Auto and Work-Related Injuries
In the US alone, around 6 million car accidents occur each year. These accidents produce 3 million injuries, 2 million of which are permanent (source).
Neck strain, or whiplash injury, is one of the most common conditions in patients that have been involved in motor vehicle accidents. Symptoms of whiplash may appear immediately after the accident or take a few days to physically manifest.
Car Accident Symptoms
As accidents are often stressful scenes, the body and mind may not be able to fully comprehend the extent of the injuries that have been sustained. With so much going on and the release of adrenaline throughout the body, many patients experience a delay in symptoms recognition. Common symptoms of motor vehicle-related injuries are:
- Neck injury – Neck injuries associated with vehicle accidents cause moderate to severe neck pain, stiffness and a diminished range of motion.
- Spinal cord injury – Spinal cord injury almost always involves a pinched or pressured nerve. It is common in motor vehicle accidents to suffer from dislocated vertebrae which can lead to pain, numbness, and loss of mobility.
- Back injuries – The most common back injuries related to motor vehicle accidents are herniated discs and fractured vertebrae. These are severe conditions and generally cause great discomfort and pain.
- Other injuries – Other common injuries related to motor vehicle accidents include facial lacerations and internal organ damage.
Diagnosing Car Accident Injuries
Immediately following any form of motor vehicle accident, you should be examined by a doctor to determine if any injuries were sustained. If any injuries are present, their severity will determine your doctor’s course of action. A comprehensive physical examination may be followed by any necessary tests and scans. This will help your doctor determine the presence of any underlying issues within the body.
Treating Automobile Injuries
Treatment options will depend entirely on the severity of the injuries and may include:
- R.I.C.E: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
- Various pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications.
- In order to restore mobility to damaged joints, chiropractic therapy may be recommended.
- In the case of disability related to the accident, occupational therapy may be used to help the patient recover any lost functionality.
- When needed, surgery will be used to repair fractures or internal injury damage.
- Electrical muscle stimulation therapy can help some patients with pain management.
Work Related Injuries
Getting injured in the workplace is a much more common occurrence than most people realize. Millions of workers of all ages and trades get hurt every year. Workplace injuries are more prevalent in high-risk jobs, but they are not unheard of in even the mildest of workplaces.
Workplace injuries are as varied as the places in which they occur. The most common workplace injuries are:
- Repetitive strain injury
- Muscle strains
- Ligament and tendon sprains
- Cuts and lacerations
- Crushing injury
Spinal injury is a particularly worrisome and often seen workplace injury. The most immediate sign of a spinal injury is pain. Some spinal injuries also cause sudden inflammation, loss of muscle control and sensation. If the you have sustained a spinal injury and recognize symptoms of pain and loss of sensation, you must seek immediate medical attention.
Depending on the exact type of injury and level of severity, various treatments can be administered. However, regardless of the type of injury, there are basic first aid measures that must be enacted as soon as is possible.
- The patient’s breathing and circulation must be prioritized
- Immobilizing the injured area can significantly improve recovery
After hospital care has been administered, your doctor may suggest several options for ongoing treatment and physical therapy to actively foster the healing and rehabilitation process.
Important Note: Tell your doctor if you have sustained a work-related injury or car accident injury, to receive the necessary documentation and guidance for your insurance claim.