Knee and ankle injuries are common in head-on collisions or auto crashes in which the frontend of the car is severely damaged. Both knee and ankle injuries can lead to lengthy treatment in order to regain mobility and avoid eventual arthritis.
Severe auto crashes can cause a substantial amount of damage to a vehicle, and injuries to the lower half of the body can be life altering. Injuries to the lower half that can occur during an auto crash are typically sprains and broken bones, which are both very painful injuries to endure. Unfortunately, ankle and knee injuries are fairly common in major auto crashes. Although treatment for these injuries and conditions can vary, these injuries can lead to long-term ankle and knee instability.
A head-on collision can cause severe damage to the legs of both the driver and the passenger in the front seat. In a head-on collision, the front end of a car is pushed in significantly, which causes the passenger space in the car to reduce instantly. As a result, the knees, ankles, and feet can be crushed or severely sprained. Many muscles and ligaments that support the ankles and knees are highly susceptible to injury when the feet and legs are caught under the weight of the frontend. Although seemingly uncommon, people who place their feet on the dashboard from a laying-back position in the front seat are at the highest risk of injuring their feet, legs, and hips. Even in a minor fender bender, when a person's feet and legs are resting on the dashboard, the body will slide under the seat belt, which will cause substantial strain on the leg muscles and cause a phenomenal amount of pressure to the hips and lower back.
Most people are unaware that a chiropractor can treat conditions away from the spine, but a good chiropractor can be helpful in treating many other areas of the body. The bones in the ankles and knees typically move from their normal alignment during an auto crash because of their awkward positioning or impact with the car. In many situations, the bones in the back and hips can also shift and cause a pinched nerve, which can create shooting pains from the buttocks to the feet. This is where a chiropractor can help. A chiropractic adjustment can be very effective when treating ankle and knee injuries that originate from the spine based on their understanding and education of the bone, nerve, and muscle structures in the body.
When a patient is suffering from ankle and knee pain, a chiropractor will typically want to closely examine x-rays or MRI scans and perform a physical examination to make a proper assessment. Measuring the pain is actually one of most difficult things to do for doctors because it's about communication, and establishing a dialogue about pain between the patient and doctor can be challenging based on the amount of information to obtain in a short amount of time.
Doctors will assess the pain and determine if it is intermittent or constant, what type of pain is occurring (e.g., stabbing, burning, etc.), what triggers pain, when pain is more likely to occur during the day, and how much pain the patient is in on a scale of 0-10. After establishing a dialogue of the patient's situation and understanding the extent of the pain, doctors will inquire about previous treatments and any medications being taken.
Some doctors may ask the patient to keep a journal of the pain that demonstrates the level of pain that occurs. This will help them better understand the patterns of the condition. A good assessment will help doctors understand what type of treatment will best suit the patient and help relieve the amount of stress they have.
Don't let knee, ankle, and foot pain prevent you from participating in life! Depending on your condition, a chiropractor can help. Schedule your free exam today.