Why see a chiropractor after a car accident?
Chiropractic Care & Auto Injury Recovery
Millions of people are injured in auto accidents every year. When the vehicle is impacted during a collision, the muscles and ligaments around your spine are usually stretched or torn. This may cause whiplash or extreme pain and inflammation. Often times, these injuries do not appear on X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.
Chiropractors treat musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries after a car accident. They use therapies such as decompression, ultrasound, cold laser, and interferential which have proved successful in alleviating the stiffness and pain resulting from car accidents.
What Happens to Your Body in a Car Accident?
Motor vehicle accidents involve rapid changes in acceleration, deceleration, and trajectory. This is why it is extremely important to wear your seat belt!
However, your body can still be seriously injured in a car accident while wearing the belt. The body is held in place by a seat belt, but the head, neck, arms, and legs are free to move back and forth. The abrupt impact from a rear-end collision often results in the neck jolting forward. This causes the spine to propel itself forward abruptly causing an injury commonly known as whiplash.
Muscle and joint stiffness or other soft-tissue injuries are also common in auto accidents. These types of injuries may not appear on x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. A chiropractor can evaluate musculoskeletal injuries after an auto accident and develop a treatment plan to help you recover after your accident.
Injuries from car accidents may also put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is responsible for feeling in the legs. The pressure on the nerve causes sciatica, which many times will manifest as pain radiating from the lower back down to the back of the injured leg. Most patients suffering with sciatica see reduced pain and inflammation within six to eight weeks of starting chiropractic treatment and following their recommended treatment plan.
Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 6 months. This may be present in individuals who have been in an auto accident. While opioid prescription pain medications are often times prescribed to treat the pain, they do not address the underlying cause of the pain—only the symptoms. This is why the CDC recommends considering a full range of therapeutic options—like chiropractic—to treat chronic pain. However, auto accident victims are 80 percent more likely to experience the onset of chronic pain than those who experience other physically traumatic events.
Chiropractic adjustments address and treat the underlying spinal injury after an injury. This not only helps to reduce pain, but also relieves pressure on the nerves and muscles, restores normal function to the body’s systems, and optimizes the nervous system. When patients use chiropractic in conjunction with complementary therapies and adhering to the recommended treatment plan, chiropractic care may help restore the body to its full range of motion after an auto accident.