Police reports indicate that there were 26,756,000 traffic accidents on U.S. roadways, injuring 2,740,000 people. In January of 2022, 3,117 vehicle occupants, bicyclists and pedestrians were in collisions that resulted in physical harm. You don’t need to have a serious car accident to sustain painful and debilitating injuries. Getting the treatment you need helps you recover and may prevent complications and long-term or chronic issues. Car accident chiropractors can help you get your health and life back on track.
What a Car Accident Chiropractor Does
While most people associate chiropractic treatment with the spinal manipulations that many regularly receive as part of a monthly wellness routine, routine adjustments are only one aspect of the roles and services for practitioners in this field. Chiropractors treat musculoskeletal disorders and injuries using hands-on and technology-assisted treatment methods.
Their techniques work with the body to help patients heal, reduce pain and restore mobility and function. Chiropractic care improves the body’s ability to heal itself without resorting to invasive methods or heavy-hitting medications.
A central feature of chiropractic care, spinal manipulation helps realign the spinal cord. The practitioner utilizes a controlled thrust to move a joint past its normal range of motion safely. An average of one million Americans a day receive a spinal adjustment. Spinal adjustments may:
- Aid in healing musculoskeletal injuries
- Improve immune system functioning
- Increase energy levels
- Boost memory and cognition.
Seeing a chiropractor after a car crash may help you recover from your injuries and improve your overall health. At Comprehensive Healthcare Group (CHG), we often incorporate chiropractic care into a holistic, whole-health treatment plan for car accident patients.
While many people get massages for de-stressing and relaxation, an auto accident chiropractor utilizes therapeutic massage to improve a patient’s physical functioning. Instead of a general, all-over massage, this approach targets the problem areas. Therapeutic massage may include any of the following techniques:
- Deep-tissue massage: This technique involves skilled soft-tissue manipulation that increases blood flow to the injured area and breaks down scar tissue. The practitioner applies enough pressure to stimulate tissues in the target area.
- Trigger point therapy: Injuries can lead to painful, knotted muscles. Pressing on the knots also produces pain and discomfort in different areas. A chiropractor applies direct pressure to those knots at varying degrees to release the muscle, followed by range-of-motion stretching.
- Neuromuscular massage: People who have injured muscles, especially in the lower back, often experience muscle spasms. These spasms reduce blood and oxygen flow to the muscle and lead to lactic acid buildup, inhibiting the body’s natural healing mechanisms. The chiropractor applies different degrees of pressure to the muscles to release the lactic acid and increase blood and oxygen flow.
Manual Resistance and Stretching Techniques
Another therapeutic technique chiropractors use combines resistance and stretching to alleviate pain and improve function in the musculoskeletal system. In the first step, practitioners direct patients to push against an opposing force, which requires tensing the muscles.
Once patients relax, chiropractors work on manually stretching the muscles. Combining the two movement types allows for a deeper stretch than the muscles would otherwise allow. Doing so improves range of motion and may release knotted muscles and reduce pain.
Therapeutic ultrasound utilizes sound waves to deliver low-level heat to the targeted area. It can reach deep soft tissue that heat packs can’t access. Ultrasound reduces inflammation and increases blood flow. It can also break apart scar tissue. Chiropractors may use it before manual manipulation to relax stiff tissues.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation
If you have muscle injuries, your car accident chiropractor may use transcutaneous electrical muscle stimulation (TEMS) as part of your treatment plan. TEMS therapy sends low-frequency electrical pulses to your muscles, causing them to contract. Muscle contraction increases blood flow to the area, speeding up the recovery process and reducing muscle tension.
Chiropractors often incorporate exercise therapy in patients’ treatment regimes. They prescribe specific exercises and stretches to strengthen and retrain the muscles, improve mobility, and increase range of motion. Engaging in the right kind of exercises can speed up your recovery time.
Why You Should See an Auto Accident Chiropractor
Nobody wants the hassles that come with getting into a traffic accident. Injuries can lead to significant disruptions and debilitating pain. Some collisions can lead to life-threatening injuries that require immediate emergency care.
However, often people sustain injuries that don’t demand emergency treatment, or the attending physician may treat immediate issues and then release the patient from care. In either of these situations, the patient’s recovery may take longer, or complications may develop if the individual doesn’t seek additional treatment. When you seek medical attention from a chiropractor after a car accident, they can help you recover from your injuries faster, so you can resume your normal activities more quickly.
Receive Treatment for Your Auto Injury
While many injuries are immediately apparent when you have a collision, it may take days or weeks for you to recognize the symptoms of others. If you had a car accident, a CHG chiropractor thoroughly evaluates your musculoskeletal system. This examination allows the practitioner to assess known injuries and determine any undiagnosed injuries.
In many cases, after a crash, patients experience pain from unspecified injuries and have difficulty pinpointing its source. Chiropractors can diagnose the cause using manual and technological tests. After a thorough assessment, chiropractors determine a course of treatment to help patients recover from their injuries.
Chiropractors treat numerous common injuries like:
Whiplash is a common car accident injury. An estimated 3 million people a year suffer from it. This injury occurs most often during rear-end collisions. The jarring force of a rear-end collision causes the head to move back and forth more quickly than the neck muscles can handle. The unnatural movement leads to torn neck and upper back muscles and herniated discs in the cervical section of the spine. Without proper treatment, whiplash injuries can result in long-term neck issues.
Every year, nearly 3 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury, and car crashes cause approximately 14% of them. A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Though concussions are head injuries, often, when a person receives a concussion from a car accident, the cervical spine may sustain injuries or may not be in alignment. Additionally, when the first and second cervical vertebrae are out of alignment, it can inhibit spinal fluid flow to the brain. Getting treatment from a car accident chiropractor may assist in healing a concussion.
Shoulder and Neck Pain
People who have a car accident often experience neck and shoulder pain from stiff or strained muscles, tendons, and ligaments, even after minor fender-benders. Though less severe than whiplash, these injuries can cause significant pain and reduce a person’s ability to perform daily activities. They can also cause headaches, migraines, and pain radiating down the back and arms.
Back injuries are a common outcome after a collision, especially those in the lower back. If you have lower back pain, you may have a sprain or strain in the lumbar region. A sprain is the result of a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are the soft tissues that hold two bones together.
Strains are similar, but they occur in the muscles and tendons (tendons join muscle to bone). As with whiplash, the forceful motion of an impact may cause your soft tissues to overextend. Chiropractic treatment is an effective, non-invasive means for reducing pain and encouraging healing in back strains and sprains.
Spinal Column Injuries
Car accidents frequently lead to spinal column injuries. The spinal column includes the vertebrae, discs and nerves that run down the center of the back. These injuries may be life-threatening, requiring immediate emergency care. However, there are also several painful, debilitating injuries that may benefit from chiropractic treatment. Herniated or bulging discs and pinched nerves are examples of the types of damages auto accident chiropractors frequently treat.
Arm and Leg Pain
Arm and leg pain often occur after car accidents due to muscle or nerve damage. If your spine is out of alignment or has a bulging disc, it may also impact the nerves. A compressed, pinched, or damaged nerve can send pain down the length of the nerve. You may feel it in your arms or legs and even down into your hands and feet. You may also feel weakness, tingling, and numbness. Sciatica is one common nerve injury — resulting from a compressed nerve in the lumbar spine — that leads to radiating pain and numbness through the buttocks and down the leg.
Get Relief From Headaches and Migraines
After a car accident, many people develop chronic headaches or migraines. Often, the headaches don’t begin until days after the collision, and the cause may not be readily apparent. There are several types of headaches that are common after car crashes, including:
- Nerve dysfunction
You may feel headache pain on one side of your head, along your jawline, in a band that encircles your head, behind the eyes or at the base of the skull. They may come and go, or you may have a constant headache, with pain that may ease up and intensify but doesn’t go away. A Comprehensive Healthcare Group chiropractor can determine what causes your headaches and develops a treatment plan based on the diagnosis.
Inflammation is part of your body’s natural immune system response. When you sustain an injury, particularly soft-tissue injuries, your immune system responds with a blast of cytokines and inflammatory cells, leading to swelling, redness, and sensitivity at the injured site.
Though the cytokines and inflammatory cells trigger your body’s healing mechanisms, it inhibits the healing process when inflammation persists. When you seek treatment from a chiropractor after a car accident, the practitioner uses techniques that help reduce harmful inflammation so your body can heal from its injuries.
Heal With Non-Invasive Treatment
Chiropractors use non-invasive treatment methods that encourage your body’s natural healing capabilities. Patients frequently recover from their injuries without the need for surgery. You must make an appointment with a chiropractor as soon as possible. The longer you wait for treatment, the more damage you may sustain, leading to longer recovery times, chronic issues, or an increased likelihood your injuries will require surgery to repair damages.
Improve Range of Motion
When you let car accident injuries heal on their own, you may end up with muscles, tendons, and ligaments that don’t have the flexibility they once did. You may experience consistent stiffness and a limited range of motion. One of the benefits of chiropractic treatment is that it improves your range of motion, allowing you to participate in a pain-free life again more fully.
Alleviate Pain Without Medications
Doctors frequently prescribe opioids to alleviate the pain associated with severe injuries. Opioids are potent drugs that are highly addictive. An estimated 2 million people in the U.S. have a prescription opioid use disorder. People who receive chiropractic care are 64% less likely to use prescription opioids. Chiropractic treatment is effective in alleviating pain without medication.
Many injuries people receive in auto accidents can lead to complications if left untreated. Soft tissue damage in the joints can cause arthritis, while nerve injuries can lead to permanent, irreversible damage. When you don’t get help for whiplash, the pain can turn chronic. Seeking treatment from a chiropractor after a car accident may prevent complications from your injuries later in life.
How Comprehensive Healthcare Group Helps Car Accident Patients
At CHG, we offer comprehensive, holistic chiropractic treatment for car accident victims. Every patient who walks through our doors receives individual attention and personalized treatment for their personal injury. Our qualified and skilled auto accident chiropractors utilize state-of-the-art technologies and proven techniques to help patients recover from injuries.
Our chiropractor has an advanced degree in nutrition and offers nutritional guidance to promote healing and support overall health and well-being. CHG also provides physical therapy, rehabilitation, pain management, and orthopedic services for patients who require additional services for treating injuries. Our doctors accept no-fault insurance, PIP (personal injury protection), workers’ compensation, and other health insurance plans. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.