Can Chiropractic Services Help with Car Accident Injuries?
Car Accident Injury Chiropractic Treatment
First of all, as long as there is not a life threatening injury, being assessed by a chiropractor as soon after the accident is paramount. The reason being that many times in a post-accident situation, joints have shifted and the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendons) adapt quickly to the new position and protect the joints from moving any further out of position. This results in tension held around the injured area. Many times, when left untreated, the body will adapt to the new ‘bad’ position and not result in pain to the area…initially. Many times a patient will say that they are just a little stiff. The problem that stems from this is that the longer the bones are left in an abnormal position, the more chronic the condition will eventually become and the longer it will take to correct.
If you are treated by a chiropractor soon after an injury, the chiropractor can help correct the misalignments and subvert long term side effects from misaligned vertebra. An injury like a flexion/extension injury can result in the neck reversing its normal curve; the neck has a normal curvature from front to back of about 40 degrees and many times after an accident, the curve reduces and sometimes reverses. Believe it or not, some people only notice some stiffness because of this injury.
Here’s the problem: If the misalignment remains untreated, the joints in the spine react, over time, like misaligned car tires. Car tires wear out faster as they are left out of alignment and, you can replace car tires. In the spine it has been shown time and again that if a joint is left out of proper alignment that within 5 to 7 years after the change in position there is measurable degeneration or wear and tear that occurs at the injured area and can be revealed on x-ray. The forward change of the curve in the neck will also eventually result in neck and upper back tension, it can also result in headaches, arm pain, fatigue, etc.
Auto accidents occur from many directions or angles of impact and can cause injury to other parts of the body; mid and lower back, closed head injuries, knees, feet, shoulders and so on. The same scenario occurs at the injury sites and the best step is to be assessed and treated as soon as possible after the injury.
WHAT DOES A FIRST VISIT ENTAIL?
Initially, a complete Health History is taken and assessed as every patient has a unique set of past history, family history, medications, surgical history and so on. After this, we will perform an exam that includes Orthopedic, Neurologic and Range of Motion Tests to determine where the injury is, if nerves are effected and how much of your normal range of motion is compromised. X-rays, many times, are suggested to determine the degree of injury.
At the Chiropractic Center of Erie, we treat each patient with a 3-Phase Approach;
- Correction of the misaligned segments.
- Neurostim Therapy to sedate (quiet) and calm the irritated nerves.
- Soft Tissue Balancing. This is treatment of the muscles and other soft tissues to help allow the body to hold the properly aligned and corrected segments of the spine. This is done by the doctor and includes massage type techniques that vary from patient to patient depending on the level and intensity of the injury.
We have found that through this type of treatment, the frequency and number of treatments can be reduced significantly.
As your problem areas begin to hold their proper position, we will add in stretching to make sure you reach normal and balanced ranges of motion. In addition, as your body stabilizes, exercises can be added to your at home regimen that will aid in strengthening and supporting the properly aligned sections for long term success and stability.
If you have any further questions, please contact us at 303-828-3000