Common Car Accident Injuries

Physical therapy can help improve injuries following car accidents such as neck and back pain, headaches, and musculoskeletal injuries.

3 minute read

Whether it is a minor fender bender or a serious accident, car accidents can, unfortunately, result in injuries, both major and minor. Getting rear-ended at a stop sign can leave your neck stiff and sore. A deer darting out in front of your car may result in a tweaked shoulder or back. A distracted driver crossing the centerline can cause significant injuries that may prevent you from returning back to work and regular activities. No matter the severity, Venture Rehab can help you with your rehabilitation to get you back to the things you enjoy. Let’s discuss five common injuries that can be a result of a car accident.

Acceleration Injury

Previously and more commonly known as whiplash, Whiplash Associated Disorder, or WAD, is a culmination of deficits that typically present following an acceleration injury such as being rear-ended. Some of the symptoms include neck pain, instability, and headaches.

Physical therapists are highly trained in treating motor vehicle accident related neck pain. Guided stretching activities can help relax sore muscles. Modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation can relieve pain. Trigger point dry needling can target knots in muscles that often occur as a protective mechanism following an acceleration injury and relax those muscles providing significant pain relief.

Headaches and Dizziness

Headaches and dizziness are common complaints following a motor vehicle accident. While it is important to see a physician to rule out a concussion or traumatic brain injury, physical therapists can treat lingering headaches. Tight suboccipital muscles (the muscles that run from the back of the head to the base of the skull) often cause headaches. Through gentle stretching and manual techniques, our university trained therapists can relax these muscles thus alleviating headaches.

Broken Bones and Torn Ligaments

Broken bones or torn muscles are very common injuries that result from a motor vehicle accident. One of the most common is a dashboard injury in which a person’s knees sustain a heavy impact against the dashboard of the car. This can cause tearing of the posterior cruciate ligament or even a fracture in the knee cap. A torn posterior cruciate ligament can cause instability in the knee, difficulty in walking, and inability to participate in work or recreational activities that require standing, bending, or squatting.

Torn ligaments and muscles are not isolated to the lower extremity in car accident victims. Quickly jerking the steering wheel or a side impact crash can cause injuries such as a torn rotator cuff. Tearing one of the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder can make it very difficult to perform overhead activities including some self-care activities like washing your hair or putting on clothes. No matter where your injury is located, physical therapists at Venture Rehab can provide high quality care to help get you back to your prior level of function and to the important things in life.

Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries

Some of the most devastating injuries are those that involve the brain or the spinal cord. Most likely, these extensive injuries will require lengthy hospital stays and inpatient/ subacute rehabilitation. However, after these patients are able to return home safely, outpatient physical therapy such as at Venture Rehab will help to restore as much function as possible and help the patient to regain independence.

Don’t Lose Hope—Schedule an Appointment Today

Car accidents are serious and potentially devastating events. However, there is no need to lose hope in your condition. You do not have to live with the pain of your injury. Book an appointment and allow our university trained therapists to set you on the road to recovery.

Listen to the Podcast

Richard Bourassa joins Brent Loucks on 650 CKOM to discuss the common injuries the clinic see’s from car accidents.


/ Common Car Accident Injuries

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Get up. Get here. Recover.

Take control of your physical health, relieve your pain, and regain your strength.

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