With many car accidents, the injuries are obvious and dramatic such as broken bones, lacerations, and concussions. Injuries of these types require immediate emergency care.
Most car accidents are less severe, however, and injuries are not always immediately apparent. Symptoms of whiplash, for example, can develop over the first hours and days following a collision.
Symptoms that may take time to develop include: neck pain, back pain, headache, jaw pain, pain between shoulders, reduced range of motion in neck or back, sore wrist, ankle, or knee, numbness or tingling in arms, hands, legs, or feet, full-feeling in ears, difficulty sleeping, or decreased memory.
During and immediately after the accident, the body releases adrenalin, a hormone that is involved in the fight or flight response. As the adrenaline wears off, pain will start to be felt.
The body starts to begin the healing process by increasing inflammation and spasm of the affected areas, thereby initiating painful sensations.
Here are 5 reasons to start chiropractic care right after a car accident:
1. You Want Your Spine to Heal in Proper Alignment
We are very skilled at working with patients suffering from whiplash.
People may think whiplash is just about neck and shoulder pain, but other symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, hearing and vision changes may also be present. We do a thorough examination and specific x-rays to diagnose whiplash.
You may ask, “Won’t I just get better without doing anything at all?” Your spine will heal after an accident even if you seek no help. A broken arm will heal without a cast too. It will just heal in a crooked, deformed position which will affect its function. It’s the same with the spine. The spine will heal in a crooked, misaligned position, leading to future chronic pain and possible arthritis in the spinal joints affected. That leads to decreased function of the spine, which we want to avoid.
Getting in to see us right away after a car accident restores proper alignment and motion and gives you a much better chance of full recovery.
2. Drug-Free, Surgery-Free Symptom Relief
Chiropractic care is recognized as the leading healthcare discipline for those looking for drug-free, surgery-free solutions to their pain.
Beginning chiropractic care right after a car accident decreases the chance that you will take addictive pain drugs which temporarily mask the pain and do not correct the problem anyway.
With the devastating opioid addiction crisis our country faces, we are wise to consider alternatives for ourselves and our families.
Delay in starting care soon after a car accident may eventually lead to chronic spinal degeneration for which surgery may be the only option.
3. Restores Range of Motion & Flexibility to the Spine
We identify the parts of your spine that are not moving as they should be. Adjustments restore the motion.
A flexible spine is a strong spine. A rigid spine is a weak spine. Think of a palm tree in a hurricane. The flexible trunk gives the tree a good chance of surviving hurricane force winds.
After a car accident, the spine may feel rigid due to inflammation and muscle spasm. If a second car accident occurs while in a rigid state, the chance for more serious injury increases.
Chiropractic adjustments restore flexibility to the spine. Scar tissue can also form on the injured muscles causing a person to feel stiff. Adjustments and soft tissue techniques provide help to avoid scar tissue formation.
4. Decreases Inflammation
Acute inflammation right after an injury is the body’s way of starting the healing process and stabilizing the area.
However, when inflammation becomes chronic, damage to the joints and tissues can occur, increasing the time it takes to heal.
Corrective chiropractic care relieves tension and stress from the spine, thereby decreasing inflammation.
We also teach patients what to do at home between adjustments to continue improving range of motion and decreasing inflammation.
5. Documents Your Injuries For a Successful Insurance Claim
When you’re in a car accident, it is important to document all symptoms that you feel immediately and those that develop over the next few days and weeks.
At our office, we collect the needed documentation which includes the details of the accident, symptoms before, during, and after the accident, x-rays, and functional assessments at intervals to monitor progress.
Having the proper documentation of injuries is required when dealing with insurance companies and lawyers.
Many people involved in car accidents walk away without any obvious injury. Even though they may not look or feel injured initially, the forces of the impact on the spine need to be evaluated, the sooner the better. Left untreated, chronic inflammation and degeneration/arthritis is more likely to occur.
Corrective chiropractic is a drug-free, surgery-free, non-invasive method to restore normal spinal range of motion, decrease inflammation, and improve function after car accidents.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident? If so, click button below to schedule an appointment in our Moorhead, MN office.