On every episode at least one of these beautiful women is eliminated. We’ve watched her a hundred times. The Bachelor only has one rose left, and it doesn’t go to her.
Some of them burst into tears. Some run out of the room. Some even slap him.
It seems like the end of their world. What could be worse, you ask?
A car accident injury.
Yep, 2.35 million people are injured in a car accident in the United States every year (more than 13,000 in Kansas, alone.)
Here’s the good news, though: Kansas City was recently ranked the 12th safest driving city in the U.S. by AllState Insurance. The results were based on the number of car accidents, the severity of car accident injuries, population density and driving conditions. Not bad, really.
But when you get into a car accident, whether or not it’s your fault, it doesn’t really matter how safe the statistics say that your city is. You’ve got a mess to clean up – and not just the damage to your car.
Most auto accidents result in car accident injuries.
The Physics of Car Accident Injuries
So how does a car accident affect your body?
Remember Newton’s Laws of Motion?
F = ma
(Force = Mass x Acceleration)
The ultimate force (or damage) on your body during a car crash proportionately depends on the mass of the cars involved and the speed you (or the other car) were going at the time of the accident.
In other words, the greater the mass (size and weight) of the car, the greater the force (impact) on your body. And the faster the car is going, the greater the force on your body.
The Hidden Dangers of the Fender Bender
Many people mistakenly think that they don’t have any injuries if there’s very little damage to their car, but car accident body damage is a poor indicator of actual car accident injuries of those involved in the crash.
When your car stops suddenly, your body continues in the forward direction your car was going (until it’s stopped by your seatbelt.) And, although your seatbelt stops your body, your head and neck whip forward and backward with huge force, absorbing the full force of the accident.
So even if the impact to your car’s body is dispersed across the entire length of the car, your head and neck sustain a large amount of the impact.
What Are Kansas City’s Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs when the head is jerked forward and backward beyond it’s normal limits, stretching and tearing the neck muscles.
The pain and stiffness associated with a whiplash injury isn’t always immediately obvious. In fact, it can sometimes take hours or even days before your symptoms begin to appear.
Once you begin to experience it, the pain of whiplash is usually hard to ignore. Your symptoms may include:
- Pain, decreased range of motion (ability to move), and stiff neck. Your muscles may feel hard, like a knot.
- Neck pain when turning your head from side to side or tipping your head backward and forward.
- Tenderness or soreness to the touch.
- Headaches at the base of your skull that seem to radiate towards your forehead.
A severe whiplash injury can sometimes cause a concussion. This is a very serious condition for which you should seek treatment right away. Symptoms of a concussion are nausea, dizziness, and/or sleepiness.
Not sure if you have a whiplash injury? Use this checklist.
Headaches are the second most common car accident injury. After a car accident, headaches can be the result of a whiplash injury or from nerves in your neck that become damaged or irritated after impact.
Similiar to headaches, neck pain results after the impact of a car crash when your muscles and tendons are stretched or strained. Your neck may initially feel stiff and then gradually you may start to feel neck pain when you turn your head or look up or down.
Effective Treatment Options for the Most Common Car Accident Injuries
- Apply ice to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you can after the injury. Even if you don’t feel any pain after a car accident, it would be a good idea to apply ice that evening for about 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days following the accident. Wrap your ice pack in a towel or use a bag of frozen vegetables. (Just remember to put them back into the freezer!)
- Schedule a checkup with your local chiropractor to get a clear understanding of your injuries. Chiropractors specialize in the biomechanics of the neck and spine. They are experts in restoring proper motion to joints that have become locked up (such as a stiff neck) or fixated. Through chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy and gentle stretching exercises they work to restore movement and return you to normal health through natural and effective treatment.
Neck stretching and strengthening exercises can be very beneficial after the initial pain is gone. They can help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints in your neck, giving you stability to keep your head in a proper position. These are especially important if you’ve injured your neck in the past.
Left untreated, car accident injuries can lead to more serious problems down the road. If joints become immobile, the discs between the vertebrae begin to degenerate (or break down) causing arthritis.
Unfortunately, we treat too many people who sustained injuries during a car accident but assumed, because they didn’t feel much pain, that there was no impact to their neck.
Residents of the state of Kansas are required to have PIP (personal injury protection) coverage as part of every auto insurance policy. This coverage allows covered individuals access to medical services at no cost to you, without affecting your auto insurance premium. Learn more about PIP here.
Our team of Kansas City chiropractors treat more whiplash and neck pain injury cases than any other chiropractic clinic in the state of Kansas. Give us a call at 913-764-6237 or schedule an appointment online to see if chiropractic care can help with your specific symptoms. We’re glad to help!
So, if you’re ever on the Bachelor and you don’t end up with a rose, remember, it could’ve been worse.
Count your blessings.
And drive safely!