It happens in a flash—the screech of tires, the clash of metal against metal, the sound of glass shattering—car accidents are as unavoidable as they are devastating. Even though you might survive the crash, car accidents are known to change lives, and it’s not usually for the better.
Many car accident victims experience pain from their injuries for months or even years after the crash. It’s hard to fathom, but somehow modern medication and treatments for car accident victims often fall just short of restoring them to their former healthy state. Countless prescription painkillers later, and with addiction looming above their heads, these accident victims still suffer from the pain caused by their injuries despite spending the majority of their time and money in and out of treatment. It is a tragic scenario, but unlike the accidents that leave these people with lasting injuries, it is unavoidable.
Chiropractic care has, for years, flown under the radar with most people considering it a luxury, not unlike spa days and massages. While its medical benefits remain unsung, the results of this therapy are very evident particularly for car accident victims with unrelenting injuries.
Take for example whiplash, the most common injury sustained in a car accident. It takes surprisingly little to injure your neck. A slight yet sudden change in speed—even a seemingly small 2.5 mile per hour change—is enough to cause a neck injury. You are more likely to get whiplash if you’re rear-ended, but the injury can occur when the body is whipped back and forth beyond its usual limits no matter what direction your vehicle is hit from. In fact, 30 percent of all whiplash injuries occur from frontal collisions.
Whiplash is a particularly troublesome injury because its symptoms are not usually evident right away. During the forceful whipping of the body from one direction to the other, the ligaments supporting the neck can develop tiny, tiny tears which the victim will not notice right away. After a while, these tears start to swell, giving rise to symptoms such as neck pain and stiffness, shoulder and arm pain, a limited range of motion in the neck, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, and lower back pain.
Over 70 percent of accident victims that are diagnosed with whiplash go on to experience the pain six weeks after their trip to the emergency room. That’s because the soft tissue damage in the neck ligaments takes quite a while to heal. 25 percent of whiplash victims may experience these symptoms for up to six months even while undergoing treatment.
The scarring of soft tissue as it heals brings forth another problem. If the spine is not correctly aligned before scarring begins, the patient might never recover their full range of motion in the neck. Furthermore, the misalignment in the spine will naturally inhibit its normal functioning, which ultimately leads to the deterioration of the patient’s spinal health.
This is how chiropractic care can be useful in treating car injuries. In chiropractic school, chiropractors are taught how to treat back and neck pain without the use of pharmaceuticals. For many people, this is a godsend. Treating chronic pain using pharmaceutical drugs for long periods can result in addiction for the patient, which is why taking the prescription drug route isn’t always advisable.
Rather than rely on prescription medicine, chiropractic care focuses on adjusting the spine and stimulating the surrounding musculature to relieve pain as well as to improve healing. A chiropractor is in a better position to treat painful car accident injuries like whiplash due to their unique spinal re-adjustment and alignment techniques. You may wonder whether chiropractic care has more benefits than prescription drugs, and the answer to that is that it does. Aside from quicker healing, chiropractic care can also benefit patients in the following ways:
- Restoring Mobility
It only takes a little time for an injured neck to become sore and stiff to the point of not being able to move. Chiropractic care focuses on restoring the patient’s full range of motion quickly before the scar tissue begins to form. Neck motion can be regained fully with the help of a chiropractor.
- Promoting Long-term Healing
It is after the car accidents that patients are most vulnerable to re-injury. This is because of the resulting muscle weakness in the affected areas. The rehabilitative exercises in chiropractic care seek to help the patient restore their flexibility as well as to strengthen the weakened muscles around their spine for better support, thus reducing the risk of them sustaining further injuries. This also improves the healing process dramatically and increases the chances of making a full recovery.
- Eliminating Pain
Lastly, chiropractic care is ideal for quick pain relief because it addresses the affected areas directly. Unlike prescription drugs, a chiropractor can reduce the pain and discomfort of a car accident victim in just a few weeks, sometimes even sooner. It is a highly effective pain-relieving method. Several car accident victims say that it reduces pain and discomfort levels by up to 80 percent within the first few weeks. Best of all, the pain-relieving properties of chiropractic care come with no nasty side effects, which is more than can be said about the highly addictive prescription meds you are likely to get at the hospital.
Is chiropractic care all you need to make a full recovery after an accident? Probably not, but there is infallible evidence that it can help considerably with car accident injuries. Seek chiropractic care for the injuries that cause you pain long after you’ve received treatment from a hospital. If you want to skip the whole prescription drug routine, a chiropractor is a great solution. They offer rather quick pain relief, but more importantly, they allow your body to make a full recovery using non-invasive methods like spinal alignment, rehabilitative exercises, and electric muscle stimulation.
Soft-tissue injuries can only heal with time, and chiropractic care ensures that they heal quickly, properly, and as painlessly as possible. While you risk suffering the side effects of prescription drugs—one of which could be an addiction—if an injury drives you to seek prescription painkillers frequently, chiropractic care can provide relief as well as promote the proper healing of a long-time accident injury.
BY: Jen Delatte
Auto Accident Injuries, Chiropractic Therapy
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