injuries related to auto accidents include facial injuries, internal injuries and psychological injuries.
Following an auto accident, you are assessed in an emergency room for injuries and their severity. Your doctor will perform a thorough physical and neurological assessment and review your medical history. Some diagnostic tests such as CT scan, X-rays and MRI may be ordered to screen for internal injuries of bones, joints, spine and organs.
Treatment options depend on the extent of injury and may include:
- Rest and ice and/or heat application
- Medications to relieve pain, muscle relaxation and inflammation
- Chiropractic care to remove nerve root irritation, restore proper motion in the spine joints and establish spine balance
- Occupational therapy to regain skills in performing daily tasks
- Physical therapy to keep joints flexible and improve muscle strength
- Electrical muscle stimulation to decrease pain, increase lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling
- Traction for muscle relaxation, joint decompression and reduced pain
- Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT)
- Surgery for severe cases, such as fractures
Work Related Injuries
Injuries at work place are very common and may be debilitating. Workplace injuries often occur because of high-risk jobs, lack of or scarcity in safety devices, lack of training, and higher numbers of manual workers.
Occupational injuries can be categorized in many ways such as injuries by nature of job, injuries related to various organs, and injuries based on severity. Injuries at work place may affect any part of the body and at times at multiple locations. Based on the body part affected, occupational injuries can be classified as injuries to head, neck, trunk, upper limbs, lower limbs, and multiple locations.
The common injuries at work place include:
- Bone dislocations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Injuries requiring limb amputations
Spinal injuries are the most common workplace injuries that may occur while operating heavy machines, lifting heavy objects, driving automobiles, or when you suffer a fall at workplace.
Common spinal injuries you may suffer at workplace include:
- Chronic low back pain
- Dislocation of adjacent bones
- Partial misalignment (subluxation) of adjacent bones
- Disc compression (herniated disc)
- Hematoma (accumulation of blood)
- Partial or complete tears of ligaments
The most common symptom of spinal injuries is pain. Some injuries may damage spinal nerves that may cause inflammation, loss of muscle control and loss of sensation. Symptoms may proceed to paralysis, limited movement, and immobility. Workplace injuries are diagnosed using X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Depending on the type and severity of injury, treatment will be initiated. Regardless of the type of injury, patient should be provided first aid that includes
- ABC: Airway, breathing and circulation
- Immobilization of the body part affected to avoid further injury
- Shift to hospital and once stabilized, methylprednisone can be administered (within 8 hours after injury) to reduce swelling and further tissue damage.
Your doctor may recommend rehabilitation that includes physiotherapy to promote complete and faster healing.