Oregon may be known for its picturesque natural beauty and quirky urban aesthetics, but its rate of accident-prone drivers is anything but charming. At 13.93 percent, Oregon’s rate of drivers with prior at-fault accidents is 11 percent higher than the national average.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions are the type of crashes that occur the most frequently.
Such collisions are responsible for about 29 percent of all car accidents nationwide. In 2012 in fact there were more than 1.7 million people involved in a rear end collision.
This makes rear-end car accidents one of the most common types of auto mobile crashes in the country, and the leading type of personal injury accident.
Every time you get in the car, you take the risk—however small—of injuring your spine. In fact, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC), motor vehicle accidents (MVAs)—mostly cars, but also bulldozers, steamrollers, forklifts and other unclassified vehicles–are a rising trend in spinal cord injury (SCI) causes and rank as the number one cause of spine injury among its enrollees.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Whiplash refers to neck, shoulder, and upper back injuries caused by the head and neck being snapped forward by sudden movement. Even at low speeds, a fender bender can cause whiplash. The impact causes the muscles and ligaments of the neck and shoulder to stretch beyond their normal range in a fraction of a second, straining or tearing soft tissue.
Whiplash injuries can be quite painful and may linger for days or weeks. Severe pain that persists for several days, spreads throughout the arms and legs, and/or creates numbness, weakness, or tingling should never be ignored. These signs are the body’s way of saying something is very wrong. Other whiplash symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, stiffness, muscle spasms, and shoulder pain.
Back and Spinal Injuries
Back and spinal injuries are also common in rear-end car accidents. Spinal injuries are serious because they can stay with a person for the rest of their life. The force and impact from being rear-ended can compress the spine, put pressure on the vertebrae, and bruise lower back muscles and ligaments.
One of the most common symptoms we hear about after a person is hurt in a rear-end collision is bulging and herniated discs. A disc sits in between the bony vertebra of the spine. Shaped like small pancakes, these gelatinous structures act as shock absorbers, use ligaments to hold the spine together. But a rear-end accident can force these discs out of position or cause them to tear open and leak, putting painful pressure against the spinal cord. This pinching can cause symptoms including pain, numbness, or tingling in the back or other parts of the body.
Another common back injury caused by rear-end crashes that many people don’t know about are facet joint injuries. Facet joint syndrome is an arthritis-like condition of the spine that can be a significant source of back and neck pain. It is caused by degenerative changes to the joints between the spine bones. The cartilage inside the facet joint can break down and become inflamed, triggering pain signals in nearby nerve endings.
Along those same lines, most physical therapy facilities and chiropractors can treat your sprains and strains through conservative means. By conservative care, we mean through therapeutic exercises, massages, manipulations, Electric Stimulation Machines, Ultrasound Therapy, Dry Needling, Trigger Point Injections, and various other means.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Including Concussion from Accident
Motor vehicle crashes are the second-leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). When a blow to the head interferes with the brain’s ability to perform its tasks, the person has suffered a Traumatic brain injury .
A TBI can range from mild to severe to fatal. A concussion is an example of a mild TBI. A severe TBI can cause loss of consciousness for days or longer and long-term impairment.
Arm and Wrist Injuries
A driver typically has their hands on the steering wheel at the time of a rear-end collision. They may have even noticed the vehicle coming toward in their rearview mirror and instinctively braced their arms for the impact. By stiffening the hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders, the person may suffer multiple injuries. This can include broken wrists, wrist sprain, stress fractures, a dislocated shoulder or joint, and tendon damage.
Broken Bones and Fractured Ribs
An airbag deploying in a rear-end crash can punch a person in the chest, potentially causing broken bones in the ribcage. Cracked ribs may also be caused by the seatbelt pulling taut. Loose objects inside the vehicle can smash into the victim’s face or the victim’s limbs could strike against a part of the car.
It may not always be obvious that a bone is fractured, especially after a traumatic accident. A non-obvious broken bone may be accompanied by a deep, intense ache or sharp pain. Other signs include bruising, stiffness, swelling, heat, weakness, dizziness, or feeling chilly. You may have trouble using the affected body part or the notice the bone seems bent at an odd angle.
At Integrity Auto & Work Injury Chiropractic, we specialize in treating patients who have been injured in car accidents. Dr. Mansour has helped countless patients in pain and suffering from neck, spine, back, and deep-tissue injuries, and he can help you today. Call 503-352-0735 or book online for a Free Consultation