One reaction people often have after an accident is to get up and shake it off immediately. Think about it, sometimes an accident is embarrassing. That slip on ice or a misstep while running is emotionally uncomfortable, especially if others have witnessed an ungainly fall. You’ll want it to be over, and most of the time, you prefer if people don’t fuss over you. Car accident victims will often just get out of the car while they’re still in shock. It takes witnesses to come over and tell them to remain still and wait for the police and ambulance to arrive.

Your body and your emotions go awry when an accident occurs. The adrenaline and the shock of what just happened can often numb all pain. Even fender benders have consequences on your health. Sometimes, these low-speed collisions can cause just as much damage as a more serious accident. Injuries like broken bones, deep lacerations, and severe concussions, are easy to spot and require immediate emergency medical care, but soft tissue damage to the neck and back isn’t always apparent right away. You must never walk away from an accident without getting medical attention as soon as possible. Many states now require that you seek care from a medical provider, such as a chiropractor, within 48 hours of a car accident.

Pain may not show up for a couple of days after an accident. Injuries associated with whiplash in which your head and neck are sometimes violently pushed forward and back, can cause intense pain but not right away. One morning, you may wake up unable to move your head. That is why failing to see a doctor or chiropractor after an accident can become costly both in terms of money and your health. The sooner you begin treatment, the faster you will heal and start enjoying life again.

If you have a whiplash injury you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Neck pain with reduced range of motion
  • Lower back pain
  • Tingling in the arm
  • Headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision; these require immediate emergency care if the pain or disability is intense
  • Shoulder pain

Damage from a whiplash injury can escalate if you don’t address it right away. It can lead to long-term pain, the development of scar tissue, loss of range of motion, and degeneration of the bones in the back and neck. Chiropractic adjustments after an accident will help the body heal itself.

When to See a Chiropractor

If you’ve been in an accident, you should see a chiropractor as soon as you are able. Your body’s alarm system is pain. If you’re feeling pain, you have suffered an injury that needs attention. For insurance purposes after a car accident, you want your injuries to be documented so that you can get the necessary treatment.

Even if you were treated and released from the hospital, it is wise to go for a follow-up consultation with the chiropractor. The chiropractor will determine what is the best treatment after determining if you are suffering from soft tissue damage, reduced range of motion issues, damaged joints, herniated disc, or any other injury.

After the consultation and examination, your chiropractor will provide you with a personalized plan of care that addresses your specific injuries. You will likely need chiropractic adjustments that will put your spine back in alignment. The chiropractors will also determine if you need deep tissue massages or other treatment such as trigger point therapy.

If you ignore the pain associated with any type of accident it may result in irreversible damage to your body. You do not want to incur long-term costs, go through surgery, or take the risk of not being able to live a normal life. Don’t wait too long to see your chiropractor. You’ll be glad you did.

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