Common Injuries and Symptoms
Motor vehicle accidents can result in a number of very diverse and complex injuries and symptoms. This is due to the diversity of factors involved with the each MVA – i.e. vectors of the collision, size of the vehicles involved in collision, preexisting health conditions of victims, age of victims, size and strength of victims, etc.
The following list comprises many of the most commonly sustained injuries and symptoms following MVA’s:
Headaches are the second most common complaint following motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s). Like the many other MVA symptoms, headache may not be present immediately following the accident and may take several weeks and often months to eventually surface.
Most post-traumatic headaches are thought to originate from the soft tissues and facet joints of the neck as well as injury or irritation to the nerves of the upper cervical spine.
In addition to whiplash/neck injuries, the mid and lower back are also frequently injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s).
Head Injuries and Associated Symptoms
Half of the approximate 7 million non-major head injuries occurring annually in the US are estimated to be caused by motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s). These head injuries, although mostly mild, give rise to an assortment of symptoms and events and frequently affect higher levels of cognition and personality.
• scalp pain and hypersensitivity
• blurred vision
• balance and coordination impairments
• memory impairment
• language and task handling difficulties
• slowed reaction times
• ringing of in the ears
• reduced attention span and patience
• earlier fatigue and mental stamina
• sleep disturbances
Extremity Pain, Numbness and Tingling
Extremity symptoms such as arm and hand pain, numbness and tingling are common following motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s). They are caused by thoracic outlet syndrome, myofascial adhesions, muscular trigger points, and spinal disc lesions.
It’s important to note that these symptoms are commonly not experienced until weeks or even months after the injury. A study, published in the Britain Journal of Rheumatology, involved 37 motor vehicle injury patients and found 35% had an onset of arm and hand symptoms (upper extremity symptoms) beyond 3 months of the accident.
This reinforces the need for proper and full treatment of MVA injuries. Failure to receive appropriate treatment (where injured tissues are fully healed and tissue functioning is adequately restored) is a major contributor to the development of these symptoms.