Seat belts and airbags are safety features designed to protect you from more serious injury in the event of a car accident. When you’ve been in a serious enough accident that the airbag deploys, you can still suffer some injuries. In fact, the airbags deploy at such a high rate of speed that they can actually cause injuries. If you are injured in a car accident, a whiplash chiropractor can help.
Crash sensors in your vehicle signal the airbag to deploy when a crash occurs, especially in head-on collisions. Airbags are made of lightweight fabric that fills with a gas, like nitrogen, when it is deployed. The airbag on the drivers’ side of the vehicle comes out of the steering wheel and is typically the size of a beach ball, while the passenger side airbag is a lot larger. Drivers typically sit closer to the steering wheel, so when the airbag deploys it can cause an injury. Here are four common examples of airbag injuries sustained in a car accident:
1. Scrapes, Bruises, and Burns
In the mildest of cases, a car accident that causes the airbags to deploy may leave you with only a few scrapes and bruises. Because the airbag comes out of the steering wheel or dashboard at such a fast speed, it can catch you unaware and you might instinctively reach your arms up to protect yourself. You may end up with some bruising from the impact of the airbag on your body. In some cases, the airbag deployment can cause friction burns when the airbag deploys and then rapidly deflates.
Whether or not the airbags have deployed during a collision, whiplash is still one of the most common car accident injuries. That’s because your head and neck are left vulnerable to being shaken and jostled around when a vehicle collides with yours. While a seat belt may hold your upper body still and prevent you from being ejected from the vehicle, it cannot keep your head from snapping forward and backward violently, especially during a rear-end collision. If the airbags deploy and you are sitting too close to the steering wheel, the impact of the airbag against your head and chest can also cause whiplash injury.
3. Spinal Misalignments
The impact of the airbag against your head and chest can also strain your back muscles and cause injuries to your spine. While the vertebrae in your spine are joints designed to withstand everyday movements, a car accident can put a lot of stress on the spine. Car accident and whiplash chiropractors commonly see car accident victims who have misalignments in their spine caused by the accident. These misalignments can put pressure on nearby tissues and nerves, causing pain and discomfort.
In more serious cases, your head may collide with the airbag in such a way that can lead to a head trauma like a concussion. A concussion occurs when you suffer a hard blow to the head or if your head is severely shaken up and can cause headaches after an accident. Since both of these things can occur during a serious car accident, it is possible to sustain a concussion. When your head is shaken up or bumped hard enough, your brain can be jostled around. While the skull is designed to protect your brain from serious injury, a hard enough blow or violent enough shake can cause your brain to collide with the skull, which can lead to bruising or even bleeding on the brain.
How a Chiropractor Can Help with Airbag Injuries
You should see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident to rule out any serious injuries. Car accident injuries are tricky to recognize right away because the shock and adrenaline from the accident can actually mask symptoms of serious injuries. If you don’t have obvious visible injuries after the accident, you may be tempted to skip the doctor. However, any damage to your head, neck, and spine should be taken very seriously.
Chiropractors offer natural, non-invasive treatment approaches to all types of airbag and car accident injuries. A whiplash chiropractor can assess how your head, neck muscles, and spine were affected by the accident and perform gentle, safe adjustments to resolve any misalignments in your spine. Instead of relying on pain medications that can mask your symptoms even longer, your chiropractor will use a drug-free approach that addresses the root cause of your pain and injury.
If you are looking for a whiplash chiropractor in Jonesboro, visit AICA Orthopedics and experience for yourself the therapeutic, effective healing and recovery offered by our team of car accident doctors.