As discussed in my article Automobile Accidents: The Myth of the Low Speed Collision, during a motor vehicle collision, the forces of the impact are transferred into the occupants of the vehicle. These forces causes injury to muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, the joints involved (including spinal joints and jaw or TMJ temporomandibular joint) and may cause injury to the brain and inner ear.
Think of the fibers of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia as the fibers in a rope. These fibers are stretched and torn due to the impact. The number of fibers that are torn is related to how severe the injury is. As for pain, you may have significant pain no matter how many fibers are torn as the location and relationship of these fibers is significant. Muscles will spasm and asymmetric tension may develop in these muscles causing altered joint movement and postural changes.
This is why it is important to have a proper examination and prompt treatment because the longer these changes exist, the worse the prognosis. One study showed that after a seven year follow-up of injury patients with no previous X-ray evidence of disc damage found that almost 40% had developed degenerative disc disease at one or more places in the spine. (Hohl M. Soft tissue injuries of the neck in automobile accidents. J Bone Joint Surg, 1974;56A:1675-1682.)
At Capital Sports Injury Center in Silver Spring and Bethesda, chiropractor Dr. Steven Horwitz has over 25 years experience treating injuries sustained in motor vehicle collisions. Techniques like Active Release Techniques, Graston Technique, Cold Laser, Corrective Exercise, Dry Needling, and Kinesio Taping are extremely effective at treating these injuries.
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