4 Facts You Should Know About Auto Accident Injuries
In a metro area like St Louis, there are many individuals who are the victims of car accidents on a daily basis. Some can produce severe and life threatening injuries. However, thankfully, most are not in this classification.
Yet while, most are not severe, there are many individuals who experience low to moderate pain and disability due to their injuries. Unfortunately, because of limited car damage and initially not hurting too bad – some believe they are not injured and ultimately set themselves up for long term problems and pain.
While every auto accident injury is not the same, there are a few common factors for all: they may not be of the same intensity, yet these are facts that are involved in almost all injuries.
1 Neck Injuries Are Real
In the past, it has been propagated by some insurance companies that neck injuries from auto accidents are not real. Because we cannot see a fracture or dislocation, we assume the there is no injury or only a mild one. Unfortunately, many have bought into this and the results is they do not seek the care that they need.
Modern research with high-speed cameras have demonstrated how the injury can occur to the joints, disc and ligaments of the spinal joints in the neck. Once injured, these structures to don’t actually heal, but repair with less than normal tissue.
If not managed correctly, these REAL injuries can result in a chronic long-term pain cycle of headaches, neck pain, neck stiffness, or arm numbness and pain.
2 Long Term Pain
Not only are neck injuries from auto accidents real, they can also increase the likelihood of long-term pain and even disability. The impact of an auto accident causes a shearing affect in the joints of the spinal bones in the neck, stretching the ligaments and muscle, causing microscopic tears. The damaged tissue then begins a repair process that includes inflammation or swelling. Unfortunately, the repair process does not use 100% normal tissue: it uses a significant percentage of scar tissue.
Scar tissue is less elastic than normal tissue, has limited blood supply and actually has more nerve endings. The result is a stiff and sensitive ligament or muscle that is prone to re-aggravation with too much use: and this causes chronic pain!
Research has demonstrated:
- 25% of injured can suffer for two years with pain from the injury.
- 40% of those injured develop long-term chronic pain!
- 10% of injured can develop severe constant pain!
3 Increased Risk Joint Degeneration
Those that are injured are six times more likely to develop degenerative arthritis. The injured muscles and ligaments repair with a percentage of fibrous scar tissue. This limits the mobility of the injured joint, subsequently causing increased joint stress and degeneration of the joint. Long-term, the potential for bone spurs and disc degeneration rises significantly.
4 Minimal Car Damage Does Not Mean You Cannot Be Injured.
Over the years, the auto industry has worked to design bumpers that are not easily damaged. The sole purpose is to reduce the amount of auto repair cost associated with low to moderate speed collisions. Unfortunately, the design of these modern bumpers can actually increase the likelihood of injury.
When force is put into a bumper, it needs to go somewhere. In the older bumpers that were easily deformed, this spread the force of the impact. Since newer bumpers do not deform, the force of the impact needs to go somewhere: in this case, the weakest places is the neck of the occupants.
As you can see, auto accidents can be a complicated event that results in long-term pain and degenerative changes. Proper evaluation and treatment is the best action to help prevent future problems. Chiropractic care has been shown to be one of the most effective forms of treatment for auto accident injuries. Call us today at (314) 731-4383 to schedule your evaluation or CLICK TO CALL.
As a 1984 graduate of Life Chiropractic College, Dr. Martin Schmaltz has years of helping those who have been injured in auto accidents. He has extensive training and study in how the injury happens as well as the specific treatments and documentation to help his patients. He has a great working relationship with many attorneys in the St Louis area and is know for his detailed notes and diagnosis of the injured patient.