The 13 Common Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

The 13 Common Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Spokane Valley, Washington boasts some scenic roads that offer picturesque views ideal for anyone on the road. Unfortunately, accidents happen, even for the most careful drivers.

While not every accident leads to damage and injury, many do. Motor vehicle accident injuries can range from a few bruises to concussions or even death.

As the go-to physical therapy practice in Spokane Valley, WA, the Lighthouse Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine crew delves deeper into common injuries from motor vehicle accidents.  

1. Whiplash  

Whiplash, one of the most common motor vehicle accident injuries, occurs when a sudden impact causes the neck to jolt forward and backward violently. The force may cause a sprain or strain to the neck muscles and ligaments.  

Typical symptoms of whiplash include:  

  • Neck discomfort  
  • Headaches  
  • Stiffness  
  • Dizziness  

At Lighthouse Physical Therapy in Spokane Valley, we can help whiplash victims alleviate these symptoms through gentle mobilization, hands-on therapy and prescriptive exercises to strengthen neck muscles.

2. Superficial or Penetrating Injuries  

Accidents may leave superficial cuts or scarring. In more severe cases, surrounding objects may even penetrate the body. Regardless of the penetrating object, it’s essential to avoid removing the object until a medical professional says otherwise.

3. Back and Neck Injuries  

These types of car accident injuries can occur when the force of impact causes a sudden body jerk, leading to soft tissue injury in the back and neck. Most common, car accident victims may experience herniated discs, a type of back injury that causes pain, weakness, and numbness in the back, arms, and legs. 

Our team at Lighthouse Physical Therapy in Spokane Valley, WA specializes in treatments that ease discomfort and support the spine’s health.

4. Head Injuries  

Unfortunately, many motor vehicle crash victims suffer mild to severe head injuries. Among the most common head injuries from car accidents are traumatic brain injuries and concussions. 

While we commonly treat orthopedic conditions, some may not be aware that our physical therapists in Spokane Valley can also treat concussions. Through personalized assessments and tailored therapies like vestibular rehabilitation for balance and manual therapy for neck discomfort, we help manage symptoms of concussions so you can safely return to daily activities.

5. Leg and Knee Injuries  

Motor vehicle accidents can cause multiple types of leg and knee injuries, from broken bones to dislocated joints. For these conditions, Lighthouse Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine provides comprehensive rehabilitation programs aimed at restoring strength and mobility.  

6. Arm and Hand Injuries  

Like legs and knees, arms and hands can also experience serious damage during a car accident. For example, the trauma of the accident could break multiple bones in the victim’s arms or hand or dislocate the joints. Other common and less severe injuries could include bruising or sprains. 

7. Soft Tissue Injuries  

Hit-and-run and traffic collision victims often overlook soft tissue injuries—sprains, stress fractures, strains, bruises, among others—because they may not show apparent symptoms after an accident. However, these injuries can still cause significant pain. 

Our physical therapists can help you relieve this discomfort with a treatment plan designed to reduce inflammation in the affected area. Clinicians use a combination of hands-on therapy, hot/cold therapy, and high-tech devices that can accelerate your recovery.

8. Spinal Injuries  

Trauma to the spinal column can lead to devastating injuries for car accident victims. A spinal injury can cause varying levels of temporary or permanent paralysis. 

Spinal cord injuries are typically complete or incomplete. With a complete spinal cord injury, there won’t be any feeling in the area below the feeling. Meanwhile, an incomplete injury involves some feeling.

9. Chest Injuries  

Like most motor vehicle accident injuries, chest injuries can range from minor bruises to severe internal organ injuries or broken bones. People injured in accidents may suffer blunt force trauma to the chest that may result in internal injuries and organ damage. 

Due to the immense stress of a car accident, people involved could also suffer from heart attacks. It’s crucial to realize that it may not be initially obvious due to the surrounding events or other injuries, but it’s crucial to alert nearby medical professionals of any injuries or heart attack suspicions.

10. Other Internal Injuries  

Internal injuries occur when organs and other internal body structures get injured, often from blunt force trauma. These types of injuries pose a life-threatening risk if they go unnoticed.   

As mentioned above, blunt force trauma to the chest can cause internal bleeding and damage to any other vital organs in the upper trunk of the body. Similarly, broken ribs can puncture a lung or lacerate a kidney, spleen, or liver.  

11. Facial and Dental Injuries  

Serious motor vehicle collision injuries may particularly affect the face and mouth. Victims may suffer from broken facial bones, facial scarring, loose or missing teeth, eye damage or vision loss, and other complications.   

12. Psychological Injuries  

Motor vehicle accidents can prove traumatic and have long-term psychological consequences. For example, injured victims may struggle with clinical depression, severe anxiety, or even PTSD. 

13. Traumatic Brain Injury  

A traumatic brain injury is the result of the brain jolting, causing damage to the brain cells.

TBI can result in permanent paralysis or death. A severe blow to the head can cause this type of injury, possibly leading to a skull fracture and resulting in neurological complications. Specialized neurological rehabilitation can help manage and recover from such injuries.

Motor Vehicle Accident? Visit Your Local Physical Therapists in Spokane Valley, WA  

Accidents can happen anytime, leaving affected individuals requiring specialized care and motor vehicle injury treatment, and that’s where physical therapy comes in. It plays a crucial role in helping individuals regain mobility, reduce pain, and improve their overall quality of life.  

By taking a holistic approach to recovery, physical therapy considers the physical aspect of car accident injuries and their emotional and psychological impact.   

If you or your loved one has suffered motor vehicle accident injuries, count on Lighthouse Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine in Spokane Valley, WA, to start your physical therapy journey. Contact us at (509) 928-3443 to request an appointment and learn about the benefits of physical therapy.