Back and Spinal Injuries
Serious car accidents can often cause back pain and spinal injuries. The force from these accidents is enough to harm the spine and shatter bones. As a result, herniated discs, bulging discs and subluxation can result.
A chiropractor will first perform a thorough exam of the back and spine, which may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or x-rays. Once any fractures are ruled out, the chiropractor can then adjust, ice, or massage the area to treat the problems and reduce pain.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Car accidents can also cause severe damage to the soft tissue in the back. When the ligaments are stretched or torn, a sprain can result. Likewise, soft tissue injuries can also occur as strains when muscles or tendons are stretched or torn. Both can cause extreme pain that can manifest itself immediately or several weeks after the accident. You may also be suffering from a contusion if you sustained a blow to your muscles, tendons, or ligaments during your accident.
The chiropractor will examine the patient for any soft tissue injuries. They will then recommend any adjustments and massage to heal the tissue properly.
Numbness, Dizziness and Weakness
When the force of the accident jars the neck or spine, it may affect the network of nerves that travel from these areas. This can result in feelings of numbness, dizziness or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. A chiropractor can realign the neck or spine after an accident, improving the flow of blood to these areas and healing the nerves.
The human body wasn’t meant to sustain even small amounts of force than can occur in a fender-bender. You should always contact a chiropractor after any accident to check for any whiplash, neck injuries, back or spinal injuries or soft tissue damage that may have occurred.
Treating Whiplash from an Accident
Do you have a whiplash injury?
During the winter, motor vehicle accidents are more frequent due to winter weather conditions. Even a minor fender-bender may still cause a whiplash injury. Whiplash is a term used to describe the forceful extension and then flexion of the neck. When the neck is initially forced into extension, this causes a stretching of the flexor muscles including the SCM and scalenes in the front of the neck, as well as a jamming of the facet joints at the back of the spine. When the head forcefully moves into flexion it causes a stretching and tearing of the extensors muscles, including the cervical extensors, traps, and sub occipital muscles.
Signs of whiplash injury
It is not uncommon to feel little to no discomfort immediately following an accident, as the body will release natural pain killers in the form of endorphins, as well as the heightened adrenaline in the body. Once this wears off and the inflammation begins to set in, pain and restricted motion begins. In many cases, even minor accidents can cause symptoms of whiplash, which can show up as late as 2-6 weeks post injury. The reason this can happen is because, even in a minor accident, there is still a stretching and tearing of tissue, so the body’s response is to lay calcium or scar tissue down in the area. After weeks of scar tissue deposition, this may lead to further symptoms, such as headaches, jaw pain, trigger points, and restricted range of motion.
How Do I Know I Have Whiplash?
The symptoms of whiplash are very noticeable once they set in. It causes muscle spasms in the front and back of the neck, as well as the shoulder area. It becomes difficult to rotate the neck and head. You may suffer from tightness of the jaw, neck swelling, and tenderness along the back and shoulder area. Those suffering from a particularly severe case of whiplash may notice some obstruction in their vision, ringing in the ears, and other signs of nerve disturbance.
What Can I Do To Cure Whiplash?
The type of treatment really depends on the injury. Each unique injury typically requires a specialized approach to healing. One of the most productive ways to assist in curing whiplash is a visit to the chiropractor. We will assess the injury and develop a treatment plan for your specific injury. That may include cervical spine adjustments, soft tissue mobilization, and electrotherapy. We may also focus on relaxing the neck by gently massaging and stretching the neck muscles to relieve tightness.
Treatment for Whiplash
It is important after any type of whiplash injury to seek out your doctor to assess the level of damage and develop a treatment plan which will not only relieve your temporary symptoms, but also prevent further damage down the road. At Mountain View Pain Center, we see many injuries that are due to improperly treated whiplash injuries. Our doctors most commonly see injuries to the cervical intervertebral discs. After an accident, the neck becomes very stiff as a self-protective mechanism to prevent further damage. The problem with this is if motion is not properly restored, the cervical spine no longer functions with optimal range of motion. This will speed up the degenerative process of the spine and begin to wear down the disc spaces at a rapid rate. A disc injury in the neck can lead to very intense pain in the neck, shoulder, and arm. In many cases with a cervical disc injury, a patient may only feel symptoms in the arm, such as numbness, radiating pain, weakness, or tingling. In the event a disc injury does occur, a chiropractor can still treat it with very positive results; however, the natural treatment process of the disc is 90 days, which can lead to a lengthy treatment plan.
This is why our chiropractors recommend seeking out professional help after the injury to properly assess the damage. If quickly and promptly addressed, the treatment times are much shorter and you can avoid future issues. If you have suffered a whiplash type injury, feel free to contact us and one of our whiplash specialists to see if this treatment is right for you.
Have you ever suffered from whiplash? Some people do not realize that the neck pain they endure after an injury is often a case of whiplash. Whiplash is a term used to describe intense neck pain after some type of accident, from car accidents to sports injuries. It causes damage to ligaments, tendons, and the neck muscles. Whiplash occurs when the neck area suffers an abnormal force that causes the neck to move beyond its normal range. Often, it will take a few days, up to a week, for the neck pain to occur after suffering from whiplash.
- Spinal Manipulations For Whiplash – Chiropractors use cervical spinal manipulations to restore or enhance the function of joints in the neck muscles. These manipulations often reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and assist in the overall healing of whiplash. They also can restore function to the neck and shoulder areas and improve motion to the areas that are affected by the injury. The type of manipulation varies from patient to patient and depends on the type of injury. The cervical spinal adjustment is among one of the oldest and most utilized chiropractic techniques. An adjustment is a practice in which we apply manipulation to the vertebrae to reduce the pain and increase motion.
- Soft Tissue Work – Soft tissue mobilization is another common technique used to lessen the affects of whiplash. This technique is a type of manual therapy that stretches the soft tissues of the neck, such as ligaments and tendons, in order to relieve pain and restore proper range of motion. Some of the common types of soft tissue mobilizations techniques include manual techniques that apply firm pressure to relax and stretch the muscles. Massage is another technique which uses broad-handed motions to reduce joint stiffness and improve overall neck function. We at Mountain View Pain Center may also use stretching, neck-strengthening exercises, and therapeutic taping techniques to heal whiplash.
- Electrotherapy – Electrotherapy is another effective and drug-free rehabilitation technique used to treat whiplash. Despite its imposing name, electrotherapy is actually a very comforting and useful type of therapy. This therapy aims to increase circulation, relax contracted muscles, and releases endorphins. Applying electric stimulation to certain points on the neck and shoulder area can provide muscle pain relief and accelerate tissue repair. Electrotherapy is administered by small battery units the size of a deck of cards. They are worn by the patient and are very discreet and comfortable. The device delivers a very mild electrical current to the nerves in the affected area. Electrotherapy works because the electrical signals that are delivered to the injured area are stronger that the pain signals produced by the body, thus blocking the pain signals from reaching the brain.
It is very important to treat whiplash as soon as possible. While you may not feel the pain immediately, the pain will surface. It is imperative to schedule an appointment with Mountain View Pain Center as quickly as you can after the accident. We can provide you with your own personalized treatment plan and ensure that the pain stemming from whiplash is alleviated. By utilizing the above techniques, we will make you feel like your old self again. Please feel free to contact us.
How We Can Help With Car Accident Injuries
If you have recently been in a car accident, it is important to act quickly. While you may feel perfectly fine right now, chances are you have some injuries and will start feeling the pain in a few days. We recommend making an appointment with your chiropractor or other medical professional to determine what type of injuries you may have sustained. They will use a series of tests to figure out what injuries you have and decide on the right treatment options. Injuries range from whiplash to back pain, and many symptoms of these can take weeks to manifest. That is why we recommend you seek out someone right away to prevent from further issues down the road, and to address what you may be currently experiencing.
Common Car Accident Injuries
You may sustain a wide range of injuries after a car accident. The types of injuries that occur often depend on the severity of the crash, but even a minor fender-bender has the potential to cause injuries. Remember that they might not show up right away, so you need to go to the doctor or emergency room to get x-rays and make sure you didn’t have internal injuries. Some common injuries following a car accident include upper and lower back injuries, damage to your skeletal system, whiplash, fractures and neck or spine injuries.
Reasons to See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident
There are many reasons you should see a chiropractor after you have been in a car accident: to reduce pain, improve mobility, restore proper joint function, and prevent further damage. The first reason is to reduce the pain you’re experiencing. You are not only reducing current pain, but also reducing how much pain you will experience in the future, since some injuries take several hours or even days before you feel the extent of them. Shock after even a small collision is common, which is why it can sometimes take your body a little time to show signs of injury. Since your body was jerking around, you want to get some pain relief, which chiropractic care offers you.
It also helps improve your mobility after you have been in a car accident. Aside from the soreness, you may have problems using your limbs and moving in the same way you once did. Regular chiropractic sessions solve this issue quickly. Suddenly, you are feeling much better, more mobile, and able to move and stretch. Additionally, chiropractic care helps you to prevent further damage. If you get an injury from a car accident and it is left untreated, this can lead to more complications down the road. For example, neck or spine injury can lead to a more severe whiplash injury if you don’t get proper treatment for it.
See Your Chiropractor Immediately A Car Accident
Because of the fact that some injuries don’t show themselves right away, it is very important you don’t wait before calling your chiropractor. Don’t wait until you feel pain or discomfort to call. Also, keep in mind the severity of the crash doesn’t necessarily define the severity of your injuries. Even if your car doesn’t have a scratch on it, you can still have back or neck injuries.
After calling your chiropractor, they will first perform an evaluation. This includes asking you questions about your accident and any pain you are currently experiencing. Your chiropractor will want to know details about your accident, such at what happened, what side you were hit, and how fast you and the other driver were presumably going. During the examination, your doctor may see the need for x-rays to determine if there is any underlying issues. Most chiropractors have onsite x-rays and should be able to take them and discuss them with you on the first visit.
When it comes to the treatment section of your visit, there are a few possibilities. This will depend on your history with chiropractic care, your injuries, and their locations. Treatment possibilities include:
- Mobilization – Low velocity manipulation to improve the movement in your joints and muscles.
- Manipulation – A term used for re-aligning your spine; also known as spinal adjustment.
- Motion Palpitation – Identifying your joints to see how rigid they are and examining their motion capabilities.
- Physical Therapy– In an auto accident it is very common to receive muscular injuries as well as skeletal, that is why it is important to seek out a chiropractor that offers both services.
As you can see, there are many possibilities and benefits to getting chiropractic care after a car accident. It will help you reduce your pain, improve mobility, and keep you from having more severe complications in the future.
Typical Injuries We See After an Accident
Car accident related injuries can often develop into other injuries down the road. Even “fender-benders” can cause hidden injuries that can develop into pain, headaches, and arthritis. Studies show that impact as slow as 5 mph can cause whiplash, which can have damaging long term effects on your spine.
Most doctors will give pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs to hide these injuries. Our approach to car accident related injuries is to use specific chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy to help return your spinal function. After a thorough case history and examination, the doctor will recommend any necessary care to help restore proper motion and position of spinal bones. If caught early enough, we can reduce inflammation and often minimize scar tissue that leaves muscles weaker, less elastic, and prone to re-injury.
It is important have a Doctor of Chiropractic examine your spine immediately. Mountain View Pain Center works with most auto accident insurances and with personal injury attorneys.
The physical and psychological damage of car accident related injuries affects many activities you may do on a daily basis. Chiropractic techniques and skills are proven to relieve the associated neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, mid back pain, numbness/tingling, low back pain, and other destructive effects of a whiplash injury. Chiropractic and physical therapy can help:
- Reduce pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, and scar tissue
- Speed healing and recovery
- Increase range of motion, flexibility, and strength
- Strengthen and enhance muscle function and tone
- Restore proper spinal movement
- Improve your overall quality of life
Seemingly minor, low-impact forces can result in severe chronic injuries. These injuries often times do not appear immediately. Symptoms of neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain can take days or even weeks after an auto accident before a victim notices.
Seeing your Doctor of Chiropractic for an exam, even if the accident was minor, can have a huge impact on your health and well-being. Research shows chiropractic treatments as effective for thousands of car accident related injuries. The Doctors at Mountain View Pain Center can help significantly ease patients symptoms and allow them to return to their normal activities.
Call Mountain View Pain Center and get an appointment TODAY! We also work closely with attorneys and auto body repair shops if referrals or recommendations are needed.