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One of the first things victims should do is seek medical treatment after a car accident, no matter how minor. Some people go immediately to the emergency room to get checked out, but others may feel that they haven’t sustained injuries and don’t require medical attention. Yet, even minor fender benders can cause problems that slowly develop in the days or weeks after the mishap. Seeking medical attention and visiting a chiropractor in the accident aftermath could be in your best interest.
Thousands of people suffer injuries from car accidents annually, many involving the neck and spine. These injuries can result in chronic pain and difficulties in movement. At Unruh Spine Centers, our chiropractors specialize in relieving patients from injuries from minor car accidents. Even if an emergency room physician or your primary care doctor initially clears you, consulting a chiropractor soon after an accident is a wise choice, especially if you start experiencing inexplicable pain. Contact our office at (661) 288-0022 to schedule your first consultation.
Many injuries can occur in car accidents, with neck and spine injuries being the most common. Whiplash is one of the most common, caused by the sudden and vigorous movement of the head in one direction and then back again quickly during the impact of the accident. The impact forces the neck beyond its usual range of motion, straining or spraining the tendons, muscles and ligaments. Vehicle impact can also cause back and neck injuries and even result in chronic soreness.
Whiplash injuries don’t always appear immediately but usually manifest within 48 hours after an accident. Symptoms can include headaches, blurred vision, tingling or burning, neck, shoulder and back pain, and nausea.
Soft tissue injuries can be sneaky, often not revealing themselves until months or years later. Chiropractors can perform orthopedic and neurological tests to determine soft tissue and structural damage, muscle strength, range of motion, and joint and nerve function. Professionals specializing in accident injuries are trained to spot subtle injury signs that other medical professionals may miss.
If your assessment reveals any injuries, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan to address your specific injuries. Such plans may include adjustments, deep tissue massages, trigger point therapy, or other non-invasive therapies, as needed. Car accidents can produce herniated discs, strains involving ligaments and other soft tissue, and subluxations. Getting treatment can return you to a pain-free life with greater mobility.
Leaving neck and spine injuries untreated can result in osteoarthritis, mobility problems and chronic pain. Chiropractic adjustments and therapies following a car accident can provide the following benefits:
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. While some is normal, too much inflammation can cause discomfort and harm tissues. Adjustments frequently result in the body reducing its cytokine production, which can lower the inflammatory response. Excessive inflammation in the spine can manifest itself in stiffness and pain that increases after inactivity. Pain upon waking in the morning is common.
Preventing or Minimizing Pain
When undergoing adjustments and treatments soon after accidents, you have the potential to minimize pain. During spinal manipulations, your body releases pain-relieving hormones like oxytocin, neurotensin and cortisol that provide relief.
Restore Range of Motion
Car accident victims frequently lose range of motion in their joints. Loss of flexibility can occur due to misalignment, development of scar tissue or inflammation, or a combination of those factors. Chiropractic treatments address all of those problems with adjustments returning the joints to their proper alignment.
Scar Tissue Reduction
You may not see it, but scar tissue commonly develops following car accidents. The body attempts to help damaged muscles and tendons by forming scar tissue from collagen. However, this process can cause long-term pain and stiffness. Although sometimes scar tissue will eventually function like normal tissue, in some people, it never will. Chiropractors can use therapies to break up the scar tissue area so it can heal faster.
Whether you simply want to ensure your medical insurance pays for treatment or intend to file an injury claim against a negligent person who caused the accident and your injuries, seeking chiropractic treatment will solidify your claim. Waiting to seek treatment can frequently forfeit your rights, so it’s better to be safe and get an assessment.
If you’ve recently been in a car accident in Southern California and have started to suffer pain or are wondering if you have sustained injuries, Unruh Spine Centers can help. Our chiropractors have the experience to successfully assess and treat car accident injuries and keep you pain-free. Contact us today at (661) 288-0022 to schedule an assessment.