When you’ve been in a car accident, you might not notice you’ve been injured right away. That’s because you’re likely flooded with adrenaline and so some of your pain symptoms might be covered up. The shock and trauma of an accident can also prevent you from noticing symptoms of a car accident injury right away. That’s why it’s important to get checked out by a doctor after a car accident to rule out any serious injuries. If you find yourself searching for “car accident doctors near me” to get the care you need. Car accident doctors know what signs to look for even if all your symptoms haven’t started showing up yet.
What’s the Difference Between a Strain and a Sprain?
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “pulled a muscle”, and that’s typically referring to a type of injury known as a strain. A strain is an injury that affects muscles or tendons. Tendons connect muscles to bones, and overuse or stretching outside their normal range can cause a strain. A sprain, however, is an injury that affects ligaments that connect two bones together. If one of these ligaments is stretched or torn due to trauma or overuse, it causes a sprain. The primary difference between strains and sprains are the types of soft tissue that are affected, though the symptoms may seem similar.
Diagnosing Sprains and Strains
The force of the impact can cause your body to be twisted or jerked around suddenly, which can make your muscles, tendons, and ligaments stretch in uncomfortable ways and even tear. Both sprains and strains cause symptoms of pain, swelling, and inflammation in the immediate area. Your doctor may be able to distinguish between a sprain and a strain based on whether you also experience muscle spasms or muscle weakness, which is a sign of a strain. Sprains occur around joints because ligaments stabilize the bones that join together in a joint. When you’ve sprained a joint, like a sprained ankle or wrist, you may also notice bruising in the area.
Your doctor may also want to run diagnostic imaging tests to rule out other injuries in the area like fractures. X-rays can give your doctor a clearer picture of how the bones and joints were affected by the injury, while a CT scan will show more three-dimensional images that also include affected soft tissues. MRI scans provide your doctor with cross-sectional images of the affected area and include highly detailed pictures of bones, joints, and soft tissues. The type of injury your doctor suspects may determine what type of diagnostic imaging tool is most appropriate in assessing how the car accident has affected you.
Whiplash: The Ultimate Neck Sprain
Did you know that whiplash is actually the number one injury car accident doctors treat every day? That’s because whiplash injury can cause serious damage to the bones, joints, muscles, and other soft tissues in your neck. When the force of the accident causes your head and neck to snap forward and backward violently, it can cause the muscles in your neck to strain out of their normal range of motion and can even cause tears. Whiplash can be tricky to diagnose because there isn’t one specific test to run, but car accident doctors are well-versed in whiplash treatment and diagnosis.
Treatment for Sprains and Strains
If you’ve suffered a sprain or a strain after a car accident, you can search for “car accident doctors near me” to help. At AICA, our car accident doctors are specialists in orthopedics, neurology, pain, all types of car accident injuries. We offer individualized treatment plans for each of our patients so you can get the quality care you deserve that addresses your specific injuries and medical needs. Your team of car accident doctors will design a treatment plan that addresses your symptoms as well as the root cause of your pain.
Treatment for sprains and strains may include resting the area, alternating ice and heat therapies, and even massage therapy to promote healing and provide pain relief. If a sprain or strain affects your mobility then you may work with a physical therapist or doctor to rehabilitate after the accident in order to regain your strength and range of motion.