An automotive collision can be a traumatic experience and leave those
involved with long-term injuries, not to mention lasting psychological damage. Pain
management after car accidents is at times trivialized but it is not something
to be taken lightly. While injuries due to auto collisions have reduced steadily
since the mid-90s, Transport
recently reported that we still have over 160,000 injuries related
to car accidents every year.
Of the many types of injuries sustained in car accidents, there a few
very common ones:
Head Injuries occur when a
driver or passenger involved in a collision bangs their head on a window, the
dashboard or steering wheel. These types of injuries can lead to concussions or
migraines in the future – or even more severe brain injuries.
Back Injuries are just as
common and can manifest in the temporary tingling or pain in the arms and legs,
or in general muscle weakness throughout the body. Some back injuries may
result in acute and subacute back pain, and in very serious circumstances,
Of all the expected car accident-related injuries, one of the most
widely reported is whiplash
. Whiplash most often occurs
when someone is rear-ended by another car. The sudden movement of the head and
neck jerking back can damage the muscles and ligaments in the neck and back.
Sometimes swelling is visible, but whiplash usually causes stiffness and pain.
The longer whiplash is left untreated, the longer it can linger into
the future. When symptoms last for more than six months, it is referred to as ‘Whiplash Syndrome’ but immediate
treatment will reduce the risk of its development. Despite the prevalence of
whiplash, it is a very complicated injury and each case is unique to the
A Common Misconception
One of the most unfortunate myths about car accidents is that low-speed
collisions do not have adverse health effects. The human body is very good at
masking trauma, therefore pain caused by undiagnosed injuries sustained in car
accidents can sometimes manifest well after the accident has occurred. For this
reason, it is crucial to see a doctor after a collision, regardless of how one
‘feels’ immediately following.
After a Car Accident:
A lack of medical treatment can become a legal issue when dealing with
insurance companies, therefore seeing a doctor immediately is critical. Pain
management after car accidents will ensure you do not needlessly put yourself
through prolonged periods of discomfort and chronic pain.
- It is important to take note of all symptoms as soon as possible. Be
thorough as ‘small’ symptoms can be part of a bigger problem.
- If your injuries are not deemed to be severe enough to be taken to a
hospital, visit your doctor at the earliest opportunity. Depending on your
injury, your doctor can give you a referral to one of many pain care clinics to
better assist with diagnosis. As more of these clinics open up in Ontario,
waiting times for appointments with specialists are being drastically cut down.
- Injuries like whiplash do not come up in X-rays but they may be
revealed through MRI or CT scans.
- Chronic pain from whiplash-related injuries can be treated in various
ways ranging from pain relief medications to physical therapy to various types
of injections (including Botox injections for headaches and migraines).