When you’re in an auto accident, whether it is a fender-bender or a more serious collision, take the time to see your primary care physician, or go to the emergency room. This is particularly critical if you have hit your head, think you may have a broken bone or are bleeding internally.
If you see your doctor or go to the emergency room, you will be examined and, depending on your pain or injury; the doctor may request an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan. Your doctor’s primary objective for ordering these tests is to determine if there are internal injuries or fractures.
When to See Your Chiropractor?
If you know that you do not have any immediate life-threatening injuries, see your chiropractor as soon as you can. Your chiropractor, like your primary care physician, can order an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan when appropriate. Soft tissue damage to the neck and back can become a lifetime problem if not addressed quickly. You may not begin to feel pain right away because both your mind and body go into a state of shock that can suppress pain for a day or two. You don’t want to wait until the pain becomes severe enough to impact your home or work life.
How a Chiropractor Can Help
Reducing pain levels
When your body is thrown around by a car accident, you may end up with aching muscles and joints. If tendons are injured, you may experience painful tendinitis. Tendinitis is an inflammation of tendons that connect to bones. The pain can become severe, and you will feel it most in the area where the tendon attaches to the bone. Tendinitis can limit your mobility. Your chiropractor will know what to do no matter what injury you may have. If your injury is more severe, you may need to rest for a few days, use heat and ice therapy, get electrical muscle stimulation, or additional treatments. As you begin to heal and regain mobility, your chiropractor may recommend gentle massage, spinal adjustments, and muscle strengthening exercises.
Avoiding More Damage
An accident can cause misalignments in your neck and spine. These misalignments, in addition to causing pain, can lead to an immune system that is no longer working optimally. A weakened immune system means that you may not be as healthy in other ways. You may suffer from headaches, fatigue, and become easily stressed out. That feeling of calm that overtakes you after an adjustment is a message that the body is back in balance. This is why you must not stop your chiropractic treatments as soon as you start to feel a little better. By continuing treatment as long as needed, you are protecting your body from further damage.
The bruises, sprains, and joint damage that may accompany a car accident often leave you feeling stiff and unable to move as easily. If you are an older adult, a car accident may worsen conditions such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease. By getting chiropractic care right away, you prevent further damage to your body.
A car accident will shake you up, but if you take care of your body right away, you’ll get back to living a healthy life a lot faster. After an accident, your chiropractor will become a partner in restoring your body to better than it was before the accident. You may also learn a thing or two about how to maintain the progress you have made after you leave the chiropractor’s office. Many people still do exercises they learned while under chiropractic care because they are effective and because they continue to work long after the accident.