7 to 8 million car accidents take place in the United States and on an average 54 million people worldwide sustain injuries for car crashes every year.
A common concept is that accidents happen because of criminal offenses as drunk driving etc which is false for most accidents happen from simple distractions of the drivers like looking at someone in the passenger seat while having a conversation, looking out towards the sides, cell phones, texts or sometimes eating These accident sometimes even minor on the surface can leave someone maimed for life. Drunk driving however is far more likely to cause death ,for one third of the fatal accidents in USA can be attributed to drunk driving.
Other belief is that as our reflexes get weak and our reaction time gets longer and we are more prone to accidents which again is false for the young people who have the best reaction times have disproportionately more collisions than senior citizens. Older people tend to drive more cautiously and carefully.
In United states of America the public transportation systems is not well established thus more and more people have to drive automobiles. Especially because of and distant living in the suburbs the driving mileage per individual is increasing exponentially.
Florida and Tennessee have the largest number of auto accidents in the country.
The economic impact of auto accidents in USA is over $900 billion per year .A big portion of which is health costs.
The effects of auto accidents on health and wellness can range from simple bruises ,whiplash to catastrophic life-threatening illnesses.
It’s simple injury like a whiplash which sometimes can not be seen on new medical evaluation or radiological reports which can be very debilitating and affect the whole human behavior professionally and personally.
Literally the word means a movement resembling the lash of a whip , it is the abrupt snapping ,jerking throwing, hitting motion or a sudden change in direction.
It can cause a simple strain or a significant tear of the muscles ligaments and tendons.
The term is now used mainly for injuries to the neck and the upper back and most commonly a sudden extension caused by cervical acceleration and deceleration. This is most common after a driver or passenger of a car is hit in the rear. This injury has been the most frequent claimed injury on motor vehicle insurance policies.
It has a long history and in the bygone days it was called a railway spine injury when rails were the main mode of transportation.
People experiencing whiplash injuries suffer from the following.
1. pain in the neck
2. Mid back pain and pain in the shoulders and arms
3. Pins and needles sensation in the arms and sometimes even in the legs
– Jaw pain
– Psychological trauma, anxiety , depression , poor concentration
– Easily distracted and even more easily irritated.
– It is to be noted that the symptoms of whiplash injury may be delayed my hours or even days after the initial injury
The injury can be divided into five grades from 0-4
Grade 0 has no pain in the neck and no physical signs
Grade one: neck pain and stiffness
Grade two: decreased range of motion and point tenderness
Grade three: decreased range of motion, point tenderness and some change in reflexes and some change in Sensations
Grade four: severe neck pain, possible fracture ,dislocation or injury to the spinal cord which can be seen on X-rays and MRI’s.
It is both subjective from the patient’s complaints, objective from signs and x-rays which can show straightening of the spine and loss of normal curvature of the neck bones.
Cervical spine is the most mobile in the least stable part of the human spine.
Between the fourth cervical and the second Thoracic vertebrae there is very little room in the spinal column for the spinal cord and thus is very exposed to injury.
A Whiplash injury is a cute for the first three months and if the symptoms persist after the three months it is considered chronic whiplash injury in the fourth month.
1. Anti-inflammatory in
3. Оral steroids
4. Mobilization and manipulation
5. Physical therapy
6. muscle relaxers
7. Heat, shortwave diathermy
8. Pulsed electro magnetic therapy
All of the above plus stress management and behavior therapy.
Complicated with radiculopathy:
It is best to try to manage it conservatively if possible with collar immobilization, oral steroid epidural steroids, facet joint injections and radio frequency of the facet joints however if the conservative management fails the. surgical intervention can become necessary.
“To be continued”.
Pain and pleasure are the professors in the school of life.
Pain Medicine Incorporated
541 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, FL 33801
Phone: (863) 682 – PAIN
Fax: (863) 682 – 5566
if you are injured in an auto accident call 682-PAIN