One moment everything may seem fine, when suddenly you’re involved in a serious collision. Most people have one thing on their mind after a car accident their car! However, it’s important to remember that you and your injuries come first. A visit to a chiropractor should always follow an auto injury, as chiropractors are specialists in damage to soft and hard tissue.
When to See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident
When a car accident causes visible injuries, we don’t question the need to seek immediate medical attention. But what if you escape from the crash with little or no noticeable scars? You may believe you’re safe from any long-term problems, and brush off any soreness or “minor” aches that show up a few days later. You shouldn’t ignore those delayed symptoms because they could lead to major health issues down the road.
The Hidden Effects of an Auto Accident
If you don’t sustain serious visible injuries, it’s still likely that your musculoskeletal system was thrown out of alignment or that the force of the accident has caused whiplash, which causes stiffness and soreness in your neck. Car accidents can also cause micro-tearing in your spine’s ligaments and muscles, and those tears often do not show up on an X-ray or MRI.
You may not be able to see these kinds of injuries, but you’ll feel the effects of them. Sore and stiff muscles are not the only symptoms of your injury - dizziness and headaches are also common after-effects of an auto accident.
Auto Injury Chiropractors
Chiropractors are specialists in the treatment of muscles, ligaments, nerves, and the underlying bone structure. Chiropractic treatment can help with:
- Inflammation - Injuries following a car accident can create inflammation, and inflammation could stop blood and nutrients from moving to where they’re needed in the body. A chiropractor uses spinal manipulation to release anti-inflammatory Interleukin 6 (IL-6) that helps your body heal.
- Soft Tissue Healing - Soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, contusions, and whiplash. These injuries occur when there’s damage to your muscles, ligaments, or tendons. A chiropractor has extensive knowledge about how to treat these injuries. But it’s important to start the healing process right away to prevent these injuries from worsening.
- Scar Tissue - It’s common for scar tissue to build up after an injury, but a chiropractor can break it down. Your body heals faster when there’s less scar tissue.
- Mobility and Range of Motion - Chiropractic adjustments can help improve your ability to move and function well, as well as increase your range of motion after an injury like neck pain from whiplash or lower back pain.
Can a Chiropractor Help Auto accident Injuries Heal Faster?
The biggest risk you take is ignoring your injuries since the longer you delay healing, the greater the chance of long-term pain or disability. In a study conducted to assess the results of chiropractic treatment on those injured by car accidents, subjects who delayed treatment saw lower levels of improvement.
Timing aside, after a car crash, chiropractors offer additional benefits that may provide faster healing than by following the advice of traditional medical doctors.
Accurate Diagnosis - A chiropractor is often more skilled than a traditional general practice doctor in singling out the area where the injury occurred. A quick diagnosis and a targeted treatment plan can speed up recovery time.
Effective Therapies - If you choose to visit a chiropractor, car accident injury treatment may vary greatly from what a general practitioner recommends. Chiropractors rely on gentle motion therapies to treat soft tissue injuries, whereas traditional medical doctors often suggest complete immobilization. Passive motion techniques can help relax the muscles, keep scar tissue from forming, and help patients increase their mobility and range of motion much more quickly than traditional medical approaches.
Drug-Free Approach - Medical doctors may prescribe pain medication for their patients, which can become addicting and don’t address the need for therapies to promote real healing.
How Long Should You See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?
Your length of treatment will depend on the exact nature and severity of your injuries. You’ll likely have more frequent visits at the beginning of your treatment, and will need to return less often once you make progress. Results also depend on doing the recommended exercises on your own at home. Full recovery can be achieved, but it’s important to let your doctor determine when your healing is complete.
You may decide to continue your visits when it becomes apparent that your chiropractic treatments contribute to a feeling of overall wellness. Many devoted patients feel that spinal manipulations provide good preventative care and help keep them pain-free on a regular basis.
Chiropractor for Car Crash Injuries
After a car accident, chiropractors can quickly diagnose and recommend a gentle healing protocol that may help you recover more quickly without the use of pain medication. Chiropractic care at First Wellness Family Chiropractic will focus on healing your injuries and alleviating pain and discomfort. Dr. Owen has extensive chiropractic training and understands how the treatments and therapies unique to chiropractic care can improve your overall wellness.
Time is of the essence when it comes to treating car accident injuries. Call our office today at (512) 361-5788, or make an appointment online.