A car accident is the last thing anyone needs. Between all of life’s other daily struggles, adding a car accident into the mix just creates more stress and more things to think about. On top of that, car accident injuries can create an added strain on your life, forcing you to take time off work or even making you unable to do certain tasks. One of the biggest questions after a car accident is where to seek treatment for those injuries. Here’s when and why you should consider a chiropractic adjustment after a car accident:
Was the car accident extensive?
Most people will agree to go to the hospital after an extensive car accidents, and rightly so. Any time a head injury is involved, or there is a chance for internal bleeding, getting emergency medical care is important.
But what most people don’t realize after an accident is that even minor car accidents can lead to soft tissue injuries, and if untreated they can lead to chronic arthritic issues. When the vehicle doesn’t absorb the full shock of the crash, the occupants do–so any time your body is jerked in response to a collision, the possibility of injury is there. It’s a misconception that only high-impact collisions cause accidents. In reality, even minor fender benders can lead to injury and more than half of all whiplash injuries occur in crashes where there was little to no damage to the vehicle. The only way to rule out injuries is to seek medical attention.
Are you in pain?
Pain after a car accident is a good indication of an injury. If there’s any chance that severe or life threatening injuries are involved, you should first go to an emergency room to rule those out.
Even if you’re experiencing no pain, it’s still a good idea to see a chiropractor after your car accident. Many car accident injuries don’t cause pain or discomfort until weeks or months later. After that time has passed, and if you still have not sought treatment, you may be forfeiting your right to insurance coverage for your injuries. The best rule of thumb to keep your health and your finances protected is to play it safe and get checked out by a chiropractor within 2 weeks following your car accident.
Have you seen a specialist?
Going to the hospital or your primary care physician is a great way to protect your insurance rights, but it doesn’t mean injuries can’t be overlooked. If the hospital clears you of serious / life threatening injuries, but you’re still experiencing pain, seeing a chiropractor should be your next step. Hospitals are great at identifying serious or life threatening injuries, fractures, broken bones, concussions, and all of the more obvious signs of injury after an accident. But if you leave the hospital with a clean bill of health even though you’re still experiencing pain, it can’t hurt to get a second opinion.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you need to be assessed by a doctor who is familiar with car accident injuries and treats them every day. Car accident injuries can be hidden, not revealing pain or limited mobility until months or even years later. Chiropractors are trained to detect these hidden injuries. They can perform orthopedic and neurological tests to assess soft tissue damage, structural damage, muscle strength, range of motion, joint and nerve function–signs of injury that other medical practitioners (despite their good intentions) may miss.
If any injuries revealed after this assessment, your chiropractor will plan out a care plan, personalized to you and your specific injuries. This care plan may include a schedule of chiropractic adjustments and sometimes deep tissue massages or trigger point therapy. Your chiropractor will use these chiropractic adjustments to restore health to your spine and surrounding muscles and tissue. After a car accident, there may be herniated discs, subluxations, strained tissues and more–a series of adjustments can straighten these issues out so that you’ll return to having full mobility and being free of pain.