Reasons to Visit a Chiropractor After an Auto Accident
Car accidents cause millions of injuries every year. Although you may think nothing is wrong at first, injuries like whiplash or back problems don’t always become apparent right away. A chiropractor can help to resolve the pain that often comes from automobile accidents. Even if the accident was minor, it’s possible to suffer with long-term problems if you put off treatment. Here are several reasons why you should see a chiropractor after an accident.
Regular Doctors Can Miss Things
You may notice pain immediately after the accident, but even if you don’t, you could still have an injury. In these cases, soft tissues may have been damaged, and this could become a painful condition later on. Unfortunately, X-rays are unable to detect such injuries. Although an MRI can show soft tissue injuries, it’s so expensive as to be impractical if you’re not experiencing pain. A chiropractor is typically able to detect soft tissue injuries that regular doctors often miss.
Health Insurance May Cover Care
After your accident, it’s wise to see a chiropractor even if there’s no pain. If your healthcare insurance won’t cover the cost, your car insurance likely will. While you won’t know if your insurance covers chiropractic care until you ask them, this type of care is usually considerably cheaper for insurance providers than covering surgery or years of medication and doctor’s visits. A chiropractor specializes in realigning the body’s joints that might have been forced out of alignment because of damage to ligaments and muscles from your accident.
When seeing a chiropractor, there’s no need to worry about surgery. Rather than scalpels and incisions, chiropractors utilize very precise manual force to return joints to their proper alignment. It’s not recommended to have surgery for neck or back pain without talking to a chiropractor first.
Unlike trips to a regular doctor, your time at the chiropractor’s office is typically a pleasant experience, and most people notice improvements right away. Furthermore, research has shown that routine chiropractic care can enhance your general health and improve body function.
Because chiropractic care is non-invasive and completely natural, it’s considered to be very safe. A chiropractor undergoes years of specific training and is required to adhere to state licensing laws. Assuming your chiropractor is properly trained and licensed, you’re at little risk. In many cases, children can also benefit from chiropractic care after car accidents.
Chiropractic means “by the hand.” It is a completely manual therapy that doesn’t use drugs for treatment. While over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription painkillers may offer short-term relief from discomfort caused by injuries, chiropractic care targets the root of the problem and offers a longer-term solution.
Drugs can also have numerous unwanted and unpleasant side effects, which can range from nausea to neurological damage. Choosing chiropractic treatment effectively removes these risks because you don’t have to rely on medication to feel better.
If you’ve been in a car accident, we encourage you to visit Mountain View Pain Center for a chiropractic exam. Even though you may not be in pain now, many injuries can take days to become apparent.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who will pay for my medical bills?In the State of Colorado, treatment for all injuries suffered in an auto accident is paid for by your “med-pay”, and unless you specifically wave this coverage on your insurance policy, you automatically have a minimum coverage of $5,000, meaning in most cases you will have no out of pocket costs. If your medical costs exceed $5,000, depending on your policy, you still may be completely covered. Also, if you have a lawyer that you’re working with, we can work with you on a lien basis. This means we will wait for your case to settle to get paid.
- Why is it important to get care after an auto accident?Research has shown that even a minor auto accident can have long lasting residual effects. With the proper care we can help you heal properly with high quality chiropractic care, physical therapy and a specially designed rehabilitation plan to reduce your pain.
- What if I didn’t get care right after my accident does that mean I can’t get care?No, if your pain is related to you auto injury you have up to a year to get care.
- How long does it take to heal properly?This is all depending on the severity of your auto accident. It is extremely important that you get diagnosed properly and get the proper treatment to deal with your injury.
- Would my insurance premium go up if I get care?If you are not at fault, your premium will not go up. If you are at fault, your premium will go up regardless if you use your “med-pay” or not. The residual effects of your auto accident will cost more in the long run if you do not get proper treatment right away. you do not get proper treatment right away.
Benefits Chiropractors Provide After Car Accidents
While many cars are designed to withstand damage up to 12 miles per hour, the same cannot be said of the human body. Even a minor car accident can cause pain and suffering to those involved. Some studies have shown that whiplash can occur in a car accident when a vehicle has only been traveling three miles per hour. A chiropractor can help relieve pain and heal injuries no matter how minor or major the car accident was.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly thrown forward, sideways or backward. It can cause destabilization to the spine and severe pain as a result of the sudden movement. Some symptoms of whiplash and other neck injuries include:
- pain in the neck
- blurred vision
- reduced motion in the neck
- neck stiffness
Sometimes pain from whiplash doesn’t occur immediately following the accident but can emerge in the days, weeks or even months that follow. Seeing a chiropractor immediately after an accident can ensure that the neck is properly cared for so that long-term pain can be avoided.
Back and Spinal Injuries
Back pain and spinal injuries are often caused as a result of serious car accidents. 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 have been ruled out, the chiropractor can then adjust, ice or massage the area to treat the problems and reduce pain.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The soft tissue in the back can also become severely damaged as a result of a car accident. 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. Contusions may also occur if a blow to the muscles, tendons or ligaments was sustained during the accident.
The chiropractor will examine the patient for any soft tissue injuries. Adjustments and massage may then be recommended to heal the tissue properly.
Numbness, Dizziness and Weakness
When the force of the accident jars the neck or spine, the network of nerves that travel from these areas can be affected. 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. A chiropractor should always be contacted 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 this time of the year motor vehicle accidents are more frequent due to the winter weather conditions. Even from a minor fender bender you may still receive 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, and 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 is when the 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 how the neck was injured. 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. What our doctors most commonly see in this instance, are 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 it can still be treated 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 can be much shorter and future issues can be avoided. 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 an abnormal amount of force is applied to the neck area 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 – Cervical spinal manipulations are used by chiropractors 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 will vary from patient to patient and will depend 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. Stretching, neck-strengthening exercises, and therapeutic taping techniques may be some additional techniques that Mountain View Pain Center may use to heal whiplash.
- Electrotherapy – Electrotherapy is another effective and drug-free rehabilitation technique used to treat whiplash. Electrotherapy, while it sounds scary, 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. A very mild electrical current is delivered 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. The recommendation is make 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 it is recommended 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
There are a wide range of injuries that can occur 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 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 including 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 reducing how much future pain you experience, since some injuries take several hours or even days before you get to 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 problem using your limbs and moving in the same way you once did. With regular chiropractic sessions, this problem is remedied 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 the 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 how bad your injuries are going to be. 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 experience. 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 have shown 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, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue that leaves muscles weaker, less elastic, and prone to re-injury can often be minimized.
It is important to get your spine examined by a Doctor of Chiropractic 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 can affect 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 have been 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.