Common MVA Injuries
ConcussionWhat is it?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can result from a motor vehicle accident. Concussions can occur from either direct or indirect blows to the head, face, or body which cause the brain to move within the skull. When the brain moves in such a way, it hits the sides of the skull which causes bruising and can disrupt brain structures such as blood vessels and neurons.
What are the symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not show up immediately. Severity can range from mild (brief change in mental state) to severe (extended period of memory loss after the injury, unconsciousness)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light and/or noise
- Memory loss (memory of the traumatic event is often lost)
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Dizziness and other balance/coordination issues
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleep disturbances
- Irritability or other personality changes
- Depression and mood changes
Rest and monitoring concussions by a qualified practitioner is important in allowing the brain to recover from an injury. This includes physical rest (avoiding physical exertion or activities that cause symptoms to worsen) as well as mental rest (limiting activities that require thinking/concentration such as school work, watching TV, and reading). However, recent research has demonstrated that a monitored graded physical activity program will help patients recover better from concussion and post-concussive disorder. As symptoms lessen, normal activities may be gradually added.
Neck InjuriesWhiplash is the most common neck injury caused by motor vehicle accidents. It results from a forceful, rapid back-and-forth motion of the neck. This type of injury is common after rear-end motor vehicle accidents. The rapid motion of the neck can potentially injure bones, disks, muscles, ligaments, nerves and other tissues of the spine
What are the symptoms?
- Neck pain/stiffness
- Loss of range of motion in the neck region
- Tenderness/pain in the shoulder, between the shoulder blades, or in the arms
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
Physical therapy is generally recommended to expedite the healing process. Treatments for whiplash are mainly to control pain and restore normal range of motion in the neck. Generally, rest, ice/heat, over-the-counter pain medications, and muscle relaxants are used in pain management. Physical therapy is recommended to improve range of motion. This can include stretching, exercise and manual therapies.