Car Accident Tips

May 22, 2021

What are common car accident injuries?
Common car accident injuries include whiplash, neck pain, upper back pain, low back pain, headaches, dizziness, and post traumatic stress disorder. Car accident patients also frequently report “weird” pain that travels a few days after the accident. This “weird” pain is usually caused by inflammation around the spine affecting the nerves. As the injuries are properly treated, this pain usually subsides as the inflammation gets better.
What happens when you get in a car accident?
When a person is in a car accident, the ligaments around the joints are usually sprained or torn. Our bodies are not designed to take the forces caused by car accidents. This overwhelming amount of force causes injuries to muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments which can take weeks to months to heal. This is why starting care for your injuries is so crucial. Without proper care, scar tissue will form in the injured tissue, potentially leading to chronic problems.
What should you do immediately after a car accident?
Immediately following a car accident, it is a good idea to put ice on any injured area. If you have areas in your body that develop immediate pain, have those areas evaluated. Chiropractors are experts in the area of spinal trauma following a car accident. If there are any injuries outside of the scope of chiropractic, the patient will be referred to the appropriate care provider.
Why should you see a chiropractor after a car accident?
The vast majority of car accident victims respond well to chiropractic care. It is vital to restore proper motion to the spine following a car accident. If the injured areas don’t have a proper range of motion, scar tissue will develop in these areas. Scar tissue will cause long term chronic pain and problems. Chiropractors restore motion to the injured areas, preventing the development of scar tissue.
Should I go to the chiropractor if I have whiplash?
You should absolutely see a chiropractor after a whiplash injury. Whiplash injuries damage the soft tissue around your spine, resulting in the loss of motion. Scar tissue will inevitably develop in whiplash patients if proper motion isn’t restored. Chiropractors restore proper range of motion and prevent the development of scar tissue and long term chronic pain.
How long should I see a chiropractor for whiplash?
Chiropractors typically see whiplash patients for 4-12 weeks depending on the severity of the accident and patient need.
Do insurance companies pay for chiropractors?
Several insurance companies pay for chiropractic care. Car accident victims should also contact their auto insurance company. Med-Pay is a common form of insurance that is part of auto insurance. Med-pay will reimburse your chiropractor for your care.

 

Hello everyone, I'm Dr. Aaron Seaton with The Chiropractic Place, and I wanted to make a video today to talk to you about car accidents. After 15 years of being in practice, I've seen literally hundreds of these types of cases, and it's important for people to understand when they've had a car accident, if they're experiencing neck pain or back pain, headaches, whiplash type symptoms, it's important for them to understand what can happen with the whiplash if it's left untreated, what are some other things that can happen when you're in a... Have a car accident like that, and then what interventions are important for you and when to do those, so that you get the best results?

First things first, with whiplash, 43% of people who have a whiplash injury in a car accident are going to develop some kind of chronic whiplash problem. Now, that's a staggering number. So, people hear that and if they've been in a car accident, it's like, Gosh, it's almost 50%. Almost half of the people that are in a car accident and get whiplash, are gonna have long-term problems, well, how do I avoid that? Well, it's important to do the right steps, so we're gonna talk about those in this video to try to minimize that risk for you to... So that you can get back to your way of life and hopefully not have chronic whiplash type problems haunting you.

Another thing to note that I've seen in practice over the years is a lot of my patients who have had a whiplash injury, they have an emotional response the next time they're in a car, they'll say, Doc, I got in the car a week later to drive and my palms were sweating, I froze up, I couldn't even drive my car. And I don't know why that's going on. So it's important... And they're almost a little embarrassed to share that, but I always remind them, Hey, don't be embarrassed. This actually happens, honestly, almost as frequently as a whiplash injury, and that's... People get some form of post-traumatic stress disorder following car accidents, it happens in 52% of the cases.

People develop this emotional response after a car accident, and many of these car accidents are life-threatening situations, so it's a normal response for the body to do that, but it's also important for us to recognize that early, so we can get those patients the help they need. And the third thing, and this is more on the chiropractic side that we notice in the research that's been done, the most important thing that we can do following a whiplash injury is keep that tissue mobile, mobilize that tissue in the first 30 days following the accident. That was the single most important factor in the most current up-to-date research we have, which basically says that if we keep this tissue moving after that injury, it's way less likely to develop scar tissue and adhesions in that injured area. And if we don't allow that to form, then they're not gonna lose range of motion and develop all these other problems that can happen down the road, like arthritis, degenerative disc disease and stuff like that.

So, what we're saying to our patients when we see them, Hey, following the car accident, let's get this to settle down, but we need to work on mobility and adjusting these segments so that we prevent scar tissue from ever forming. Because if scar tissue sets in, you could become one of those 43% that develops chronic whiplash problems, and those are usually the people that have waited months to years to seek care after an accident. So, even if you've had a whiplash and it only lasted a few days and you said, Oh, it feels better now, remember that that could come back later to haunt you as a chronic whiplash problem. So I think it's better to spend this time upfront right after a car accident, be evaluated, be seen by a chiropractor, have spinal X-rays taken to evaluate what's happened so that we can get you on a course of care to get that whiplash injury dealt with before you have this chronic problem.

So there's nothing worse that we see than seeing somebody years after these injuries and there's less that we can do for them, we'd rather see them upfront. So hopefully, if you've been in a car accident, this video has helped you understand if you're suffering with a neck pain or a back pain, or headaches or these other whiplash-like symptoms, hopefully this video has educated you a little on what to do, and if you have any more questions for us, give our office a call. I'm Dr. Aaron Seaton with The Chiropractic Place.

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