First, what is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is concerned with diagnosing and treating mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system’s mechanical disorders, i.e., the spine, muscles, joints, and the nervous system. Treatment is achieved with non-invasive practices such as manual manipulation of the spine or other joints, called an ‘adjustment.’
Manual therapies have been used for thousands of years. Many cultures have practitioners that administer manual therapies for musculoskeletal pain and disease. Now medical science has advanced our knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and made chiropractic care more effective.
Chiropractic has grown from an alternative medicine concept to part of complementary medicine, and in some places, chiropractic has primary care status. Chiropractic is not merely a science but also a profession with a social purpose; to improve humans’ health and welfare.
Doctors of chiropractic are known as “chiropractors.” With a minimum of six to seven seconds of post-secondary academic and clinical education, chiropractors are trained to assess, diagnose, prescribe, and deliver treatment plans for a broad range of issues. Chiropractic is a health profession that is recognized and regulated in all US states.
The musculoskeletal system
Your body is supported by a musculoskeletal system comprised of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, and connective tissue. The nervous system connects these disparate parts and relays pain when they are out of place or diseased.
Medical practitioners treat an injury to one single part of the body, such as the hand, foot, or ankle. However, a chiropractor sees injuries to a single part of the musculoskeletal system as one that can affect other parts’ workings.
For example, if your ankle is injured, it can change how you walk, leading to chronic back pain. An injured shoulder may change your posture, causing neck pain. Knowledge of the fundamental relationship between a local part of the musculoskeletal system and potential distant interactions calls for a holistic approach.
Chiropractic care for accident injuries
Get a thorough exam if you’re involved in an accident and you’re dealing with back pain, head injuries, neck pain, whiplash, or shoulder injuries. Manual therapies for musculoskeletal pain can help.
Car accident pain behaves differently than non-specific pain. Often when you’re involved in a car accident, there’s so much adrenaline running through your body that you don’t experience the pain right away. What can happen is pain can come on later, up to two or three weeks after.
Delayed pain is part of why it’s so important to get an exam even if you’re not experiencing pain right away. A chiropractor works with people with whiplash, neck pain, and back pain, things that are common when you’re involved in a car accident.
A chiropractic exam can spot potential injuries that might not show up right away. The chiropractor can document your injury so they can be your advocates for getting the care you need should pain manifest later. Getting a thorough exam can also prevent long-term complications.
Your chiropractor can perform manual therapies and make an adjustment. A successful chiropractic adjustment can relieve your pain and speed up the healing process without using pain pills, injections, or needing surgery.
Chiropractors work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals. Based on the severity of the car accident injury, your chiropractor may refer you to an orthopedic doctor or recommend other treatment options.
Whiplash chiropractic care
It is essential to seek medical attention no matter how minor an accident maybe, even if you feel completely fine. Studies have shown that accidents as slow as 5 miles an hour can cause long-lasting and permanent damage. The most common injury that’s sustained for most people in an auto accident is whiplash.
Whiplash is a rapid forward and back movement of your head and the rest of your spine. When this happens, it can cause many injuries, including sprains and strains of the muscles and ligaments along your spine. Herniated disc misalignments of your spine and other chronic and long-lasting symptoms may also occur.
People often experience right away, or sometimes days and weeks later, neck and back pain. Sometimes, whiplash effects include headaches, and some people will have dizziness and other concussion symptoms. Tingling in your hands and feet is also a prevalent symptom of whiplash.
So, if you’ve been involved in an accident in your car, get it taken care of as soon as possible. After an accident, many people will find themselves either in an emergency room or their primary care physician’s office, which is perfectly fine. They’re excellent at quickly ruling out serious pathologies such as if you have any broken bones or internal bleeding, or concussions.
The treatment most physicians will prescribe will be in the form of a prescription for either pain medications or muscle relaxers. Now at the time, if you take those, they’ll probably help you feel a bit better, and they might take care of a lot of your symptoms. The problem with that is that they don’t do anything to cure the pain’s root cause.
Getting to the root cause is where your chiropractor comes in. They are going to work with you to help correctly diagnose any injuries that you have. Then they will create a treatment plan to help get you back to your pre-accident condition.
Usually, that treatment will consist of chiropractic adjustments to restore proper mobility in your spine segments and correct any misalignments that may have happened. Soft tissue treatments can be done to help take the pain out of the muscles and ligaments and get some stiffness out. When your range of motion comes back, it will help tissues properly heal.
Don’t let an accident ruin your quality of life
Car accidents can often result in painful injuries that decrease your ability to perform daily living activities. Living in pain causes mental stress as well a physical. When chiropractors work collaboratively with other health professionals, you can have comprehensive care and live a pain-free life.
It’s also important to have your injuries documented as soon as possible after an accident so you can be compensated for medical treatment and pain and suffering. Proper documentation can offset the insurance companies’ efforts to avoid payment or to lower your settlement.