At one time in each of our lives we may be victims (or the cause of) an auto accident. In either case, the most important thing to worry about in case of an accident is the people involved. Cars can be replaced. Material possessions can be replaced. A damaged spinal cord – no luck replacing that!.
The first thing to do immediately after you have settled down and calmed your nerves is to assess your own damage. Again, we’re not speaking about your vehicle. We’re talking about you. Can you move? Do you feel pain? Where is the pain? Do you have a headache? Can you move your arms and / or legs? Once you assess your own health, try to extricate yourself from your vehicle and see if the other person(s) are okay as well and begin to swap insurance information. Always report the auto accident to the police. It’s always important to have the accident documented for insurance purposes, especially if you are not at fault for the accident. If you’re not at fault, the other person’s insurance should then pay for repairs to your vehicle and any treatment expenses you incur.
Secondly, you should seek out medical attention. While at the scene of the accident, the policeman will generally ask if you need medical attention. If you feel that you are fine, do not request an ambulance, but if you are shaken up or feel a little pain, by all means, have an ambulance transport you to the nearest hospital. Some injuries may not be obvious within the first few minutes, hours or even days after the accident, but it is a good idea to get expert medical advice about what you are feeling. If you do not go to the hospital immediately, seek out your primary care physician or a chiropractor and have them assess your aches and pains that began after your accident.
Just like you would preserve evidence of your accident (pictures of your vehicle and the other vehicle, weather conditions, road conditions, etc) you should also have pictures taken of your external injuries to prove that they are from the accident. If the pain persists after the accident and the initial medical check-up, go back to your doctor or chiropractor for extended treatment options.
And of course, hire a personal injury lawyer who will best represent your interests, so you can get your bills paid.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Auto Accident Injuries?
Consulting a chiropractor is always a smart move after having a car accident. A chiropractor can treat neck injuries / whiplash, back injuries, soft tissue injuries, and he is able to help you loosen stiff muscles after the vehicular accident occurs.
First off, you need to listen to your chiropractor after your auto accident. He is best able to diagnose your injuries and provide the most corrective treatment to help you heal.
The first step in healing after an auto accident is to realize that you need to see a chiropractor to help ease your pain, even if it appears days after your accident.
Over the last several years, a ton of research has been done proving that injuries can and do occur in low impact collisions. The most common injury is whiplash (or neck injuries). Whiplash was discovered to occur in sudden changes of speed of only 2.5 miles per hour, with minor back injuries also occurring.
While standards in automobile bumpers are made to withstand damage at five miles per hour, the human body does not withstand damage at this speed (or any speed for that matter). When a vehicle doesn’t absorb the force of the crash, the occupant of the vehicle does, leading to many forms of neck, back and spinal injuries. Often times, injuries incurred during an auto accident cannot be seen externally, such as soft tissue injuries (injuries to muscles, ligaments and discs) and can heal with scar tissue which can ache years later – yet the damage to the spine can lead to recurring headaches, neck pain, stiffness, chronic muscle tension and spasms, lower back pain, spinal disc degeneration, inflamed arthritis, sore and tight inflexible muscles, greater chance of repeat injury and aid in poor posture.
Delays in the onset of pain are also common. Joint injuries in auto accidents may cause post-traumatic osteoarthritis, which is a speeding up of the arthritis process and develops at an earlier age than in people who have not had traumas relating to automobile accidents.
Visiting a chiropractor after an auto accident injury is a step in the right direction towards diagnosing problems arising from car accidents. They can determine how much damage your body has sustained and recommend treatment necessary for a full recovery.