The first two articles in this series were about head trauma and in particular concussions. Any car accident has the potential to cause physical damage to your body. Understanding the most common injuries and why they occur can provide you with information that will help you understand what treatment you will need. While the advent off airbags and protective changes in construction of automobiles have helped to prevent many more severe injuries but indirectly force is transferred to the major.....
Over 1.5 million people suffer for a traumatic brain injury due to a motor vehicle collision each year. These injuries are not only from direct trauma, such as your head sticking to steering wheel, head rest, or window. They can also occur from sudden flexion/extension of one’s neck or a sudden twisting motion.
Cerebral concussion has become a topic of increased importance, especially with contact sports. Concussion can occur as a result of a blow to the head. It can also occur with a sever jolting of the head, where the brain “bounces around” inside the bony confines of the skull. Concussion is classified as brain dysfunction due to a closed head injury. In severe cases the brain can be irreparably damaged. However, in most cases, after a sports or automobile injury, the brain is only temporarily damaged.
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The first two articles in this series were about head trauma and in particular concussions. Any car accident has the potential to cause physical damage to your body. Understanding the most common injuries and why they occur can provide you with information that will help you understand what treatment you will need. While the advent off airbags and protective changes in construction of automobiles have helped to prevent many more severe injuries but indirectly force is transferred to the major movable object which is us. The extent off injuries is determined by the speed, direction of impact and our body position at the time of accident. In particular these deacceleration injuries cause torque to our bodies and in particular to our spine. In this article, we will discuss the mechanism of injury to our neck occurring when we are reared. Though the same mechanism can be applied when hit from other directions and effect the rest of our musculature including our mid and lower back.
The cervical spine has two main functions. It is the main I-
Most motor vehicle collisions with seat-
When the acceleration and deceleration forces are beyond what the body can
adjust for or when the body is unprepared for the rapid forces to the spine, the spinal safeguards that normally protect the cervical spine are exceeded. This frequently occurs when a driver is not expecting a collision to occur.
During a rear-
During the first phase, your car begins to be pushed out from under you, causing your mid-
During phase two, your torso has reached peak acceleration – 1.5 to 2 times that of your vehicle itself – but your head has not yet begun to accelerate forward and continues to move rearward. An abnormal S-
During the third phase your head and neck are at their peak forward acceleration. At the same time, your car is slowing down from applying the brake or from confronting another vehicle or immovable abject. As you move forward in your seat, any slack in your seat belt and shoulder harness is taken up. Your torso is stopped by your seat belt and shoulder restraint and your head is free to move forward unimpeded. This results in a violent forward-
Most motor vehicle related cervical injuries are muscular and ligamentous. These injuries cause symptoms, including neck pain and stiffness, headache, upper back pain, shoulder pain, and inability to engage in normal home and work activity. Many of these symptoms do not occur immediately at the time of the collision but rather become increasingly symptomatic over a few hours to a few days.
After proper examination to rule out more serious causes of pain, a course of management directed at alleviation of the symptoms is warranted. Treatment decreases the overall length of time that symptoms last. Treatment also decreases the severity of the symptoms, therefore allowing a more normal lifestyle during the healing process.
Every accident victim should be treated as an individual and not be compared to a group with similar injuries. Each individual has a different pain threshold and a different expectation as to what is needed to function in their daily environment. A course of treatment should be tailored specifically for everyone.