Low-Speed Motor Vehicle Accidents Emergency Room Tips
As the name suggests, a low-speed car accident is generally considered to be an accident involving vehicles traveling 10 miles per hour or less.
Some typical examples of low-speed car accidents are a rear-end collision with a vehicle that has stopped at an intersection or at a stop light. In addition, a driver could also hit a car pulling out of a parking spot.
Injuries Sustained from Low-Speed Car Accidents
Low-speed car accidents are common and can cause injuries to the head, neck, shoulder, chest, and back. In some cases, injuries to the neck and head may not be evident until days or weeks after the accident.
One of the most common injuries linked with low-speed collisions- particularly rear-ends- is known as whiplash. The sudden jerking back and forth of the head causes tearing of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves located in in the neck.
The victims may also suffer from a herniated disk in the cervical area, resulting in arm pain, weakness, and numbness.
If this condition does not heal with time, surgery is performed at FrontLine ER to remove the damaged disk. A surgical fusion may also be necessary to stabilize a person’s spine.
What to Do When Involved in a Low-Speed Accident
There is not much that you can do to avoid these types of accidents because they happen abruptly when it is too late for you to get out of the way. However, you should check into FrontLine ER if you experience the following symptoms:
• Persistent neck stiffness and pain
• Low back and shoulder pain
• A severe headache, dizziness, and memory problems
• Lack of concentration, irritability, tiredness
For those residing in Richmond or Dallas Texas, Frontline ER is open full time to cater to all your urgent medical needs.
First, when you arrive at the emergency room, you will be asked questions about the events that took place, and the symptoms that you might be experiencing. The questions help the doctor understand more about the severity of your symptoms.
Next, the emergency physicians will examine you to check for any soft tissue sprains/strains on the neck. He or she will touch and move your head, neck, and arms. You will also be required to perform simple tasks to determine, the range of motion in your neck and shoulders, reflexes and strength in your limbs and tenderness in the neck and shoulders.
The emergency doctor can order for imaging tests like x-rays, Computerized Topography (CT) scan and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to rule out the presence of other conditions.
Treatment largely depends on the severity of your injury. Some may require over the counter medication and at-home care while others may need prescription medicine, functional cure, and physical therapy. Your doctor at FrontLine ER may recommend the following procedures to lessen pain:
- Taking medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), or prescription medication such as some antidepressants which can relieve nerve pain.
- Lidocaine injection may be administered into the painful muscle areas to lessen pain so that you can do physical therapy
- To avoid further neck strain, place a small pillow under the nape of the neck to align the head and neck when lying down. It may not be painful at the beginning but keeping it mobile will speed up the recovery. It’s also essential to avoid remaining in the same position such as lying down or sitting for a long time.
- Doing some controlled neck exercises can help in reducing stiffness
- Maintain a good posture by keeping your back straight while standing, sitting or walking. If you are working on a computer, make sure you adjust your chair and screen accordingly
- Short-term use of muscle relaxants may be recommended to loosen tight muscles and soothe the pain. The medicine can also make you feel drowsy thus promoting good sleep.
The pain will generally go away after a few weeks or months depending on the severity of your accident. However, if you have long-term pain or need assistance with a range -of -motion exercises, your doctor may recommend that you see a Physical Therapist (PT), to help accelerate the recovery process.
Your PT will guide you through exercises that will strengthen muscles, restore normal movement and improve posture. In some cases, the therapist may use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). The mild electric current may be applied to the skin to provide relief to neck pains. Physiotherapy sessions can be custom planned in a way that they can take place at home.
These soft foam cervical collars are used to hold the neck and head still. On the hand, research shows that keeping the neck still and in one position for a long time can decrease the strength of the muscles and interfere with recovery. Your doctor will show you how to use them, and the duration to use them for you to achieve maximum results.
If you have been in a car accident, you may be treated on the scene or in an emergency room. Since low-speed motor vehicle injuries have delayed symptoms, visit the FrontLine ER afterward to avoid any complications that may arise.