In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and even in shock. A car accident can get your adrenaline pumping too, and all these emotions and adrenaline running through your body can actually mask any pain or discomfort you might have. While you might find yourself saying you’re fine, in the hours and days afterward it is possible to develop symptoms of an injury you didn’t realize you had. If you’re wondering whether you should get checked out by a car accident chiropractor following any type of accident, here are a few reasons.
The Short Answer Is: Yes!
When it comes to car accident injuries, the stress and adrenaline can initially distract from any symptoms you might otherwise notice. Some car accident injuries are sometimes referred to as hidden injuries because of how their symptoms can be so delayed. While a broken bone or cuts and scrapes are easily noticeable after an accident, internal bruising and damage are not always so obvious.
Car Accident injuries with Delayed Symptoms
Many car accident injuries that have delayed symptoms involve damage to your soft tissues. Soft tissues refer to your muscles, tendons, nerves, spinal discs, and blood vessels, all of which can become aggravated or injured due to a car accident.
Here are a few common examples of soft tissue car accident injuries:
Whiplash is the most common car accident injury and it can affect your head, neck, upper back, and even your shoulders and arms. While the trunk of your body is hopefully safely restrained by a seat belt during a car accident, your head and neck are not so lucky. The force of the accident can shake or jostle your head around, putting a lot of abnormal pressure on your head and neck. Your neck muscles will likely strain out of their normal range of motion, leading to tenderness, stiffness, and even trouble turning your head from side to side without pain. Whiplash can also cause a spinal disc to slip out of place, known as a herniated disc.
Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain or head injury and can range from mild to severe. You might wonder how you can tell if you’ve suffered a concussion. Any time you suspect a concussion you should seek medical care right away, as concussions should be taken quite seriously. During a car accident, your head may hit the steering wheel, dashboard, window, or another part of the car. With enough force, a bump to the head can cause a concussion. You can also get a concussion from getting shaken around during the accident. Concussion symptoms can take a while to show up, and what seems like a headache after a car accident can be a sign of something more serious if it doesn’t go away on its own.
Strains & Sprains
Strains and sprains are common in car accidents because of how your body is shaken up and jolted around. Strains can happen to your muscles, like a back strain or neck strain with whiplash. They can also happen with ligaments that connect muscles to bones in your body, like with a torn ligament in your knee. Sprains, on the other hand, refer to an injured muscle that connects two bones together, like a sprained ankle. Both strains and sprains feel like what is commonly referred to as a muscle tear. These types of injuries can lead to sore, stiff muscles that may temporarily limit your mobility until you fully heal.
How Car Accident Chiropractors Can Help
A car accident chiropractor will help diagnose and treat all types of car accident injuries. The sooner you schedule an appointment, the sooner you will determine the type and severity of any injury and start managing pain and other symptoms while you heal. Your car accident chiropractor will help address your symptoms of pain and discomfort while also treating the root cause. Chiropractic care offers a natural, drug-free approach to treatment and recovery by promoting your body’s own healing responses. Adjustments, massage, stretches, and other techniques help restore function and the flow of nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to the area so you can fully heal.
Being Proactive About Your Health
Another important aspect of going to the car accident chiropractor even if you aren’t yet experiencing any pain is to demonstrate that you are proactive about your health. If you end up needing insurance to cover any part of your care, it is helpful to demonstrate that you understood the need and took your health seriously immediately after the accident.
Our car accident chiropractors at ProCare are here to help you with any type of car accident injury so you can experience lasting relief and recovery.