Motorcycle accidents are a lot different from automobile accidents. Specifically is how much the riders are exposed and unprotected during the collision impact compared to individuals in a motor vehicle. A recommendation that comes from attorneys, doctors, and chiropractors is for all motorcyclists to learn about common causes of accidents to help prevent and reduce the level of risk. When on a motorcycle, there is nothing between the individual and the impact to protect the body from injury. If something hits the motorcycle, the individual is going to get hit or hit something. The strength and stamina that it takes to ride a motorcycle, takes a definite toll on the body. It’s very common for the spine to get out of alignment and sustain soft tissue damage from regular riding. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can help bring pain relief and rehabilitate the body’s musculoskeletal system from regular riding or after a motorcycle accident.
Accidents and crashes that involve motorcycles and other vehicles account for over half of motorcycle accident deaths. In a majority of these accidents, the vehicle hits the motorcycle from the front more than 70% of the time. Automobiles hit motorcycles from behind only 5% of the time.
Vehicles Making Left-Hand Turns
When an automobile is making a left-hand turn is one of the most dangerous situations for motorcyclists. These collisions account for almost half of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car. The turning car usually hits the motorcycle when the motorcycle:
- Goes straight through an intersection
- Is passing the automobile
- Trying to overtake the automobile
These types of accidents are common with cars and trucks as well. However, the motorcycle’s smaller size makes it even less visible to turning vehicles.
Motorcycles that pass cars within the same lane are at an increased risk of getting hit. Car and truck drivers don’t expect the motorcyclist to pass and are often taken by surprise. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars, typically during high traffic time. It is a common cause of motorcycle accidents because:
- The close proximity of the automobiles to the motorcycle
- Reduced space that the motorcyclist has to maneuver around the other vehicles
- Most drivers don’t see or anticipate a motorcycle passing them in slowed or stopped traffic
Motorcyclists are at an increased risk from road hazards. Because of the smaller size and unstable nature of the motorcycle:
- Slick road conditions
- Uneven height between lanes
- Other unexpected objects in the road pose a serious threat.
The pelvis has three major joints:
- The pubic joint on the front of the body
- Two sacroiliac joints on each side of the back, that connect the pelvis to the spine.
It also connects to different muscles, including the hip and pelvic floor. When the body falls on the hip or sustains various forms of crash-related impact, the hip or pelvis can get shifted out of place. This type of misalignment is a leading cause of back pain and can be agonizing. It can keep an individual off the road, and unable to work. A chiropractor can adjust any pelvic misalignment using manipulative therapy. Physical therapy rehabilitation and home exercises/stretches will also be recommended.
This is a type of neck injury that happens from a forceful, back-and-forth motion, during the impact of a crash, or with a sudden stop. It is a soft tissue injury where the tendons and muscles of the neck are stretched and/or torn. Common symptoms include:
- Limited range of motion
A chiropractor can help with gentle adjustments to realign the neck, and muscle stretching to loosen the tense muscles.
Other Neck Injuries
Other injuries can include misalignment or fractures of the vertebrae in the neck from a different impact like a side hit. Chiropractic can help an individual recover from these types of injuries and restoring the range of motion. Gentle chiropractic manipulative, mobilization treatment, and intersegmental traction can help realign the neck.
The spine and its muscles are highly prone to injury. Common injuries include:
- Herniated/slipped discs
- Spinal misalignment
- Soft tissue injuries
A chiropractor can rehabilitate musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries through therapeutic massage.
Injuries to the legs and feet are common in motorcycle accidents. Common injuries include:
- Road rash
Biker’s arm also known as rider’s arm, is specific to motorcyclists and sometimes bicyclists. It happens when a motorcyclist instinctively pulls in their arm/hand in front of them to try and lessen the impact when falling. This can lead to shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand injuries. The bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves can suffer damage and can be severe.
Treatment of these injuries can range from a soft collar, chiropractic, anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, nerve blocks, and physical therapy. Surgery could be necessary and combined with the aforementioned treatments. Motorcycle riders can increase their safety by being aware of the common causes of accidents, staying alert, and taking steps to reduce and avoid the risk.
Body Composition Overall Health
Phase Angle Inflammation Injury Tracking
Phase angle determines the status of an individual’s overall health. If an individual gets hurt and has a low phase angle then their ability to heal can be delayed. The extracellular water and water mass of the body are measured to assess how swollen an individual is after an accident. The individual is reassessed every two weeks to show water loss or inflammation loss. Body composition is important for understanding an individual’s fluid status and physiological makeup. This is used for guiding and developing treatments aimed at improving status, and decreasing the length of staying at a hospital. InBody is non-invasive and convenient, making it the ideal tool for patient assessments. In less than 60 seconds, the InBody test provides easy-to-understand, accurate, and objective measurements to evaluate a patient’s health and monitor progress throughout their treatment. Doctors use InBody to:
- Identify fluid imbalances related to medical conditions, trauma, and/or organ failure
- Track fluid overload
- Monitor variables for muscle loss and cachexia
- Assess malnutrition risks
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us 915-850-0900.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP, CIFM, CTG*
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico
Cherta Ballester, Oscar et al. “Analysis of trunk impact conditions in motorcycle road accidents based on epidemiological, accidentological data and multibody simulations.” Accident; analysis and prevention vol. 127 (2019): 223-230. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2019.03.006
Halbersberg, Dan, and Boaz Lerner. “Young driver fatal motorcycle accident analysis by jointly maximizing accuracy and information.” Accident; analysis and prevention vol. 129 (2019): 350-361. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2019.04.016
Spinal cord injury: Causes. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-cord-injury/basics/causes/con-20023837. Published October 8, 2014. Accessed August 30, 2017.