Los Angeles Injury Doctor specializes in treating injuries sustained in car accidents. These injuries include whiplash, back pain, tingling sensations, numbness and other symptoms that are not visible through an X-ray.
Kari Hawkins, DC is California’s first OWCP injury doctor and practices medical integrated with an MD and Nurse Practitioner. She is also trained to perform 6th edition impairment ratings for OWCP schedule awards.
Whiplash is a neck injury that affects muscles, ligaments and discs in the spine. It can cause pain, stiffness and problems with the eyes, lungs and digestion. It may also lead to depression, irritability, difficulty sleeping and cognitive problems.
A whiplash injury can be caused by any incident that causes a rapid movement of the head back and forth. It can include auto accidents, especially rear-end collisions; physical abuse or assault (including being shaken); and a variety of sports activities. Symptoms usually develop within 24 hours. Although rest is recommended for the first day or two, too much bed rest can worsen the symptoms. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and naproxen and moving the neck as tolerated can help. Other treatment options include ice, hot packs and massage, physical therapy and traction. An MRI may be needed to diagnose damage to disks, nerves and muscle. If the symptoms are severe, prescription medication or specialized pain treatment may be required.
Car accidents can cause serious injuries, even if the vehicles involved are traveling at low speeds. Some of the most common car accident injuries include shattered glass (which can result in severe cuts), back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain.
A car crash can also damage internal organs, resulting in internal bleeding and other medical problems that may not be immediately apparent. A car accident injury doctor can help with these more serious complications, as well as treat the less-severe symptoms.
Some symptoms that might indicate a serious injury after a car accident include head pain or dizziness, neck and shoulder stiffness and pain, and abdominal pain or swelling. If you experience these symptoms after a car accident, it is important to visit a doctor right away. An emergency room doctor is the best option, as they have physicians on call after regular clinic hours. A primary care physician or urgent care doctor can also provide prompt treatment.
Since motorcyclists lack any protective barriers in a crash, their injuries tend to be more severe than car accident victims. They are more likely to suffer broken bones, head and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries and loss of limbs.
Soft tissue injuries, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments, are also common among motorcycle accident victims. They can be minor or serious and require a combination of rest, ice, compression and elevation (known as the RICE method) to reduce swelling. In some cases, physical therapy may be needed to repair and strengthen the injured area.
Road rash, or serious skin abrasions, is also very common among motorcyclists. This injury happens when the rider is thrown off of their bike, causing their skin to come into contact with the road at high speeds. It can lead to bruising, scrapes, open wounds and permanent scarring. Some cases of severe road rash may even require skin grafts.
A brain injury can range from a mild concussion to a life-threatening traumatic brain injury (TBI). A severe head injury often results in loss of consciousness and coma. Symptoms can include memory loss, headaches, slurred speech, vertigo and changes in mood or behavior.
When the head is struck hard, the brain slams against the inside of the skull and causes bruising and shearing of internal lining, tissue and blood vessels. Bruising can happen directly under the impact site called a coup lesion, or more often on the opposite side of the brain known as contrecoup lesions.
The most serious injuries can cause bleeding within the brain itself which is referred to as an intracerebral hemorrhage. A traumatic brain injury can also result in a subarachnoid hemorrhage where there is bleeding between the covering of the brain (arachnoid membrane) and the brain itself. Both can lead to swelling which is a medical emergency because the skull cannot stretch to accommodate the swelling.