Chiropractic Care For Whiplash Injuries
In spite of the frustrations you may now be going through, if you are alive, the accident could have been worse. First, let’s count our blessings!!! But now, you have other challenges to be concerned with.
Don’t Be Fooled…….
If your auto accident seemed minor because of slow speeds or little damage to your vehicle, that does not mean injury did not occur. It can be a time of great concern. At just 10mph, the body can be subjected to a force of 5 to 10 G’s. The force of 10 G’s is greater than a fighter pilot would experience during aerial combat.
Independent studies show that your body can violently move back and forth 6 to 10 times the speed your auto was going at time of impact. In other words, a 5-10 mph crash, your neck can move at 50 to 100 miles per hour! This is how G force can cause serious injuries at even low speeds. Of course, high impact speeds are self-explanatory.
What Should I Do If I Am In A Car Accident?
- Stop – do not obstruct traffic
- Assist the injured
- Protect the scene – to percent further injury
- Call an officer – local Police Department
- Keep notes
- Assist the officer – give basic facts
- Identify the other driver
- Obtain witnesses information
- Do not leave the scene until doing the list of recommended things
- Call a Minnesota chiropractor
- Inform your insurance company
Two Types of Injuries
There are two types of injuries that happened to accident victims: These include Hard Tissue and Soft Tissue Injuries. Hard tissue injuries usually require emergency medical treatment. Most soft tissue injuries respond best to chiropractic care.
Hard Tissue Injuries
Hard tissue injuries are those injuries which happen to the bones. They include fractures, broken bones and dental problems. These along with cuts, bruises and burns fall within the category of Emergency Medical Care. Most of these have a set healing time. Once you’ve been checked and treated for these types of injuries, the next thing to be concerned about are soft tissue injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are those injuries which happen to all the remaining tissues of the body. These include sprains and strains of the musculoskeletal system, including the spine and neck. The most prevalent soft tissue injury found in auto accidents in known as whiplash.
Whiplash is a term used to describe what happens to your head and neck in an auto accident. It can occur at any angle; head on collisions, rear-end impacts, from any corner, or from being T-Boned, which is impact from the side.
The ill effects of a whiplash injury can occur instantly or it could be weeks, months or even years before symptoms occur. Injuries to the neck caused by a sudden movement (head forward, back, or sideways) is commonly referred to as “whiplash” or “acceleration/deceleration injuries”. Literally thousands of pounds of force is exerted upon the neck and spine of the whiplash victim. These forces result in tearing of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and in turn, can result in a displacement of the vertebrae of the spine (subluxation) which is a dysfunctional joint causing nerve irritation (pinched spinal nerves). The results of such injuries can cause neck pain, shoulder and arm pain or numbness, elbow and hand pain or numbness, mid back pain, headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision. The injured areas lose the ability to function and loss of range of motion (stiffness) occurs. This is where whiplash pain comes from. It’s most prevalent in the neck – but can happen to any area of the spine or body.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash symptoms can include neck pain and stiffness, shoulder pain, headaches, back pain, arm pain, numbness or tingling in your fingers, dizziness or lightheadedness, mid back pain, low back pain, numbness or tingling down your legs. Whiplash may also produce facial pain, ringing in the ears or hearing loss, vertigo, blurred vision, or even hoarseness. Whiplash is real and painful. You may experience one or many of the above symptoms. Each person is unique in their injuries.
The Problem With Whiplash
The problem with whiplash is that very few doctors truly understand it. Well meaning emergency room physicians, general medical doctors and physical therapists do not appreciate the extent of the pain and injuries of whiplash accident victims. The end result is these people are often provided inadequate treatment to care for their injuries. Don’t let this happen to you.
Whiplash Injuries Can Remain Hidden For Weeks Or Months
Because of the body’s ability to adapt to injury, some whiplash injuries can remain hidden for weeks or months before pain or other symptoms surface. By the time symptoms surface, many people have already signed their rights to treatment away. Insurance companies know the facts and spend millions of dollars a year to hide them. It is no secret that insurance companies may not have your best interest in mind and attempt to get you to prematurely settle your claim in order that they can avoid additional liability. Insurance companies are controlled by stockholders whose primary aim is to make money. Their concern is not your health. Their concern is to get you to settle for as little as possible. If you do, what happens when hidden challenges begin surfacing? Don’t let this happen to you. Preserve your rights to receive the treatment you need by not signing away your rights.
Chiropractic is the most appropriate approach to these types of injuries. Chiropractic care utilizes specific bone manipulations (Adjustments) to help normalize spinal function. This is crucial in the beginning phases of healing to bring back proper motion, but return of functional joint motion usually requires 2-3 months of chiropractic care. Active care allows the soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons) to heal most effectively with minimal scar tissue and physical therapy can take from a few months up to a year to complete the healing process.