Every year, between 20 and 50 million people around the world are injured or disabled in automobile accidents.
These injuries range from minor bumps and scratches to broken bones and debilitating nerve or muscle damage.
Even a seemingly minor auto accident, like a fender bender, can be dangerous. It can leave you with pain that makes it difficult to move for months or even years after the accident.
While a visit to an emergency room is a must after any major automobile accident, not all injuries can be treated in the hospital. Chronic pain requires more specialized treatment. That's where a chiropractor comes in.
Keep reading to learn about 8 of the most common auto injuries that a chiropractor can treat.
Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries. The term is used to describe a neck injury that occurs when the neck is yanked quickly in a forward and backward motion.
While usually attributed to car accidents, whiplash can happen anytime your body is moving forward or backward and is then suddenly whipped in the opposite direction. Other common activities that can cause whiplash include roller coasters, riding a scooter, dirt bike, or similar vehicle, or even playing sports.
When it comes to car accidents, whiplash most often occurs in rear-end accidents.
The force of the impact forces the head forward more quickly than the body. When your body comes into contact with the tightening seatbelt, it then yanks your head back in the opposite direction, causing whiplash.
The symptoms of whiplash can vary from person to persona and accident to accident. They can include neck pain, stiffness in the back or neck, and back pain. Pain in the shoulders is common as well.
While you might not have broken bones or open wounds, whiplash can leave you feeling like you can barely move your head or bend forward without severe pain. This can persist for days or even months after an accident.
Medication can help with the pain. But the best way to treat whiplash is to visit a chiropractor.
2. Neck Injuries Besides Whiplash
Whiplash is far from the only neck injury you can receive after an auto accident.
Neck strain is different from whiplash in that it doesn't require your body to be yanked around to occur. But it can be equally as painful.
Chiropractic treatment can help reduce the strain in your neck and allow you to get back to normal faster following an accident.
General soreness without any diagnosable injury is also very common after a car accident. While a doctor won't be able to prescribe a treatment, a chiropractor can help alleviate pain and stiffness in your neck and elsewhere in your body.
3. Herniated Discs
A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, can also happen during a car accident.
Your spine consists of discs that feature hard exteriors and softer, almost jelly-like interiors. In a car accident or when another trauma occurs, the hard exterior may be damaged, causing some of the softer interior to leak out.
This can cause damage to nearby nerves, causing weakness or numbness in your limbs, or simply leave you in pain.
Herniated discs are actually fairly common. While some herniated discs will heal themselves with time, other individuals may develop chronic pain.
Chiropractic treatment can help reduce the pain caused by a herniated disc and lead to a faster recovery.
4. Soft-Tissue Injuries
While most people know that your muscles, bones, and skin can suffer following a car accident, few think about the injuries that occur to everything that lies in between those parts of your body.
Soft-tissues act as connections between our skin, muscles, ligaments, and organs.
When your body is stretched and pulled in new ways, it can cause tears to that soft-tissue that can leave you with pain and soreness.
A chiropractor can help you stretch out your soft-tissue, leading to relief from your pain.
5. Back Pain
Like neck pain, back pain can come in a wide variety of forms.
From strain and muscle pulls to nerve damage or spinal injuries, an auto accident can cause immediate and lasting pain throughout your back or concentrated into a specific area.
Back pain can be difficult to treat with medication. While you may experience some relief, it won't last after the medication wears off.
Injuries to your back can leave you struggling to get around. They can make it difficult to sit or lay down comfortably, which can lead to trouble sleeping.
You may be unable to return to work, care for children and grandchildren, climb stairs, practice sports you once enjoyed, and more.
Regular visits to a chiropractor can help you regain function and alleviate chronic back pain over time.
Any time our bodies experience trauma, they produce inflammation in injured areas. Inflammation is caused by increased blood flow to an area when our bodies recognize that an injury has occurred.
Inflammation and swelling can be painful on its own. It can make a more minor injury feel much more pronounced until the swelling subsides.
By realigning your body, a chiropractor can help to reduce inflammation more quickly than your body can on its own.
Treating Your Auto Injuries
Auto injuries can leave you with pain, soreness, and stiffness. These can not only make regular daily activities uncomfortable but also keep you from returning to work or doing what you enjoy.
A visit to a chiropractor can help with that.
If you've been in a car accident and received a minor or major injury, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The faster you start treating your injuries, the faster you'll experience relief.
After your initial hospital visit, a visit to a chiropractor can help get you back to living pain-free fast. Learn more about how we can help you recover from auto injuries today!