Arthritis and car accidents: is there a link?

Arthritis is a well-known medical condition that most of us will probably associate with older age. After all, the main symptoms are joint pain in various different forms, which, with wear and tear over many years of life can become exacerbated. Medical professionals know that your susceptibility to arthritis is genetic – so if it runs in your family, you have more chance of developing symptoms.

Doctors also know while there are around 200 types of arthritis, it’s possible to group sufferers into three broad categories (which also aids with the diagnostic and treatment process) as follows:

  • connective tissue diseases
  • inflammatory arthritis
  • non-inflammatory arthritis

Within those categories there can be a range of different causes for the condition to take hold – from a build-up of uric acid (also called ‘gout’) through to arthritic symptoms triggered by a problem or condition which affects the body’s immune system – such as rheumatoid arthritis.

But what if there was another possible trigger for the condition? One that was in a sense, entirely man-made but not something directly related to the person who develops symptoms?

That theory has now gained credence in the shape of evidence which may suggest that a severe bone or joint trauma suffered in an accident – in the car for example – may actually lead to arthritic symptoms down the line. That’s because the heavy impact suffered in a car accident often leads to more complicated ‘breaks’ in the body’s skeleton – particularly affecting the arms, torso and legs.

Think of it this way, if you’re in a car accident when the car is travelling at even just 20 miles an hour or so and you’re wearing your seat belt, you can still suffer badly broken bones. And accidents don’t always lead to nice clean breaks. The bones can be forced outwards or inwards, damaging the joint and cartilage in the process. With the right medical attention those bones should heal of course. But the fact remains that once such major damage is done, the bones may struggle to heal.

The result of all of this can damage can then resurface as arthritic symptoms in later life. The symptoms can be triggered by wear and tear or repetitive strain on particular joint. And with more pressure on damaged joints, the more brittle they become and less able to repair themselves – leading to further intensification of arthritic symptoms. Not a pleasant outcome for anyone.

That outcome could be in some way alleviated though by the possibility of a successful personal  injury claim. It very much depends on making a firm connection between the original trauma of the accident and the end symptoms down the line. Speak to a reliable personal injury lawyer. They’ll be able to advise you on the likelihood of pursuing a successful claim and how to go about it.

Aside from that, there are other sensible ways to try and reduce arthritic symptoms that are well worth trying out such as taking regular breaks from repetitive jobs, keeping your weight down and making sure you stick to diet high in omega oils 3,6 and 9 which can help to keep joints healthy.