If you’ve been involved in a car accident and suffered whiplash, should you visit a chiropractor for care?
One of the challenges in dealing with car accident patients is the initial assumption that they are not injured. Immediately following the collision, you are likely in shock. Most patients don’t feel much (if any) pain right away.
In my experience, it can take up to 72 hours to feel all of your symptoms. That means, you’ve already refused care at the scene of the accident, even gone home and resumed normal activities. A couple of days later, you wake up sore all over and your neck starts to get worse.
Some of the most minor of collisions can still cause whiplash and lead to headaches and neck pain. The Spine Research Institute of San Diego is the leader in research on this very subject. They’ve even conducted live crash tests with actual people (not crash test dummies) with rear-end collisions at as little as 10mph. The subjects still got hurt!
Whiplash doesn’t have to happen just after a car accident, either. You may get surprised with an extra hard hug or ride a roller coaster. I’ve had a patient riding her bike, hit a curb, and then suffer neck pain for several weeks before seeking out chiropractic care.
The primary benefit of seeking out chiropractic care following a whiplash injury is the increased speed at which you’ll recover, combined with decreasing the potentially long lasting aches and pains associated with the injury.
The phrase “I’ve never been right since that car accident” shouldn’t happen to you if you seek our chiropractic care within the first few weeks following a motor vehicle collision. It takes approximately three weeks for scar tissue to set up in your body.
Scar tissue is how your body heals following any injury, there’s nothing you can do to stop it (and you wouldn’t want to). If the scar tissue sets up around a spine that is misaligned, you may have trouble fully recovering from your injuries.
If the scar tissue sets up around a properly aligned spine, I’ve found that the recovery happens pretty quickly and few patient experience long-term complaints from their whiplash injury. The key is to seek out help quickly, and not think that the symptoms will just go away on their own.
Too many patients wait for weeks, even months, before seeking out help following a car accident. Don’t let that be you!