According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated five to six million car accidents are reported in the United States each year. One of the biggest concerns following a car accident is where to seek care for any injuries sustained. While surgery and prescription medicines are commonly used to treat injuries from car accidents, alternatively, some of these injuries can be treated by a chiropractic doctor. Chiropractors are experts in non-invasive therapy for car accident injuries, such as soft tissue injuries caused by whiplash, that lead to back discomfort.
In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to seek chiropractic care after a car accident, how it can help you feel better, and when you should begin looking for a chiropractor.
The Why: Common Injuries That Occur After Car Accidents
The most common injuries sustained during a car crash are caused by whiplash, which occurs when the head is whipped forward, backward, or side-to-side. This can happen with rear-end, front-end, or side-impact collisions. While whiplash injuries are not life-threatening, they can cause considerable damage to ligaments, tendons, and muscles and destabilize the spine, leading to accelerated aging/degeneration, chronic pain, and future disability. Symptoms of injuries caused by whiplash aren’t always immediate—they can occur hours, days, or even weeks after the accident. Some of the most noticeable whiplash symptoms include:
- Neck pain and/or stiffness.
- Reduced range of motion.
- Shoulder pain.
- Upper back pain.
- Blurred vision.
A few other common injuries that prompt people to seek chiropractic care after a car accident include:
Herniated or bulging discs: Soft, rubbery discs sit between the vertebrae to provide cushioning. The sudden impact from a car accident can force the disc out of its normal position, displacing or rupturing it, which causes the soft substance in the middle to be released. The disc can then press against nerves or even the spinal cord, causing a person to experience electric radiating pain and limited mobility.
Nerve, muscle, and/or ligament pain: Unlike fractures and lacerations that can be noticed immediately, damage to the muscles, nerves, and ligaments in your back can show up much later (like whiplash symptoms). This damage can cause varying levels of pain that gradually worsen if left untreated, and it commonly leads to disability years after the collision occurred.
The How: Treating the Injury with Chiropractic BioPhysics® Care
The most common injuries sustained in car crashes are structural and biomechanical pathologies; in other words, the most common type of injury sustained in a car crash is a change to the shape and/or alignment of the spine and how the spine moves and absorbs versus how it distributes force as you move around and live your life. The best-trained doctors to identify and treat these injuries are Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) doctors, as the spine is their area of focus.
If you’ve never visited a chiropractor before, you may not be sure what to expect as far as treatment goes. Determining the course of treatment begins with a comprehensive injury assessment, which may include X-rays and orthopedic/neurological examinations.
At PostureWorks, this examination also includes biometric readings to get a clear snapshot of any spinal injuries sustained and what your optimal spinal alignment should be following treatment. This thorough understanding of your injuries and health goals allows your chiropractor to create a customized treatment plan for your recovery, gently adjusting for immediate pain relief and injury correction, postural exercises for increased muscle strength and endurance, and more. This holistic and non-invasive approach to treating car accident injuries allows your body its best chance at healing itself. Chiropractic treatment can alleviate pain due to nerve tension, reduce inflammation, restore range of motion, and increase blood flow throughout the body to promote even better healing and long-term relief.
The When: Immediately Seeking Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident
It’s important to seek treatment as early as possible after a car accident. Getting evaluated and putting a treatment plan into motion as soon as possible will help you get on track with recovery sooner rather than later. Even if you are in an accident that seems minor, injuries from car accidents can show up days or even weeks after the fact, as mentioned above. The following are two major reasons to seek treatment immediately:
Preventing minor injuries from worsening: Because the extent of certain injuries from car accidents can take a while to become noticeable, a minor, easily treatable injury could escalate into something far more serious. Visiting a chiropractor as early as possible will allow them to assess the injuries and treat them before your condition worsens.
Receiving insurance coverage: Insurance companies may argue that your injuries are unrelated to the crash if you wait too long to seek medical care. Having a chiropractor assess and document your injuries sooner rather than later can help guarantee you receive the insurance coverage you’re entitled to.
Getting the right chiropractic care after a car accident is just as crucial as seeking treatment as soon as possible. Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. It allows the doctors at our practice to effectively understand the extent of any injuries you may have sustained so that we can get you on the road to recovery.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function while eliminating the source of pain and circulatory and nervous dysfunction. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of chiropractic care after a car accident or to schedule your appointment.