Healing Timelines for Common Car Crash Injuries
There are many different types of injuries that can result from a car crash, all coming with their own set of symptoms and healing times. The caring staff at Impact Medical Lutz are here to help you identify these injuries and give you an idea of what you can do to start the healing process and how long it will take for you to get back in tip-top shape!
The back and spinal cord are extremely susceptible to injuries resulting from car accidents. Many of these types of injuries lead to limited mobility, not to mention intense pain. Below are just a few of the conditions that can occur along the backside of your body after a heavy impact.
When compressed, the bones in your body can squeeze together and pinch the nerves that are located along your spinal cord. This can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling throughout your body. Spinal adjustment techniques can be used to force your nerve endings into a state of relaxation, and additional physical therapy is recommended for reducing pain. The healing process for pinched nerves can last anywhere from 6-12 weeks.
Hernias can happen from a severe case of pinched nerves. That’s because in some cases, spinal fluid can leak as a result of the damage caused to the nerves. In this case, you may experience a sensation of weakness on top of the pain and numbness that comes from the pinching of the nerves. Treatment for hernias include spinal manipulation, flexion-distraction, and other therapeutic exercises. Surgery is rarely needed but is sometimes required. Hernias can take anywhere from two to six months to fully heal.
Spinal Cord Impact
If your spinal cord suffers a huge blow, the impact can limit your mobility and motor functions. This is due to the fact that the nerves that signal your brain to perform basic functions are located in the spine. If your discs become misaligned after the accident, your nerves also shift out of place and struggle to send their signals. This can cause you to experience pain, numbness, and even paralysis. Because it’s such a large and complex part of your body, injuries to the spinal cord can take as long as three to six months to heal completely.
Whiplash is when the body is forced into abnormal movements at high speeds. Even an accident that occurs at only 15 miles per hour can cause whiplash as that’s enough of a speed for your body to suddenly jerk around. This puts strain on muscles and ligaments, most commonly in the neck and shoulders.
The neck is the most common victim in cases of whiplash. Physical therapy and chiropractic care are especially helpful for this area of the body, and typically takes around 2-6 weeks to heal back to its original state.
With professional medical attention, whiplash in the shoulders can also take around 2-6 weeks to heal as long as there are no tears in the muscles or ligaments. For instances with tears in the shoulders, healing time can jump up to 3-6 months. For prolonged injuries like this, physical therapy is especially important in becoming fully healed sooner than later.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are the most common type of injury that can happen during an auto accident. Affected areas include the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. When any of these are damaged, it can limit your range of motion and cause extreme discomfort. Bone spurs can also form from the heavy impact and get in the way of your soft tissue, impeding its functionality. Spinal manipulation and physical therapy are effective methods in treating soft tissue injuries while chiropractic treatment can reduce inflammation to improve your range of motion and strengthen your muscles. Most moderate soft tissue injuries take three or four weeks to heal.
If you ever experience any of these injuries after a car crash, schedule an appointment with Impact Medical Lutz to start the healing process. We’ll give you all the care you need to get you back to your happy, healthy self as soon as possible!