You don’t need to experience a broadside collision to know it can be the worst type of car accident.
However, if you’ve had the misfortune of being involved in a T-bone car accident, you feel the effects of the side impact, one way or another.
T-bone car accident injuries can be tricky and you may not even notice your symptoms, but take note.
In this article, we highlight some of the most common symptoms of T-bone car accident injuries and the best treatments to put you on the path to a favorable recovery.
Table of Contents
- What Happens to Your Body When You Get T-Boned?
- Common T-Bone Car Accident Injuries
- Seeking Treatment and Pain Management After a T-Bone Car Accident Injury
- Cascade Spine and Injury Center: An Investigative Approach To Helping Victims of T-Bone Car Accident Injuries Find Relief
What Happens to Your Body When You Get T-Boned?
As with any car accident, the nature and severity of the impact will determine what happens to your body if you’ve been T-boned.
Studies show blunt, sharp force or penetrating trauma as the leading sources of serious injury in addition to the sudden deceleration that occurs in a car accident.
The injuries you may suffer if you get T-boned in a car accident can depend on a variety of factors that can affect the mechanism of injury (MOI), or how the kinetic energy from the collision is transferred to the body.
Most commonly, factors like the speed of the collision, where in the vehicle you were sitting, the vector or area of the car that was impacted, and the sequence of impact will affect the type and severity of your injuries.
The Sequence of Impact
Motor vehicle collisions can be broken down into three stages or sequences of impact:
- The car comes into contact with another object, violently jolting passengers forward.
- The impacted vehicles come to an abrupt stop, causing passengers to hit another object, for example, the windshield, airbag, or steering wheel.
- The internal structure of the passenger’s body experiences the third impact when it collides with other tissues, organs, and bones.
Understanding this violent energy transfer sequence is integral in assessing the trauma and injuries from a T-bone car accident.
Dr. McClaren applies his expertise in impact sequence and biomechanics to create a comprehensive trauma assessment treatment plan to deliver superior outcomes.
Don’t spend another moment in pain, book your appointment today.
Common T-Bone Car Accident Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle collisions in 2020 accounted for over 2 million injuries and nearly 41,000 deaths in the United States.
Elusive symptoms can make it hard to gauge whether you have sustained an injury right away.
Unfortunately, many patients feel delayed pain or may mistake the symptoms for something else.
It’s common for a car accident victim to think, for example, that a headache is from stress from the accident when it’s really a symptom of a cervical spinal injury.
Other delayed symptoms of T-bone car accident injuries can include:
- Belly pain, tenderness, swelling, or bruising
- Inability to lift light items
- Pain or pinching sensations
- Tingling or numbness in the arms, hands, or fingers that doesn’t subside
- Decreased hearing or vision
- Developing feelings of stress, anxiety, or inexplicable panic
If you experience any of these symptoms even several days after you’ve been T-boned, it’s imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Neck and Back Injuries
The most common neck and back pain resulting from a T-bone car accident is caused by the force of impact creating a whipping motion called whiplash.
Side whiplash from a T-bone car accident can be severe due to the lack of lateral mobility of the spine and neck.
Whiplash can cause soft tissue damage that is often associated with other post-accident symptoms. Whiplash-associated disorders can continue for many years after an accident, so immediate treatment is recommended.
In addition to whiplash, these are other common back and neck injuries after a T-bone car accident:
- Spinal cord fractures can include torn ligaments and soft tissue that connects your neck vertebrae or injures your muscles.
- Spinal cord compression occurs when the collision causes the spinal cord to become squeezed.
- Disc herniation occurs when the intervertebral discs in your cervical spine slip, rupture, or bulge during the collision and create compression on the spinal nerves.
- Thoracic spine injuries occur from the middle to the upper back and can be especially sensitive due to the narrower vertebrae in the thoracic section than in the lower lumbar or cervical sections.
- Facet joint injuries involve the inflammation or irritation of the facet joints in your neck that stabilize your head and neck movement.
Recovery times can vary depending on the type and severity of your injury.
The driver being T-boned in a car accident can often experience shoulder injuries after the impact forces the steering wheel out of their hands.
The force can damage cartilage and ligaments in the shoulder, especially if the driver braced the steering wheel upon impact or attempted to take corrective action.
In this instance, the rotator cuff, a collection of muscles and tendons that keep your arm bone in the shoulder socket, may be torn.
Rotator cuff tears don’t generally heal on their own and often require surgery. However, in milder cases, limited mobility can be regained through physical therapy.
Physical therapy is often required following rotator cuff or shoulder surgery to regain mobility and strength.
A T-bone car accident can do damage to the hips from impact with either the center console or the vehicle door.
Hip injuries can range from light to severe injuries requiring advanced medical procedures and sometimes surgery.
Possible hip injuries from a T-bone car accident can include:
- Hip fracture – Fracture of the upper femur or femoral head, the “ball” portion of the “ball-and-socket” hip joint.
- Acetabular fracture – Fracture of the socket portion of the hip.
- Hip dislocation – The ball joint of the hip comes out of its socket.
- Hip sprain – The ligaments around the hip stretch or tear.
- Hip tendonitis – The tendon in the hip becomes irritated or inflamed.
Muscle and Ligament Injuries
T-bone car accidents often lead to stiff muscles and ligaments and It may hurt to move or stay in the same position for a long time.
Spasms are another common injury. You may experience twinges and spasms in your shoulders, back, legs, chest, and arms.
In most cases, cramps occur because your muscles were strained from the force of impact resulting in swelling and inflammation, affecting the nerves around the muscle.
Seeking Treatment and Pain Management After a T-Bone Car Accident Injury
If you have an injury from being T-boned in a car accident it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.
Serious injuries should be treated as soon as possible to optimize the healing process and manage pain.
When a patient gets early treatment after an accident, they can have better outcomes than those who wait.
Cascade Spine & Injury Center in Portland provides specialized car accident chiropractic treatment. We utilize the most advanced chiropractic care techniques and equipment, skilled acupuncture and massage therapy, and rehabilitation services to help you recover and regain strength after your auto injury.
Chiropractic care can help reduce your pain and discomfort from T-bone car accident injuries including back, neck, shoulders, hip, muscle, and ligament injuries.
Chiropractors work on the nerves, muscles, and joints that are the most affected while increasing your flexibility, range of motion, and joint strength and prevent further damage.
Advanced chiropractic care techniques often include:
- Diversified technique – A combination of the best techniques from other methods of manipulation and adjustment of the spinal column and/or arms and legs. Often done with a low amplitude thrust to adjust the spine and correct joint dysfunction, it continues to be an effective treatment for many patients.
- Drop table adjustment – A gentle technique used to correct spinal misalignment and promote natural healing. It can be customized to increase comfort, improve posture, and relieve chronic pain.
- Motion palpation or motion analysis – Used to investigate spinal injury. The areas surrounding the joint are examined while moving the spine into different angles to help pinpoint anomalies and determine the direction and force needed to correct the issue.
- Instrument adjusting – Uses a handheld tool to deliver a gentle and targeted adjustment to various parts of the body.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) method that has evolved over thousands of years and is now widely practiced throughout the world.
In acupuncture, the body is viewed as a series of meridians, energies, and systems. Very thin needles are inserted into the skin at specific places on your body based on the ailing area. Once inserted, the needles work to improve the flow of chi, or life energy, through the body’s various channels.
The needles are thin and inserted expertly to avoid discomfort. Many people report not feeling the needles at all, and some even fall asleep during treatment.
Acupuncture treatment is primarily used to reduce pain, release tight muscles, and speed up the body’s natural healing process after a T-bone car accident injury.
Acupuncture sessions typically last 30 minutes and the number of acupuncture sessions you will need can vary depending on your injury’s severity and your treatment goals.
Massage therapy involves using varying degrees of pressure to manipulate the soft tissues in your body, including:
- Connective tissue; and
Massage therapy is often used as a part of an integrative treatment plan to help alleviate pain and promote circulation from common injuries from T-bone car accidents.
A recent Harvard study found that mice with injured leg muscles who received massage therapy recovered stronger and faster than those with untreated muscles. This is likely because the compression of the massage squeezed inflammation-causing cells out of the muscle tissue.
Rehabilitative Exercise and Therapy
After a T-bone car accident injury, muscles, tendons, and ligaments can become weak, shortened, and inflexible.
Studies show that physical therapy and rehabilitative exercises can effectively reduce the pain from whiplash.
Targeted rehabilitative and therapeutic exercises can reverse these effects and help restore strength, flexibility, endurance, and coordination, to help prevent re-injury.
Cascade Spine and Injury Center: An Investigative Approach To Helping Victims of T-Bone Car Accident Injuries Find Relief
When it comes to T-bone car accident injuries, scans and X-rays won’t tell the whole story.
A comprehensive investigative assessment requires considering all the factors of your accident, from the sequence of impact to your mechanism of injury.
Don’t leave your recovery to a cookie-cutter treatment plan.
There’s a reason Cascade Spine & Injury Center is Portland’s most trusted car accident chiropractor.
As a specialized chiropractic care physician, Dr. McClaren provides expert treatment for all types of auto injuries. He has dedicated his career to helping patients with traumatic injuries, earning credentials in:
- Interpreting MRI spinal scans
- Accident reconstruction
- Electrodiagnostics; and
At Cascade Spine & Injury Center, we offer more than just superior chiropractic care to help you recover from your auto injury and prevent further damage.
We also specialize in acupuncture, massage therapy, and rehabilitation services to help restore your range of motion and encourage the healing process.
Call us to schedule an appointment and start your journey to treatment now.
The content in this blog should not be used in place of direct medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes.