Car accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. Statistics show that you will likely be involved in at least three car accidents in your lifetime. Thankfully, serious and life threatening injuries due to these accidents have drastically decreased with the invention of the seatbelt. However, seatbelt use has led to an increase in soft tissue injuries to the head and neck in a condition commonly referred to as whiplash. There are over 300,000 cases of whiplash each year!
Whiplash happens when a part of the body is forced back and then forward beyond its normal limits. This causes the surrounding muscles and ligaments to tear. The most common symptoms of whiplash are blurred vision, dizziness, headaches, shoulder pain, arm pain, neck stiffness, and low back pain. These symptoms tend to appear shortly after a car accident, but some people have reported to feel the effects of an accident several months later.
So you've managed to get involved in a fender-bender this morning on your way to work...now what?
Your best option is to start seeking treatment as soon as possible. Chiropractic care is uniquely positioned to teat car accident victims while avoiding the prescription drug cycle. We use a variety of drug-free techniques to not only get the patient out of pain as quickly as possible, but also regain range of motion and properly heal muscle and ligament damage to avoid long term complications and early joint degeneration.
It is a good idea to seek a chiropractic evaluation regardless of how you feel as the symptoms of a whiplash injury may not manifest until much later. It is also important to note that it only takes a change in speed of 2-3 miles per hour during an accident to cause whiplash. As soft tissue injuries heal, they develop scar tissue. If the spine is not properly aligned, and full range of motion is not recovered before the scar tissue sets in, it can permanently reduce joint motion and inhibit normal joint function potentially causing early degenerative changes and even more complications.
Chiropractors have three main objectives for care.
1. Relieve pain. Some car accident victims report up to an 80% reduction in pain after just a few weeks of chiropractic care.
2. Restore mobility. Soreness and stiffness can inhibit movement. Chiropractic treatments help to regain full range of motion before scar tissue develops and causes permanent impairment.
3. Support long-term healing. Injured and weak muscles can leave patients vulnerable to re-injury. Chiropractors provide rehabilitative exercises that improve strength and flexibility.