Care After Auto Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2 million people visit emergency departments annually for treatment of injuries sustained in auto accidents. Even more walk away from their collisions with a few ‘bumps’ and ‘bruises.’ Unfortunately, many never consult with a chiropractor about their injuries because they either believe they are uninjured or otherwise believe the emergency department effectively handled their care. The truth is accident victims can have musculoskeletal injuries without any symptoms. Of those who do, they are often sent home from hospital emergency departments with pain medications – which do nothing to treat the underlying injury.
Did you know…
you only need to be traveling approximately 5 to 10 miles an hour during a collision to sustain damage to your muscles, joints, bones or connective tissues? The same principle applies to injuries you sustain when other drivers run into you. Both low-speed and high-speed collisions put you at risk for injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
I was in an accident. Should I seek chiropractic treatment?
Yes. A car accident can leave you writhing in pain, or it could leave you with little to no discomfort at all. Regardless of how mild or severe, your symptoms may be, it is important to seek out chiropractic treatment immediately following an auto collision. Chiropractic treatment is effective for relieving pain, muscle stiffness, whiplash, and misalignment caused by collisions. Furthermore, early treatment typically yields the fastest recovery time, because treatment is administered before the body has the opportunity to isolate injuries or accumulate scar tissue.
What should I expect at my chiropractic appointment?
Your initial chiropractic appointment will consist of an examination and a review of your medical history – including any injuries you may have sustained in your accident. You may then be x-rayed to check for spinal subluxations or neck injuries that may or may not have begun causing pain or muscle stiffness. Your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan for you based on the results of your exam. It is likely to include frequent spinal adjustments and possibly some physical therapy or spinal decompression.
Is there anything I can do to accelerate the healing process?
In the first 24 hours following your accident, it may help to apply ice to injuries in order to minimize swelling and inflammation. Visit your chiropractor as soon as possible, and take care not to physically exert yourself – regardless of how good you feel. Often, musculoskeletal pain doesn’t set in until days or even weeks after an accident. So slow down, take it easy, and get to your chiropractor’s office as soon as possible. You will be informed if there is anything you can do to better facilitate the healing process.