Airbags are designed to help cushion you to help prevent injury during a car accident. When you’ve been in an accident, airbags and seat belts are safety features designed to protect you from more serious injury. However, it is possible to experience an airbag injury if the airbag is faulty or deploys too late. The speed of the airbag releasing from the steering wheel or dashboard can also cause more harm than intended. You might want to see a whiplash chiropractor if you’ve experienced one of these four most common airbag injuries.
1. Scrapes, Bruises, and Burns
When the airbag deploys, it can leave you with minor scrapes, bruises, or even friction burns. An airbag may cause scrapes because of how the airbag deploys from the steering wheel and makes contact with your chest, shoulders, head, and neck. You may experience scrapes around any exposed skin from the abrasiveness of the airbag. Airbags can also cause bruises due to the strong force of impact against your body. In some cases, the chemicals in an airbag deployment can lead to chemical burns. The impact of the airbag can also lead to friction burns. Oftentimes, these minor scrapes, bruises, and burns can be treated by paramedics or with medical care after an accident.
Whiplash is the most common car accident injury because of how the body is forcefully jostled around upon impact. In fact, the collision of your car with another can lead to whiplash whether or not the airbags deploy. While your upper body is restrained by the seat belt, your head and neck are left unrestrained and can be violently shaken up in the accident. If the airbag deploys, you may also hit your head against the airbag. A whiplash injury involves the neck muscles straining out of their normal range of motion. This can cause headaches, neck pain, swelling, and tenderness. As a whiplash injury sets in, you may also experience stiff neck muscles and difficulty turning your head from side to side.
3. Muscle Strain
In addition to muscle strain in your neck due to a whiplash injury, an airbag injury can also involve other types of muscle strains. Depending on how close you sit to the airbag, when it deploys it can help cushion you from when your body is flung forward due to the collision. However, if the airbag hits you in your upper chest and shoulders, it can cause the muscles in your shoulders and back to stretch and strain. When you experience muscle strain in your upper back and shoulders, your muscles can feel both tender to the touch and stiff with certain movements.
If you are sitting close to the airbag when it deploys and it makes contact with your head, you may be at risk for a concussion. Your doctor will want to run tests to determine whether or not you have sustained this type of traumatic brain injury. During a normal day, your skull is what protects your brain from serious injury. During a violent event like a car accident, your brain might get shaken around and may even hit the skull. This can cause bruising or even a brain bleed in more serious cases.
Concussion symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, nausea, and ringing in the ears. You also may experience some confusion or difficulty concentrating. If you are concerned about a concussion, see a doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation.
Diagnosing and Treating Airbag Injuries
When you visit a whiplash chiropractor for a car accident injury, they will use a combination of your symptoms, a physical exam, and diagnostic imaging tools to determine the most appropriate diagnosis. Airbag and car accident injuries can be tricky to diagnose if there are no obvious visible signs. The adrenaline and shock you experience during and immediately after a car accident can obscure symptoms of a more serious injury. A whiplash chiropractor can provide you with treatment for a variety of airbag injuries that address your symptoms as well as the underlying issue. Chiropractic treatments like adjustments and therapeutic massage are gentle and do not rely on any medications or invasive options.
If you are looking for a whiplash chiropractor in College Park, visit AICA Orthopedics. Our team of car accident doctors includes chiropractors, orthopedic doctors, neurologists, and physical therapists so you can get the most comprehensive care available for a wide variety of car accident injuries.