If you’ve been involved in an automobile collision, you may be suffering from more than just a sore neck or headache. Extensive studies have been conducted on collisions involving automobiles, and even at low speeds (less than 7 mph), you can suffer severe damage to your cervical spine, discs, muscles, ligaments and/or nerves. This damage may not be obvious right after the crash and can be difficult to diagnose.
What You Should Do If Involved In Car Wreck
Injuries sustained in a car wreck may not show up for days, weeks, and some even take years before you show symptoms of the damage caused by the collision. Often, pain continues to slowly build over a week following the crash. You want to make an appointment with your chiropractor immediately to be thoroughly checked for possible injuries and make a plan to treat any potential damages that have occurred to your spine or other areas of your body.
A chiropractor can help you avoid invasive and often risky surgery for injuries that have gone undetected and untreated after you’ve been involved in a car wreck. You also have a safe option for treatment if you wish to avoid taking pain pills or injections that may be needed if the injury goes untreated for any length of time.
When you visit your chiropractor immediately after a car wreck, they can exam your body for any possible damages and begin a treatment plan right away to reduce pain and help save you from pain, surgery, or the need for pain treatments down the road. Through quick, safe, and painless chiropractic adjustments, state of the art therapies, massage therapy and targeted stretching, your chiropractor can ensure lingering soft tissue injuries such as whiplash are able to heal properly.
If you schedule an appointment with your chiropractor immediately after being injured or are involved in a car wreck, you can save yourself from the physical and emotional trauma that can result from this unfortunate but common event, or give yourself peace of mind, if healthy.
Types of Injuries and Symptoms Suffered From Car Wrecks
There are a number of injuries you can suffer when involved in a car wreck that is not going to be obvious at the scene of the crash:
- Whiplash is a neck pain that follows after an injury has occurred to the soft tissue of your neck. It involves the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck and is caused when force or motion has been applied to your neck, especially in two directions. This force or motion causes your neck to go out of its typical range of motion and damage the structural support for the neck. Whiplash is perhaps the most common injury suffered in a car wreck and can occur regardless of the speed/force of the crash. This most commonly presents as persistent soreness and tightness in the muscles, or a dull ache. While this may go away on its own, oftentimes it will last for months and the damage may be permanent.
- Lower back pain is another typical symptom suffered from a car wreck and it is also the most painful and prevalent type of chronic pain. The force involved when two vehicles collide can cause tears in the soft tissue of your lower back, especially the vulnerable discs (the shock absorbers of the spine). Disc injuries often cause severe and debilitating nerve pain, or sciatica, that moves into the thighs and legs. Spinal injuries are common in car wrecks, and to avoid a life-time pain and maintain the health of your spine, you should contact your chiropractor immediately after the accident to begin therapy right away.
- Numbness and tingling frequently occur following a crash, especially in your arms, hands or feet, and they are never a good sign. They often indicate underlying stress or injury to the nerves in the neck, upper arm or lower back, and the longer they are ignored, the worse the injuries are. If left untreated, permanent damage may occur which causes loss of feeling or reduced strength.
- Strains and sprains are other painful injuries sustained of a car wreck. The force of a collision forces tendons to stretch or tear and cause damage to muscles, the areas where muscles and tendons connect, or to the tendon itself. If a ligament becomes torn or stretched, the injury is considered a sprain.
- Shoulder pain is also common, especially with the driver holding onto the steering wheel. It may result when the bones, nerves, or muscles that run through these areas of your body become damaged or injured during a car wreck.
- Migraines, headaches, and concussions are other common injuries as a result of an automobile collision. These symptoms may be subtle at first, often begin after a patient is sent home from the hospital. They can also be the most debilitating of all injuries.
These are just some of the injuries and symptoms that occur as the result of a car wreck; others can also happen, and the resulting damage and lasting effects may not be evident for days or years after the crash. Visit your chiropractor within the first two days of the crash as they have been trained to treat neck and back pain and to how to look for possible injuries that result from collisions. Treatment for these injuries during the acute phase (within the first month of injury) leads to better results and outcomes for the patient, often avoiding the permanent negative effects of degeneration. A visit to your chiropractor immediately after a car wreck can save you from painful and often life-altering conditions down the road.