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No matter how careful a driver is, accidents can happen at any time and to anyone. In a split second, even the most careful of drivers can be thrust into a dangerous, frightening, and frustrating situation.

While some accidents are minor fender-benders, others are much more serious, leaving victims with long-term injuries that can be both physically and emotionally devastating. Further, some seemingly “minor” car crashes can result in significant bodily injuries. 

car accident injuries

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, first call 911 and ensure that everyone involved is safe and receives immediate medical attention. Next, many people will call their insurance or a personal injury lawyer, but there are a few reasons why you should call a chiropractor.

Car Accident Injuries

Chiropractors are trained to identify and treat these types of injuries, which can often be missed by traditional medical doctors. In addition, chiropractic care is a drug-free, surgery-free way to treat pain and other symptoms associated with car accident injuries.

Car accidents can result in a variety of injuries, most often located in the neck and spine. These injuries can range anywhere from whiplash, herniated discs, broken bones, torn muscle tissue, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and more.

Following an accident, a person is often overrun with adrenaline and may not feel all of their injuries until days later. Especially seemingly minor car accident injuries, which can be viewed as an inconvenience in comparison to the situation. Calling a chiropractor to evaluate your body and check for any injuries early, can prevent an injury from turning into something far more serious later on.

car accident injuries

What is Whiplash?

One of the most common car accident injuries is whiplash, which occurs when your head is snapped forward and then backward in a quick motion. (Whiplash can occur at speeds as low as 3mph!) Medical treatment for whiplash can vary based on the severity of the injury.

The force of the impact can damage the soft tissues in your neck, including the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. A whiplash injury can cause neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and dizziness. In more severe cases, it can also lead to arm pain, shoulder pain, electrical shock sensations down the arms, and even traumatic brain injury.

The symptoms of whiplash can vary from person to person, but the treatment for it is focused on treating the root cause to alleviate the symptoms. When the body experiences whiplash, it can also experience something known as ligament laxity.

Understanding Ligament Laxity

Ligament laxity is when the ligaments that support your spine and hold your vertebrae in place become overstretched or torn. This can cause the spine to become unstable, which can lead to a number of different symptoms, such as neck pain, headaches, arm pain, dizziness, and more.

Ligament laxity is a serious injury that can result in “Alteration of Motion Segment Integrity” (AOMSI). It may be missed by traditional medical doctors. This is because it’s not always apparent on traditional x-rays or MRIs. The only way to definitively diagnose ligament laxity is through using special software to analyze “stress” and measure the instability of the spine.

At Thrive! Wellness Center our doctors are trained to look for ligament laxity. Learn more by clicking here.

Additionally, ligament laxity is a permanent injury. If you’re in the process of litigation for your car crash, it’s important that whoever you’re working with knows to check for ligament laxity so that you can be compensated accordingly.

Back Injuries

Some of the most common car accident injuries occur in the spine and surrounding muscles and tissues of the back. These injuries can be serious and may require long-term treatment. Seeing a chiropractor can help to relieve pain, improve range of motion, and prevent future injuries.

Car accident injuries located in the back can be classified into three different types of injury based on their location in the spine. They include cervical, thoracic, and lumbar injuries.

Cervical Injuries

Cervical injuries are those that occur in the neck. The most common cervical injuries are ligament laxity, whiplash, and a herniated disc. Cervical injuries also greatly affect the range of mobility in the neck and can result in migraines. 

Thoracic Injuries

Thoracic injuries are those that occur in the upper or middle back. The most common thoracic injury is whiplash. Injuries to this area can also be reflected in chest injuries, like broken ribs.

Lumbar Injuries

Lumbar injuries are those that occur in the lower back. The most common types of lumbar injury are herniated discs or pinched nerves. A herniated disc occurs when the outer fibers of a disc tear and the gel-like center of the spinal disc leaks out.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Car accident injuries to the spinal cord are the most serious injuries because they can result in paralysis or death.

Head Injuries

These are also very common car accident injuries. They can range from mild concussions to more serious traumatic brain injuries. In some cases, head injuries can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder and require additional mental health treatment.

Concussions

A concussion is a type of head injury that occurs when the brain is jarred or shaken. Concussions can range from mild to severe and can lead to a number of different symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, difficulty concentrating, and more.

The best way to prevent serious head injuries is to always wear a seatbelt and make sure that your headrest is properly positioned.

Arm and Leg Injuries

Car accident injuries to the arms and legs are also common. These injuries can range from cuts and bruises to more serious fractures.

If you have any arm or leg injuries, it is important to see a doctor or chiropractor as soon as possible so that they can properly heal.

Click here for a FREE eBook with even more information on what to do if you’ve been in a car accident!

car accident injuries 3 - car accident injuries

Why You Should Speak to a Chiropractor 

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, first call 911 and ensure that everyone involved is safe. If you are experiencing mental and emotional injuries, here are five reasons why you should call a chiropractor:

1. A Chiropractor Can Help Reduce Inflammation and Swelling

After an accident, it’s not uncommon for victims to experience inflammation and swelling. This is often the result of soft tissue damage that occurs during the collision. Left untreated, this inflammation can lead to long-term pain and stiffness.

A chiropractor can help to reduce inflammation and swelling through a variety of methods, including:

Manual manipulation: This is a hands-on approach that involves the chiropractor using their hands to apply pressure to the affected area.

Cold therapy: Cold therapy can be used to reduce inflammation and swelling. This is often done by applying a cold pack to the affected area for a period of time.

Ultrasound: Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to reduce inflammation and swelling. This is done by applying a wand-like device to the affected area.

Deep Tissue Laser Therapy: Deep tissue laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate cellular repair, decrease inflammation, and decrease pain. 

2. A Chiropractor Can Help Relieve Pain

Chiropractors are also able to help relieve pain that’s associated with car accidents. This is often done through a combination of manual manipulation, cold therapy, ultrasound, and deep tissue laser therapy. They can also work to find out what’s causing the pain, and address the root cause. Additionally, they can ensure that your body heals properly to avoid pain and stiffness in the future.

3. A Chiropractor Can Help Improve Range of Motion

After an accident, it’s not uncommon for victims to experience a loss of range of motion. This is often the result of soft tissue damage or joint dysfunction.

A chiropractor can help to improve the range of motion through a variety of methods, including:

Manual manipulation: This is a hands-on approach that involves the chiropractor using their hands to apply pressure to the affected area.

Stretching: Stretching exercises can help to improve the range of motion and blood flow to the affected area to help the healing process.

 

4. A Chiropractor Can Help Prevent Further Injury

After an accident, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent further injury. When the body is involved in a car accident, it often goes into shock. This can lead to the muscles and ligaments tightening up in order to protect the body.

If these muscles and ligaments aren’t treated, they can often become permanently shortened, leading to long-term pain and stiffness. A chiropractor can help to prevent this by providing treatment that will help to loosen the muscles and ligaments.

5. A Chiropractor Can Help You Avoid Surgery

In some cases, car accident victims may require surgery. However, surgery is often invasive and can lead to a long recovery period.

A chiropractor can often help to avoid surgery by providing treatment that will correct the injury without the need for surgery. If you have a car accident injury that persists even after treatment, then your chiropractor will go over any possible surgery options.

6. A Chiropractor Can Manage Your Care

After a car crash, you may need specialized help. Instead of you trying to figure out which specialist to see and when your chiropractor can be your “quarterback” to coordinate referrals and make sure you get the right treatment at the right time. 

Talk to a Chiropractor Today

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. A chiropractor can help to reduce inflammation and swelling, relieve pain, improve range of motion, prevent further injury, avoid surgery, and coordinate care with other providers.

At Thrive! Wellness Center, we’re very familiar with what happens during and after a car accident and the injuries associated with them. While this may be a very stressful time in your life, we’re here to help.

Click here for a FREE eBook with even more information on what to do if you’ve been in a car accident!

For more information or to talk to the team at Thrive! Wellness Center, call (727) 381-3456 or contact us here.