Road traffic accidents are inevitable and can cause sudden and occasionally severe musculoskeletal injury. Children, pedestrians, cyclists, and the elderly are among the most vulnerable road users.
In some parts of the world, motorisation has been accompanied by rapid growth in road traffic injuries, which have become a leading cause of death and disability. Road injuries from car accidents are common but sometimes severe. If you survived an accident, you may experience lost work time and difficulties in dealing with your daily routine.
Speed and Accidents
Most injuries occur at speeds less than 25kph. However, studies have shown that a motor vehicle accident of as little as 5mph can cause neck injury. The peak acceleration of the head during impact is much higher than the acceleration of the vehicle due to momentum.
Causes of Road Accidents
Most of the road accidents are due to human error. The main causes of road traffic injuries are speeding, drunk driving, and non-wearing of seatbelts.
Other causes of road accidents are mechanical malfunctions, lost breaks, wrong-way driving, and poor environmental conditions.
Common Problems Caused by Road Accidents
Any area of the body can get injured and severity often varies depending on the direction of the impact received. Common problems caused by road accidents are:
Whiplash – a neck injury caused by a sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards, or sideways.
Back Pain – the muscles in the lower back will be activated and often strained during an accident, resulting in sharp or pulsating pains.
Chest Pain – the chest may experience a dull, aching pain most likely due to the steering wheel that hit the chest. Muscles and tendons of the chest may become bruised and painful.
Shoulder Pain and Knee Pain – shoulder and knee are the body parts that are usually the first to suffer the impact.
Jaw Pain – also known as temporomandibular joint pain, it affects the bone, muscles, ligaments and discs of the jaw.
How Physiotherapy Helps
After you’ve been injured, it is important to seek help from your physiotherapist as soon as possible. Even if you think you’re unharmed, you may not know you already have hidden injuries. Potentially serious and costly injuries may not seem obvious at first, but without proper care, they could result in lifelong disabilities. Seeking medical help ensures you are properly treated and protected from complications.
Your injuries will be diagnosed to receive appropriate treatment. A physiotherapist may use a combination of treatment modalities to help you return to a normal pain-free state. These include joint mobilisation, stretching, strengthening and conditioning program, acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), heat, ice, massage, ultrasound, laser, and patient education.
If you were injured due to a road accident, do not wait for treatment thinking the pain will go away eventually. It is best to go see a healthcare professional to get assessed, identify the problem, and start on the road to recovery.
Our team at Happy Physio stresses the importance of immediate and proper treatment of injuries sustained in road accidents. Call us at 9272 7359 today!