Car accidents are tricky. While they may produce very obvious symptoms and conditions, they may also produce slight misalignments that are not detected until later. These misalignments, untreated, can lead to other conditions. For this reason, it is important to seek chiropractic care following any car accident, no matter how minor. This will ensure total alignment of your body and prevent future conditions from arising. The doctors at Health Edge have years of experience working on victims of car accidents, and their patients consider them among the best chiropractors in the Glendale and greater Los Angeles County region to help recover from a car accident.
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury. When it comes to car accidents, whiplash is the most commonly sustained injury. The severity of trauma from a car accident will vary from case to case: some people walk away with minor bruises or sores, while other people are faced with excruciating pain or debilitating injury.
Believe it or not, pain or injury could emerge sometime after an accident has occurred. Delayed trauma isn’t unusual; certain kinds of trauma are difficult to notice during the immediate aftermath of an accident. Pain or injury can show up days or even weeks after the accident. Here are some common delayed symptoms to look out for:
- Neck pain.
- Shoulder pain.
- Back pain.
- Numbness and tingling.
- Abdominal swelling, a symptom of internal bleeding.
- Sleep disturbance, nightmares, and flashbacks might indicate post-traumatic stress disorder.
Common Types of Injuries from a Car Accident:
- Back injury is one of the most common traumas that car accident victims experience. A spinal cord injury can be especially severe, potentially leading to paralysis. Because the nervous system is connected to the spine, the body’s ability to interpret sensation may be damaged from a spinal cord injury. Alongside back pain, someone may also feel numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.
- Neck pain, usually related to cervical spine damage. Neck pain is often associated with the whiplash injury. Whiplash is maybe the most well-known of car accident injuries; this injury occurs when the body is violently jolted backward and forward or side to side, leading to stress on the neck.
- Bruising, scrapes, and cuts. Physical penetration can cause a tear in the skin, leading to bleeding and bruising. While bruises and cuts tend to be minor, they may lead to infection or worse.
- Brain injury. Like back injuries, damage to the head could be devastating. Brain trauma ranges from mild concussions to comas and cognitive dysfunction. Skull fractures, hearing problems and vision loss could also result from a head injury.
- Chest injury. Just like any other body part, the chest is susceptible to high impact force during a collision. A chest injury may result in broken ribs or internal trauma.
Treating Back Pain from Car Accidents
It cannot be stressed enough that people who have been in a car accident should immediately be checked for spinal injuries. Even minor accidents can create forces on different areas of the back that can cause a lifetime of back pain. Following a car accident, symptoms may be masked by pain medication or by more acute pain located elsewhere. The force created by a collision can tear apart and damage the soft tissues of the back and throw the spine out of its normal alignment.
A chiropractor with experience treating patients post car accident can evaluate damage to the spine following an accident to ensure further injury does not occur. Relief from the trauma of an accident can begin immediately through gentle adjustments and soft tissue work focused on restoring stability to the spine and back.
Avoiding a long-term back problem depends on quickly identifying the specific injuries so treatment can begin. Often, these injuries are not immediately evident which causes a dangerous delay in having an evaluation and beginning treatment.
Soft Tissue Damage
Injuries to muscles and ligaments almost always occur during car accidents. These injuries will not show up on X-rays and emergency room physicians may miss them, particularly if there are other injuries requiring immediate attention. Soft tissue injuries may not become obvious for months. Some of the symptoms of these types of injuries are the following: stiffness, muscle spasms, lack of mobility (i.e. in the neck or low back), aches, discomfort, etc.
Each of these conditions is the result of misalignments in the musculoskeletal system, or from an interruption in the nervous system. In many car accident cases, traditional doctors will treat the symptoms of the injury without diagnosing its root. When this happens, it can lead to long-term physical issues. These issues could have been corrected with chiropractic treatments that help the body restore its mobility as well as regain its strength & stability. Ultimately, the goal is to help the body heal optimally.
Personal Injury Chiropractors
Attorney referrals are welcome at Health Edge. Early detection of an underlying injury is the best insurance for anyone involved in a car accident. It is possible to treat older symptoms of a car accident with great success, but it is much more beneficial to start treatment on any injury before it develops into a chronic situation.
Having our chiropractors perform a full evaluation will document all injuries as well as the possible long term effects that are associated with those injuries if left untreated or without the proper treatment plan. In this way a personal injury attorney can help his client obtain financial compensation for injuries that will allow full rehabilitative treatment to proceed without financial stress.
Involved in a Car Accident? Don’t Wait — Get Examined by a Chiropractor
There have been tremendous advances in vehicle safety standards over the years. This has resulted in greater survivability in a car crash and far fewer deaths. However, the force generated upon impact is still considerably traumatic to anyone riding inside due to the huge difference in weight between the vehicles and the occupants. Any impact not absorbed by the bumpers and other safety systems built into the vehicle is absorbed by the body. When suddenly forced & jerked to a stop, the body can easily sustain soft tissue damage, as well as damage to the alignment of the spine, even in a relatively slow speed crash.
It isn’t uncommon for days, weeks or even months to pass before accident related pain becomes evident. This is due to the fact that the body releases a group of hormones called endorphins during a car accident or other physical trauma. These endorphins interact with the brain to reduce the perception of pain. Endorphins can stay in the body for varying amounts of time which can give the false impression that there are no injuries from a car accident.
When the pain finally turns on, it can be difficult to conclude that the current pain is a result of an impact suffered in the past. Delaying treatment can have far reaching consequences not only to the long-term damage that can occur, but to any personal injury case being considered. Being examined by a chiropractor experienced with treating patients post a car accident is insurance against further deterioration from untreated injuries which often result in chronic pain and lack of mobility in the future. Left alone, the body produces scar tissue and fibrotic adhesions. This ultimately results in tight joints with less range of motion which leads to a host of other problems.
Our doctors are highly skilled in post accident evaluation of injuries to the musculoskeletal system. They see many patients with chronic pain resulting from undetected and untreated past injuries. We strongly recommend coming in for an examination as soon as possible following any car accident.
Our office accepts liens with a selective group of local attorneys we have worked with previously. However, new attorney referrals are welcome, and only on a case by case basis and at our sole discretion. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney will help take the ease off of any financial dilemma you may have. We want to ensure you are getting the proper treatment for you to return back to your normal day to day living.
At Health Edge, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to carry out an individualized rehabilitation program for our patients. While the nature and severity of car accident injuries can vary greatly, our chiropractors can make a precise diagnosis, leading to a full recovery of the musculoskeletal system.