As you’ll be working with your chiropractor closely, they can monitor your recovery process and manage any chronic discomfort that may arise along the way.
A car accident can cause a lot of financial damage to you and the other parties involved. But apart from wrecking your vehicle, you may also end up with both physical and mental injuries in the process. Your work may also be affected because of the time you spend at home or at the hospital recovering from these injuries.
So, how can you accelerate your recovery time? One way of doing that is by getting chiropractic services. Reputable practitioners like Houston Healing Chiropractic will offer you the support you need as you heal from the injuries.
It’s imperative to still seek these services after any car accident even if there’s no visible physical damage to your body. Many people ignore this process only to start feeling pain in various parts of their bodies after several days or weeks. Seeking medical and chiropractic attention immediately after the accident will accelerate your recovery because hidden injuries will be discovered earlier in the process.
Types of car accident injuries
When you’re involved in a car accident, you’ll either suffer minor or major injuries. Minor injuries can heal within a few days after the accident but more severe physical damage may last weeks or even months. Some of them could even lead to permanent impairment depending on the circumstances.
The two other broad groups that can be used to categorize these car accident injuries are impact and penetrating injuries. The latter is typically the cuts and scrapes suffered during the accident. Impact injuries, on the other hand, refer to those injuries sustained when part of your body hits the interior of the car. The severity of this will depend on the affected area of your body, the part of the car, and the intensity of the impact. Chiropractic treatment is generally administered for such injuries because they involve the neuromusculoskeletal system.
Here is a list of impact injuries that may require the services of a chiropractor:
During the accident, there’s likely to be a rapid unnatural movement of your body both forward and backwards. In the process, the upper back and neck muscles as well as most of your joints in and around those areas can be over extended. The pain caused by this whip-like motion manifests itself in the hip region, shoulder, neck, or back.
Whiplash is a very common injury and is experienced by almost all victims of car accidents. Some people experience either spinal misalignment or muscle tears while others suffer both. Fortunately, chiropractors are trained to identify and treat such injuries.
- Muscle pain and soreness
You can also suffer muscle pain and soreness which basically refers to the inflammation and swelling caused by overstretching muscle fibers. The nerves get irritated and, as a consequence, they send a signal to the brain to stimulate muscle contraction and immobilization to enhance protection. As a result, the victim may struggle to move parts of the body.
The source of muscle pain may vary, depending on the affected area and the nature of your accident. As such, your chiropractor will need to examine your situation to know which form of treatment is going to work perfectly for you. Remember, living with such injuries for long may only make things worse. So, find a specialist as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
- Back pain
Another very common form of injury suffered after a car accident is back pain. Although this is sometimes categorized as part of whiplash injuries, you can also encounter back pain as a result of soft tissue injuries or herniated discs. The sudden unnatural movement of your body during the accident can cause discs to rapture, bulge, or slip out of place.
Because of the limited space within the spinal canal, these misplaced discs are likely to press on the spinal nerves. As a result, you’ll feel severe pain along the spine and on your back. This experience may vary from one victim to another with most people feeling some discomfort while others find it difficult to move the affected parts of their body.
How chiropractors can accelerate your recovery
Here are some ways chiropractors can help you after an accident:
- They offer timely assessment
The speed of your recovery depends on the type of treatment you’re receiving. A chiropractor can offer the best options only if they know the exact sources of your pain. Visiting a chiropractor early enough will allow enough time to pinpoint every possible injury you might have suffered because of the accident.
After this initial stage of diagnosis, a chiropractor will recommend the best treatment options available based on your condition. As such, everything will be focused on your pain points. Of course, some of these treatment sessions are basic therapies. But without the help of a chiropractor, you’ll be doing them blindly.
Another advantage of visiting your chiropractor early enough is the fact that they can identify any severe injuries that may require surgery. Remember, because most of the injuries discussed above affect the moving parts, living with them for weeks will make them worse. Chiropractic services will ensure that any reversible damage is treated early enough to avoid unnecessary complications.
- Immediate pain and psychological relief
As a victim of a car accident, you might be scared of what you’re feeling in various parts of your body. For instance, pain along your spine can be an indication of danger. A chiropractor will give you peace of mind by helping you understand what exactly is happening to your body and how you can recover quickly.
But that’s not the only relief you’ll get from these professionals. Their treatment options will also ensure that the pain you’re feeling on your back, hip, legs, or neck is relieved within the shortest period possible.
Take, for example, the back pain caused by misplaced discs. This can be solved by realigning the discs and ensuring that no pressure is applied to your spinal nerves. Chiropractors are equipped with the necessary tactics that can help in this realignment. Once that’s done, the pain will go away, and everything in your spinal canal will start working as expected.
Without such treatment, the slipped discs will continue piling pressure on the spinal nerves, making you uncomfortable. In the long run, this could even cause more complications to the spinal area. Seeking chiropractic back pain care will help you avoid such and increase your chances of quick recovery.
- They reduce reliance on pharmaceuticals
The best way to enhance your recovery after an accident is to solve the root cause of your condition. However, many people opt for painkillers and other pharmaceuticals to relieve the pain. Inasmuch as they offer immediate pain relief, that solution is always short-lived, and the patient will need to take another dose for them to feel better again.
This over-reliance on pharmaceuticals can be dangerous in the long run. For one, they’ll mask the real problem by taking away the pain. You’ll think you’re fine. But in reality, the condition of your nerves or muscle tissues might be getting worse with every movement. As such, you might end up nursing your injuries for a longer time than expected.
Taking more painkillers than you need will not just deter treatment of your injuries. It could affect your body internally in the following ways:
- Liver damage – Toxins from the drugs are stored in the liver. This damages the liver and affects its optimal functioning.
- Cardiovascular issues – Drugs move through the body using the bloodstream. This makes it difficult for the heart. As such, you increase your risks for heart attack and heart disease.
- Stomach issues – It’s no secret that painkillers can cause abdominal distention, bloating, bowel obstructions, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Each of these alone can lead to complicated conditions.
- Collapsed veins – Injecting painkillers can collapse a vein. This means the vein that caved in cannot be used. Although likely temporary, severe cases can render the vein permanently unusable.
So, how do chiropractors help you stay away from painkillers? They use their hands to adjust your back and apply pressure to the affected muscle tissue. As a result, the cause of pain in these areas will be solved, and your body will start recovering slowly. As the pain can be relieved immediately, you may not need to rely on painkillers for a long time.
- They’re focused on long-term healing
After a car accident, your recovery can take weeks, months, or even years, depending on the severity of your condition and the treatment administered. Sometimes, though, you may experience a resurgence of your injuries, maybe because the treatment options you were offered were not effective or due to another accident. Whichever the case, you’ll need to pay for the procedures again, and that can be very expensive.
Chiropractic services will often offer treatments that are focused on long-term healing. While treating the current injuries, they’ll also recommend preventive measures that’ll help prevent any other related injuries during your recovery process. This way, the affected areas can heal completely without any unnecessary disruptions.
As you’ll be working with your chiropractor closely, they can monitor your recovery process and manage any chronic discomfort that may arise along the way. They’ll also help you make positive lifestyle changes, at least, until you’ve fully recovered. Even after that, these professionals will do occasional assessments of your body structure, especially the affected areas, to ensure that nothing is left to chance.
It also helps to understand some methods used by chiropractors relative to your injuries:
- The Diversified Technique – This is used to repair joint disfunction and restore spinal alignment. It’s done with precise hands-on thrusts on the affected body parts.
- Spinal Manipulation – This reduces inflammation and relieves pressure. Apart from manual thrusts, the technique also involves stretching.
- The Activator Method – Apart from physical manipulation, chiropractors use devices that send impulses to the segments of the spine. This is commonly used for back issues.
- Flexion Distraction – Apart from devices, chiropractors also make use of equipment. One is a special table for this technique that allows gentle and painless flexing of the spine. This helps in making adjustments to the spine to treat the injury.
How to find the right chiropractor
Chiropractic treatments can play a vital role in your recovery after an accident. However, you can only enjoy these benefits if you get help from those who understand what they’re doing.
Remember, any wrong adjustment in your spinal area can have serious repercussions. Therefore, it’s very important to hire a qualified professional. But how will you find the best candidate? Here are some tips to consider:
- Consider referrals
You can start by asking your friends and family about the chiropractors they’ve worked with. It’s worth noting, though, that everyone has a different experience with these professionals. Therefore, it’s important to list down the recommendations given to you, and don’t settle on one name without researching further.
Your primary doctor is also likely to have an idea of good chiropractors in his or her network. So, don’t hesitate to ask for referrals too. Once you have a list of maybe three to five candidates, find out everything you can about their career success and make a decision based on the data you collect.
- Prioritize experience
Of course, there are many young chiropractors in the industry that can do the job and offer the desired services. However, given your current situation, you must not take any chances. Go for someone who understands what you’re going through and has worked on similar cases before. This way, you’ll be assured that they’re going to address your problem with the required expertise.
- Consider their communication skills
A chiropractor should be someone with whom you’re ready to discuss personal information, especially those that can have an impact on your recovery. Therefore, it’s very important that you find someone who isn’t only ready to listen to your issues but can also offer solutions in a simplified way.
Some chiropractors have all the necessary credentials but are not keen on communicating. Inasmuch as such professionals are going to deliver in terms of chiropractic treatment, they may not be able to meet your needs because of poor communication. So, put this factor on top of your priority list.
- Patient reviews matter
Once you have an idea of who you’re dealing with, visit the organization’s website or social media pages and read what previous patients have to say about the services. Go through as many reviews as possible before making your final decision. As such, you’ll know what to expect from the chiropractor you choose.
The injuries sustained after a car accident can either be minor or major. If you happen to suffer serious injuries, you’ll need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Among the people you should visit is a chiropractor. Their experience in the neuromusculoskeletal system will help enhance your recovery process. The best chiropractors offer a timely assessment of your condition, help relieve pain, and reduce your reliance on pharmaceuticals.
With chiropractors, treatment is also focused on your long-term healing. Therefore, every medical care offered or recommended by them is geared toward ensuring that you recover fully from the injuries.
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“Yes, Science Says Your Chiropractor Can Solve Your Back Pain.”, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/science-says-chiropractor-can-help-solve-back-pain
“Chiropractic Care For Back Pain Tied For Lower Odds Of Opioid Use.”, Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-chiropractic-opioids-idUSKBN1X32MW