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Common injuries and the role of the physiotherapist in treating motor vehicle accident injuries

Tue Jan 17

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury in Canada and worldwide. While car accidents can result in various serious injuries, certain common injuries are associated with motor vehicle accidents. These include traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, broken bones, lacerations and internal injuries. These injuries can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and result in long-term physical and emotional complications. 

Motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of death and injury in Canada. According to the World Health Organization, more than 2,000 Canadians die yearly, and more than 150,000 are injured in motor vehicle collisions. Moreover, Ontario motor vehicle fatalities stood at a 10-year high in 2022.

Every province and territory in Canada has laws and regulations in place to try to reduce the risk of injury and death due to motor vehicle collisions. These include safety inspections, driver education, and laws governing speed limits, seat belts, and impaired driving.

Common injuries arising out of motor vehicle accidents

Traumatic brain injuries

Often known as TBIs, these collections of some of the most serious injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident. TBIs can range from mild concussions to more serious cases involving bleeding and inflammation in the brain. Symptoms of TBIs include confusion, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, slurred speech, memory loss and difficulty concentrating. In some cases, TBIs can even result in permanent brain damage or death.


Whiplash is another common injury that can occur in motor vehicle accidents. This injury occurs when the head and neck are violently thrown forward and then backwards in an abrupt motion. You can get Whiplash treatment in Alberta where you are suffering from neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision and difficulty concentrating. In severe cases of whiplash, victims may also experience neurological symptoms, such as tingling or numbness in the arms or legs.

Broken bones

Broken bones are another potential injury in a motor vehicle accident. Common fractures that result from car accidents include broken arms, legs, ribs and collarbones. These fractures can cause severe pain and mobility issues that can last for weeks or months depending on the severity of the fracture.


Lacerations are another common injury in car accidents. Lacerations are deep cuts or gashes on the skin caused by broken glass or metal fragments. Lacerations can cause significant bleeding and put a person at risk for infection. Internal injuries are less visible than lacerations or broken bones.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries can occur when organs or tissue are damaged due to a motor vehicle accident. Common internal injuries include internal bleeding, organ damage and punctured lungs. These injuries can impact a person’s quality of life and result in long-term physical and emotional complications. Fortunately, treatments are available to ease pain and speed up recovery.

Role of Physiotherapy in treating motor vehicle accidents

Physiotherapy plays an important role in the successful recovery after car accidents. Physiotherapy helps to build strength and mobility, reduce pain, and improve quality of life. It is often used with other treatments such as medication, surgery, and psychological interventions. Physiotherapy can help restore normal body functions by addressing any musculoskeletal, neurological or psychological issues resulting from the accident. It can also help decrease pain and increase movement, allowing patients to return to normal activities.

Physiotherapists are trained professionals who specialize in treating musculoskeletal injuries. They use various techniques, including exercise programs, stretching, massage and manual therapy to help improve mobility and reduce pain. Physiotherapists can also advise on lifestyle modifications to help reduce the risk of future injuries. 


In conclusion, motor vehicle accidents can lead to various serious injuries including traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, broken bones, lacerations and internal injuries. These injuries can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and require professional treatment to achieve optimal recovery. Physiotherapists are an important part of this treatment process as they are trained to use specialized techniques to reduce pain and improve mobility.
The Port Physiotherapy Clinic has experienced professionals who specialize in helping those who have suffered injuries from motor vehicle accidents. Through a combination of treatments such as manual therapy, individualized exercise programs and modalities, the clinic can help reduce pain, improve range of motion and improve quality of life. The clinic also provides education and advice to help the patient understand their condition and how to manage it.