If you’re a tennis player, it’s common to get tennis elbow. Runners get shin splints. Football players tear their ACLs. There are specific injuries that most commonly occur with certain sports because of the way in which the body typically moves while participating in them.
The same can be said for automobile accidents. Even at low speeds, auto accidents cause a fairly predictable set of problems.
Whiplash is the most common of all auto accident injuries. It occurs most often when a car is rear-ended but can happen in any kind of collision in which the head rapidly accelerates and decelerates (whips forward and back). It is a soft tissue injury to the ligaments and discs that occurs in the cervical spine which is the area of the spine where the head meets the neck.
Treatment for whiplash can vary due to the severity of the injury but often involves gentle manipulation by your chiropractor, immobilization of the head and neck, and, if necessary, painkillers.
Concussions are usually caused by some kind of blow or violent shaking of the head as can happen in auto accidents. Even with your seatbelt securely fastened, it’s possible to hit the steering wheel, window, and dashboard, and without hitting anything, your head can jar enough to cause a concussion just from your brain bouncing around in your skull. Concussions are serious injuries that can affect your brain function and if left untreated, can cause long-term damage or even death. You may lose consciousness when you get a concussion but more often than not, you don’t. What makes concussions particularly dangerous is that symptoms may not show up for days.
- Ringing in Ears
- Slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness
Various tests of your reflexes, senses, memory, concentration, and scans can help determine whether or not you have a concussion.
The main treatment for a concussion is rest, both physically and mentally by refraining from doing anything that requires too much thought or concentration. While your chiropractor won’t treat the concussion itself, the fact that the head was so jarred that it caused injury could cause damage to the cervical spine much like whiplash does.
Any area where your body was violently slammed in an accident can have ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves that were injured. Back and knee injuries are common musculoskeletal injuries. Depending on the injury, they can be treated with physical therapy, ice, medication, or spinal manipulation.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Anytime you experience a surprising and traumatic event, you could develop PTSD or other emotional issues like anxiety and depression. Usually, these subside after a short time but if you feel like you may be suffering from emotional issues after an accident, you should see a doctor who specializes in treating patients who have experienced trauma.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, you may go to the ER, depending on the severity of the accident but the main job of the ER is to make sure that you’re not experiencing a life-threatening injury and that you’re stable until you can see a doctor. Your physician may recommend some physical therapy but in the short term, he or she will most likely prescribe a high-dose NSAID or a stronger medication which merely masks the problem. Medications do not treat soft tissue injuries. A chiropractor can. Through gentle spinal manipulation, a chiropractor can treat your injuries in a way that lets your body naturally heal itself.
At North County Pain Relief, we’re experts in auto accidents. We not only know the injuries and how to treat them, but we know how the insurance companies handle accidents and we can work with you and with them to get you the treatment you need for a healthy recovery. If you’ve been in an auto accident, call North County Pain Relief today at (314) 731-4201 and let us show you how we can help.