Yes, you should always see a doctor or a chiropractor after a car accident, even if you don’t initially think that you’ve been injured. There could be underlying medical problems that you haven’t yet recognized, but which may be long-lasting and debilitating. This is especially the case if the accident was caused by someone being reckless: if you think that there’s a chance that lawyers are going to get involved, then it is imperative that you go in to see a medical professional and as soon as possible.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Jonesboro, Georgia, or Stockbridge or Morrow, then make an appointment with Chiropractic Plus right away to get checked out by one of our expert chiropractors.
What Kind of Injuries Are Sustained in Car Accidents?
The kinds of injuries that you can get from a car accident can vary from the minor to the severe, but even minor problems, if left unchecked, can become major ones down the road.
There are three things that affect the seriousness of the accident (though there are exceptions and even a minor accident can do long-lasting damage). They are: the type of accident (T-bone, head-on, rear-end, etc); the speed at which each car was traveling; and the safety equipment in the car and if the riders were wearing their seatbelts.
Even under the best circumstances–a slow-speed collision where you were wearing your seatbelt–can cause injuries, and you need to get checked out.
The most common injuries suffered in a car accident are:
- Muscle/tendon tears
- Fractures and broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
All of these issues can be serious. Even something that may appear to only be a bruise could hide something much worse underneath. And even if you walk away from the accident feeling fine that doesn’t mean that pains won’t come up a few days down the road. The body responds to trauma in different ways at different times and often you’re so full of adrenaline at the time of an accident that you don’t feel pain at all.
What Are the Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?
Diagnosing the Problem
Because of all the adrenaline, the emotions, the worries and trauma of a car accident, it’s not uncommon that you can walk away thinking that you’re fine. But often the injury that you sustain in an accident will show up days, weeks, or even months later. So going into a chiropractor to get checked out immediately will help you identify small problems before they become big problems. The chiropractor can do a complete check up and see how all your bones and muscles are doing. They may recommend x-rays if there are certain pain points or tightness or movement issues. Don’t skip this step! It can be crucial to getting the care that you need down the road.
On top of just getting medical care, it’s essential to see a chiropractor in the case of a lawyer-involved accident. Getting your symptoms down in writing right from the start will give you a much stronger case later on.
Treatment of Injuries
The most common injuries sustained in a car accident are whiplash and muscle injuries such as bruising and contusions. Whiplash, technically known as cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome, can take many forms, and your chiropractor will be able to diagnose it, but it can manifest as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, neck pain or back pain–even low back pain. As the name suggests, whiplash is when your head is snapped like a whip, a rapid back-and-forth movement. Complications from whiplash can include severe pain, limited range of motion, and pain that spreads to other parts of the body, including the shoulders and arms.
Other musculoskeletal injuries can occur and need to be treated as they appear. A good chiropractor will be able to treat your injuries in a holistic way that doesn’t require surgery or drugs. While there are case where pain medications are necessary, the more that they can be avoided, the better, and a good chiropractor should be able to make you feel more comfortable and in less pain without them. Treatments can include adjustments, massage therapy, physiotherapy, ultrasound therapy, and more.
Providing a Care Plan
Getting over a car accident isn’t going to happen in a day, but your chiropractor should be able to, after diagnosing your problem, provide a treatment plan that helps you recover over the long term. Age and general health will be factors in the length of the treatment.
The chiropractor may prescribe at-home exercises, which will help in recovery. Musculoskeletal problems, including whiplash, may take up to six months or more to recover from, but every patient will respond differently to the treatment depending on the severity of their injuries.
How Soon After a Car Accident Should I See A Chiropractor?
It’s recommended that you see a chiropractor within 72 hours after the car accident, or earlier if possible. If the pain is severe, you should see them right away. You do not have to wait for an order from your insurance company to see a medical professional. A personal injury attorney will want you to see someone as soon as possible so that you can be diagnosed and the extent of your injuries are known.
Even if the car accident was bad enough that you were taken to the emergency room and you were evaluated–and even if x-rays were taken and you were put in a cast or given an at-home treatment regimen–you should still make a follow-up appointment with your chiropractor as soon as possible so that all aspects of your care can be addressed. An emergency room won’t be able to treat you in the long term–that’s where your personal chiropractor comes in.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Jonesboro, GA, regardless of how you feel or how severe the accident was, you deserve the chance to get fully healed through the thoughtful care of a good chiropractor, and Chiropractic Plus is waiting to help you!