Motorcycle accidents can cause significant trauma to your body. Even with appropriate protective gear, a motorcyclist’s body is subject to the full force of impact. Common motorcycle accident injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, abdominal injuries, and bone fractures.
According to Cureus, motorcycle accident victims tend to experience serious injuries that affect more than one organ system or area of the body. To receive appropriate treatment, it is important to know the most common injuries after a motorcycle accident.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accident victims may suffer various injuries, such as:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs range from mild to severe with varying degrees of short- and long-term impairment.
Symptoms may include:
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Dizziness and vision problems
- Low energy and grogginess
- Cognitive difficulty
- Poor attention and memory issues
- Anxiety, irritability, and unstable moods
- Sleep irregularity
Despite the terminology, mild head injuries can still have a significant effect on your health and well-being for years to come. Physical therapy and chiropractic treatments can help reestablish mobility, balance, strength, and coordination following a head injury.
Spinal Cord Injury
High speed and force in motorcycle accidents can cause significant injury to the spine. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) says that spinal cord injury symptoms range from nerve pain and numbness to partial or total paralysis.
Physiotherapy and chiropractic techniques can encourage the healing and strengthening of the spinal cord. Despite having no cure, motorcycle accident victims with full or partial paralysis can still benefit from chiropractic and physiotherapy treatment to reduce pain and discomfort.
Abdominal injuries from a motorcycle accident may include chest trauma and damage to abdominal organs, bones, and tissues. Motorcyclists and passengers may fracture the ribs, sternum, pelvis, or clavicle. They could also suffer from internal organ and tissue damage. Such injuries can interfere with breathing and circulation, which makes them especially life-threatening.
Depending on the type of abdominal injuries you sustained, you may require surgical treatment. Your initial recovery period could involve inpatient hospital care, bed rest, and limited movement to avoid re-injury.
Once your injuries begin to heal, your doctor may recommend physical therapy treatments, including massage therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises. A curated regimen established by licensed physiotherapists and chiropractors can help you rebuild your strength and range of motion after a severe chest injury.
Upper Extremity Injuries
Fractures, sprains, and strains in the upper extremities are common following motorcycle accidents. According to SICOT-J, the most common upper extremity injuries after a motorcycle accident include:
- Shoulder injuries
- Upper arm fractures
- Forearm fractures
- Hand injuries
- Joint dislocation
- Bruises and lacerations
Motorcycle accident patients with upper extremity injuries often require rehabilitative treatment from licensed physiotherapists after discharge. A physical therapy provider can review your medical records and establish a treatment plan to improve your mobility, strength, flexibility, and coordination after an upper extremity injury.
In severe cases, a patient with upper limb injuries may require plastic surgery or amputation.
Lower Extremity Injuries
Foot and leg injuries that occur in motorcycle accidents include:
- Fractured bones
- Damaged joints
- Crushed extremities
- Sprains and strains
- Bruises and lacerations
Leg and foot injuries after a motorcycle crash may require extensive medical treatment and inpatient care. After discharge, even patients with permanent disabilities may benefit from physical therapy and chiropractic care to improve mobility and reduce pain.
Factors That Can Affect Motorcycle Injury Severity
Several factors affect the extent and severity of your motorcycle accident injuries. Such factors may include:
- Motorcyclist’s age
- Motorcycle engine size
- Helmet usage
- Type of motorcycle crash
- Mechanism of injury
As a motorcyclist or motorcycle passenger, you have a greater chance of severe injury. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that accident injury victims are six times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a vehicle crash. For those who survive, the treatment and recovery process can be long and arduous.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When you are in a motorcycle accident, you may be transported to the hospital or emergency room. Diagnostic imaging and physical examinations will show the location, severity, and extent of your injuries. From there, your attending physician will determine the sort of treatment or intervention you need.
When your condition stabilizes, you may need to remain in the hospital for intensive medical treatment. While you heal, your muscles can become weak and uncoordinated due to lack of activity. Doctors often recommend rehabilitative treatment for motorcycle accident patients. Rehabilitation may be in the form of physiotherapy, chiropractic care, or a combination of the two.
Physiotherapy Treatment for Motorcycle Accident Patients
Physiotherapy, or physical therapy, is a collection of science-based physical treatment methods designed to reduce pain, strengthen muscles, and encourage healing. Physical therapy for motorcycle accident injuries may include:
- Massage therapy
- Electrical Stimulation
- Deep breathing and aerobic exercises
- Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT)
- Gait training and weight-supported treadmill training
- Stretching and resistance training
- Muscle energy techniques (MET)
Each of these methods provides unique benefits, depending on the specific injuries you sustained. Whether you suffer from musculoskeletal damage, neurological damage, or cardiorespiratory injury, a licensed physiotherapist can create a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Chiropractic Treatment for Motorcycle Injury Symptoms
In some situations, chiropractic adjustments can provide relief from joint and muscle pain associated with your motorcycle accident injuries. A licensed and trained chiropractor can review your medical records to ensure that you receive appropriate treatment to supplement your rehabilitation regimen.
The evidence-based chiropractic methods we use can help reduce your pain and increase your mobility.
Trust Naples Community Injury Center With Your Motorcycle Accident Injury
At Naples Community Injury Center, we have a full staff waiting to assist with your motorcycle injury recovery. Our neurosurgeon, medical doctors, chiropractic physicians, and physician assistants are well-versed in various treatment methods for mild to severe trauma. We aim to create a comfortable space where you benefit from a personalized treatment plan and attentive care throughout your recovery.
Contact Naples Community Injury Center today at (239) 631-5445 to schedule an appointment.