The most common complaint we hear from our auto accident injury patients is pain. This can be anywhere from mild to severe and we try to have patients grade it on a 0-10 scale, where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst you can experience (i.e. a kidney stone or childbirth). Pain can be located in muscles, joints, bones, or the spine. Headaches are common, sometimes severe. These can be generated from a head injury, like a concussion, a neck injury and resultant muscle tension, or migraines.

Whiplash means that your body was thrown around by the force of the impact. It results in injury to the neck, back and even the brain. While we commonly think of whiplash occurring from a rear end collision, it can occur in front or side impacts. Muscles tendons, and ligaments are usually damaged (soft tissue injury) and the result is pain, spasm, and restricted motion. Spinal disks can also be injured with resulting pain or nerve irritation. The TMJ’s (jaw joints) can also be injured with pain, difficulty chewing, and headaches.

Head injury is common in auto accidents, occurring either from direct impact or from whiplash. Loss of consciousness can occur, but is not necessary to have a significant head injury. When the brain function is disrupted without bleeding or swelling, this is called a concussion and is graded based on symptoms. Typical concussion symptoms include headaches, visual problems, dizziness, nausea, memory difficulties, amnesia, and fatigue. These symptoms can persist for months.

Bone and joint injuries are also very common in auto accidents, resulting in bruising, swelling, pain, limited motion, and instability. Typical locations in the arm are the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and thumb. Tennis elbow and carpal tunnel are also quite common for drivers. In the legs, typical locations of injury include the hip, knee and ankle. Abnormal walking further aggravates back pain.



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