Car accidents are extremely common, with countless minor and major traffic collisions happening across the country every day. People who are involved can sustain a wide range of different injuries, including damage to their spine.
While it may not seem like it at the time, you may have suffered significant trauma to your back. The initial shock and adrenaline that is often felt by patients immediately after a collision can mask all manner of symptoms, and it is easy to walk away thinking that you have been lucky to escape unscathed. However, all too often the same people seek medical help hours, days or even weeks later when they realize that something just isn’t right with their body. This is often the case with back and spine injuries, whereby symptoms may not manifest right away.
Unfortunately, delaying treatment that you may need after a car accident can make your situation worse, and when symptoms do become apparent, they may be acute. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you visit a chiropractor as soon as possible after your car accident.
How chiropractic care can help after a car accident
Chiropractic care is considered to be a complementary therapy that, in the case of a car accident, is often performed alongside medical treatment. Your chiropractor will complete a thorough examination of your body, assess what pain you are in and check to see how mobile you are. This will enable them to put together an effective plan to alleviate your problems.
Chiropractic care after a car accident can help in a number of different ways including:
- Alleviating pain
- Expediting healing
- Restoring mobility
- Promoting long-term strength and health of your spine
They will then use spinal manipulations to help heal any injuries you have sustained and alleviate your symptoms. Your chiropractor may also offer advice on nutrition, physical exercise and supplements that may also boost your spine health.
Types of injury sustained in a car accident that chiropractic care can help with
There are a variety of different injuries that you might sustain in the course of a car accident that would benefit from the attention of an experienced chiropractor, including the following:
By far the most commonly known injury sustained in car accidents, whiplash occurs when your head whips back and forth at speed as a result of impact. This causes overextension of the neck muscles, triggering pain, mobility issues with the neck and other neurological symptoms.
As their name suggests, your intervertebral discs sit between the bones of your spine. They are soft, sponge-like and act as a shock-absorber, enabling the spine to experience force and pressure without becoming damaged. Each disc is made of several layers, and if the outer layer becomes damaged, the soft gel inside can leak out and cause irritation to nearby nerves.
In many car accidents, the driver or passengers will find themselves being thrown forward in their seats as the force of the impact hits them. While your seat belt helps to stop you being ejected from your seat and into the seat in front or through the windshield, it also keeps your lower body in place during the impact. Since the upper body still has some movement, a crash could cause the vertebrae of the spine to be pulled apart, leading to compression fractures. In rare cases, the spinal cord may be damaged by bone fragments as a result of the fracture.
In some instances, the force of impact in a car accident can cause a vertebra to move out of place. When this happens, the displaced bone may put pressure on the surrounding nerves, causing pain and other neurological symptoms to occur. This is known as spondylolisthesis.
If you have been involved in a car accident and are suffering from back pain, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team for further advice or to schedule your appointment.