Car Accidents: 5-Facts Your Victoria, MN Chiropractor Wants You To Know.
Car accidents are scary, dangerous, and emotionally taxing... not to mention expensive. They can wreak havoc on your body and your life leading to chronic pain, missed work, and a lowered quality of life. Luckily, this doesn't have to be the case. If you are involved in an auto-accident here are 5- important facts that I've picked-out that I want people to know so they can make a full and quick recovery.
1.) Seek Care Immediately
If there are obvious injuries, you will likely be taken to an ER for x-rays and/or an evaluation. The ER- staff are generally looking for obvious injuries such as bone fractures, cuts/scrapes/burns, and head trauma. This is important, however after you go home it is important that you have your spine (especially your neck) evaluated by a chiropractor who will look more specifically for soft tissue injury (like a muscle strain or ligament sprain), spinal alignment abnormalities, and neurological changes. Even if there are no obvious injuries after an accident, both parties should still be evaluated by a chiropractor for potential injury.
2.) Symptoms May Not Appear Until Weeks Later
I can't tell you how many times I've seen exasperated patients come in to the office with headaches, neck pain, and arm numbness a month after an accident wondering why they are in such rough shape when they felt "completely fine" after the accident. There can be several reasons for this including healing response or delayed neural processing. This is one of the reasons why getting evaluated by a chiropractor right after a car accident is so important... think about all the healing that could have been taking place for the past month and how much longer and harder things will take now!
3.) Whiplash Can Occur At As Little As 1-MPH
This one surprises people (heck, it surprised me when I heard it). Whiplash is a specific type of injury generally associated with head-on collisions or getting rear-ended where the neck "whips" forward and then backward causing significant soft-tissue injury and disruption of proper spinal alignment. Symptoms include neck pain, headaches, numbness in the neck/shoulders/arms, balance problems, trouble sleeping, and changes in mental status. Luckily, with proper chiropractic care, people can often overcome the symptoms of whiplash and restore proper spinal alignment.
4.) Don't Ignore the Low Back Pain
In my experience people associate neck pain with car accidents more than low back pain and often are unsure of whether their low back pain is a result of an accident. This can be especially confusing if they have existing low back pain. Low back pain after an accident is very common, depending on the nature of the accident. If you're wearing a seat-belt (hopefully that's the case), the force of your body flying-forward is focused on the area of the strap which can cause muscle, ligament, bone, and disc damage in that area. If you had existing low back issues, you should ask yourself some basic questions. Does the pain now feel different than the pain before the accident? Has the pain gotten worse, more frequent, or made activities more difficult? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the accident likely aggravated the current condition and/or caused additional damage. Regardless, you should check-in with your chiropractor.
5.) Depending On Where You Live, Your Car Insurance May Cover The Medical Bills
For example, I live in Minnesota which is a "no-fault" state. What that means for me is that when I pay for car-insurance, it is mandatory that I have to pay PIP (Personal Injury Protection). This protects me in-the-case I'm involved in an accident. It also means that, regardless as to who's "fault" the accident was, my insurance will cover all medical bills including x-rays, ER visits, and chiropractic care if they are medically necessary. This allows individuals suffering from auto-accidents to get the care deserved to them without worrying about cost of care. To determine if your state is a "no-fault auto" state, click here.
If you are involved in an accident, currently suffer from an old injury from an accident, or feel great and want to stay healthy make sure you receive the specialized spinal exam and care that only chiropractors can offer. If you are in the Victoria, MN area you can schedule an exam by calling 952-443-9000.