Motor Vehicle Collision

It is common to have multiple bruises and sore muscles after a motor vehicle collision (MVC). These tend to feel worse for the first 24 hours. You may have the most stiffness and soreness over the first several hours. You may also feel worse when you wake up the first morning after your collision. After this point, you will usually begin to improve with each day. The speed of improvement often depends on the severity of the collision, the number of injuries, and the location and nature of these injuries.


  • Put ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15-20 minutes, 03-04 times a day.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow. Do not drink alcohol.

  • Take a warm shower or bath once or twice a day. This will increase blood flow to sore muscles.

  • You may return to activities as directed by your caregiver. Be careful when lifting, as this may aggravate neck or back pain.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver. Do not use aspirin. This may increase bruising and bleeding.


  • You have numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs.

  • You develop severe headaches not relieved with medicine.

  • You have severe neck pain, especially tenderness in the middle of the back of your neck.

  • You have changes in bowel or bladder control.

  • There is increasing pain in any area of the body.

  • You have shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You feel sick to your stomach (nauseous), throw up (vomit), or sweat.

  • You have increasing abdominal discomfort.

  • There is blood in your urine, stool, or vomit.

  • You have pain in your shoulder (shoulder strap areas).

  • You feel your symptoms are getting worse.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.