Car crashes and injuries resulting from accidents are a common source of the kinds of pain which we specialise in treating at Complete Chiropractic. Often, people rely on painkillers in the aftermath of an accident – while this is understandable in the immediate term, long term use of pain killers is certainly not an appropriate way to deal with musculoskeletal issues arising from an accident – on the contrary, failing to properly deal with these kinds of issues may actually predispose you to further injury in the future.
After being in a car accident, or a similar incident you are often more concerned about the state of the car and the wellbeing of other occupants rather than how you feel right away. While serious injuries are usually obvious (at least on inspection by a medical professional), longer-term issues can often be masked by the adrenaline and other stress hormones which start running through your body when an incident occurs. Because of this, injuries from accidents aren’t always obvious, and it is often not for several days that symptoms start to emerge.
When we think about the kinds of accidents which people are typically involved in, car crashes usually come to mind as the most common – but in fact, any kind of impact or sudden deceleration can cause injuries. Research shows that car crashes that occur at as little as 5mph can result in significant tissue damage – the damage to the car can, therefore, appear only minor while the damage to the occupants can be significant. Since injury can also occur at such a low speed, you may also experience long term effects from situations which we wouldn’t necessarily think of as a “crash” – these might include backing into an object, such as a bollard or wall, taking a pothole badly on a motorbike or similar, or even after driving a golf cart or recreational vehicle over rough ground.
Whiplash is the most common type of injury which results from lower impact car crashes, but many forms of back and neck pain are often reported. Typically, symptoms will start with stiffness and aching as the initial shock subsides followed by neck & shoulder pain, back pain, headaches, muscle spasms, dizziness and pins and needles.
The symptoms that result from damage to the body from car accidents can last from a few weeks to months or become chronic problems lasting for years when appropriate treatment is not given.
Modern cars are designed to absorb some of the impacts as one vehicle strikes another this means that in many cases very serious injuries are avoided – but even then, much of the impact is still transferred to the occupant’s bodies as they are thrown forward and back. A good analogy is that of a box of eggs being dropped – the box can look fine from the outside, but once open the damage to the eggs can be seen. Because modern cars do such a good job at prevening serious injuries during a crash it’s actually now more common for victims to experience problems which emerge down the line and not to seek medical treatment immediately, as you would for a more serious injury.
The biomechanics of a Whiplash injury result in the C-shaped neck curve being buckled as the head is thrown forward and back altering the shape of the spine due to ligament and soft tissue damage. Most of the discomfort which arises initially is a direct result of tissue injury, whereas the long term issues are typically associated with this displacement of the vertebra. X-rays are therefore the best option to get a handle on the damage to the neck or another area of the spine -doing so allows us to differentiate between pain which is likely related to damage to spinal ligaments and longer-term issues related to displacement of vertebra.
Soft tissue injuries are best treated with methodologies such as massage, or even sports therapy – whereas issues relating to the structure of the spine itself are controlled and corrected with chiropractic care. No matter what kind of injury is at play, it is important that a thorough examination is performed as soon a possible following a road traffic accident – this allows us to ascertain the severity of damage and tissues affected so that the right treatment can be given before any damage starts to become a chronic issue.
Why choose Complete Chiropractic?
When you have been involved in an accident and are experiencing pain, it is critical that you have your injuries professionally assessed. While chiropractic is an ideal solution for neck or back pain resulting from a crash, it is critical that you have any affected areas – especially the neck – x-rayed before beginning treatment, just in case you have sustained a vertebral fracture or break which may require urgent medical treatment. At Complete Chiropractic, we have state of the art x-ray facilities on site, which allows us to thoroughly investigate your case and create an optimal treatment plan.
We focus on helping you get back to normal function as quickly as possible by helping you to ease the symptoms and working to restore mobility – once your immediate painful complaint is under control, we focus on correcting any underlying or residual problems to ensure that you are not left with long term effects.