While ambulance chasing attorneys on late night TV may urge motorists involved in a minor accident to retain an attorney, the reality is most people involved in fender benders just want their insurance companies to take care of it and tend not to seek treatment if there is no apparent injury.
But chiropractors are trying to educate their patients on the often subtle soft tissue damage that can result from even the mildest of impacts. The most common condition is whiplash, which can result in chronic neck pain, headaches, and migraines. If left untreated the symptoms can worsen and end up persisting for months or in some cases even years. Chiropractic treatments offer effective pain management and injury rehabilitation.
The fact is a whiplash injury can happen to anyone and even if there are no cuts, scrapes, bruises, or broken bones, that doesn’t mean the musculoskeletal system has not suffered serious trauma. To know what, if any, damage has occurred it’s important to undergo diagnostic tests that identify whiplash and other soft tissue injuries and devise an appropriate treatment plan.
Chiropractic care is one of the most effective, drug-free treatments for whiplash pain relief, in addition to being an important cornerstone to overall physical wellness. Symptoms of a whiplash can include neck pain, headaches, migraines, inability to concentrate, and trouble sleeping.
The problem with whiplash is that it is not unusual for the symptoms to take weeks or possibly months to manifest. By the time the patient is aware something is wrong, the body had undergone significant damage. Chiropractic treatment will alleviate the discomfort and also complement the body’s inherent recovery process.
Whiplash is so named because of the way a motorist’s head whips violently back and forth from the force of a rear-impact accident. The whipping motion causes hyper-flexion in the upper cervical spine and hyperextension in the lower cervical spine. The resulting misalignment is what causes the neck pain as well as headaches. While prescriptions can relieve neck pain and headaches, the medication does not treat the underlying misalignment that is responsible for the pain. Chiropractic adjustments do treat the root of the pain, which is why the treatments can offer long term pain relief.
Depending on the extent of the injury, physiotherapy and other treatments can complement chiropractic treatments and help reduce internal swelling and soft tissue damage.
Another note to those who develop neck pain and back pain after an accident: X-rays are typically not necessary because they don’t show soft tissue damage. Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway found that a majority of patients assumed X-rays were a vital diagnostic tool for back pain. But in most cases, X-rays add little to what a physical exam shows.