Car Accident Injuries
Common Accident Related Pain
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Injury
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injury is an injury to the joint and ligaments of the jaw. Similar to whiplash, the TM joint is injured in the acceleration and deceleration of a car accident. This may occur with direct or indirect injury to the jaw and can effect chewing, eating, speech and various other aspects of daily life. You might have a TMJ injury if you experience any of the following:
In a car accident, your low back (lumbar spine) or mid back (thoracic spine) can also be injured. About 40%-60% of people who suffer from neck pain as a result from a car accident will also experience low back pain as well. Low back pain is also far more common in broadside accidents. These areas of the spine are also susceptible to muscular or ligamentous injury, and even compression fractures in more serious car accidents.
Additional back injuries like disc herniations or disc bulges can also occur in a car accident, which can cause spinal cord compression. Symptoms of spinal injuries include arm or leg weakness, paralysis, difficulty breathing, numbness, tingling, and abnormal bowel or bladder function.
Injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are extremely common in auto accidents. Sprains and strains are referred to as soft tissue injuries (soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, and ligaments). Injury to these soft tissue structures is a major reason why pain may not be felt till days after the accident, think of the first time you’ve worked out in a while, the pain and soreness usually takes a day or two before you start feeling it.
Soft tissue injuries, not visible on an x-ray and often overlooked, can cause severe pain after a car accident. Worse yet, if a soft tissue injury is not directly addressed with soft tissue therapy, the injured muscles can end up causing chronic pain for months, years—even decades after the accident.
Unfortunately, the standard medical approach to these auto accident injuries often amounts to nothing more than suppressing the symptoms with pain-killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, leaving the injured muscles to try to heal on their own. Injured muscles heal with scar tissue in a way that leaves them weaker, less elastic, and prone to re-injury and chronic pain. Muscular therapy approaches like Sound Assist Soft Tissue Mobilization (SASTM), ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, and rehabilitation exercises help to restore muscular strength, flexibility, and normal function.
Shoulder injury and pain are surprisingly common with car accidents. There are many ways in which you can injure your shoulder in an auto accident. Some more direct cause of shoulder pain could be from direct trauma with the side of the vehicle or from the shoulder harness on your seatbelt. The type of pain in your shoulder can vary depending on the type of injury, from dull and achy pain to sharp or burning pain. It is also common for shoulder pain to have a very delayed onset, seen more with soft tissue injuries. Since the shoulder is mostly a muscular joint, it can be susceptible to developing into an impingement syndrome or a frozen shoulder if left untreated.
Knee & Hip
Knee and Hip injuries can also occur as a result of an auto accident. Knees can get forced into the dashboard or back of the seat, if you’re a passenger. If the force is great enough, then this can also cause hip injuries and pain as well.