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Think a “Fender Bender” can’t damage your spine?

Whiplash can happen during crashes as low as 3 to 5 miles per hour.

A chiropractic evaluation is essential after a car accident. The forces introduced into the spine during crashes as low as 3 to 5 miles per hour have been shown to cause significant damage to the supportive structures of the spine (your neck muscles, ligaments, and discs). A lot of times a patient will tell my staff in a new patient history when asked if they had any accidents, they say no, and after a few visits ask if their injury could be from the car accident, they had 5-10 years before.

When the body is subjected to the forces that occur in a motor vehicle accident, there is always some level of injury sustained by the person involved. This type of injury is most referred to as “whiplash. It is a common misconception that whiplash injuries only involve the neck when in fact the entire spine is often damaged.

In more cases than not, people involved in motor vehicle accidents receive substandard care for their injuries. Often when they are taken to the emergency room, not much is done unless the doctor suspects internal bleeding, head injury, fracture, or other life-threatening conditions. The emergency room physicians simply are not looking for soft tissue injuries like muscle or ligament tears. Even if x-rays of the spine are taken, the doctor is only looking for a fracture. He or she is not looking for biomechanical integrity of the spine nor the muscles, ligaments, or discs for injury.

The doctor will usually prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin, Naproxen, and pain killers and leave the patient with the impression that as their soreness goes away within a few days to weeks, they’ll feel better, and no serious injury has occurred. This could not be further from the truth! Ultimately, even if the pain goes away as predicted, the damage to the spine remains to make its presence known again another day, usually when you least expect it.

When the spine and the muscles and the ligaments surrounding it are injured and left uncorrected, the problems worsen as time goes on. Most commonly, the patient’s spine has a mechanical problem (ex: abnormal positioning of the vertebra) that produces excessive wear and tear on the spinal joints. Over time, this abnormal position, and the resultant stress it produces causes joint swelling, disc degeneration, scar tissue formation, and eventually arthritis.

In most cases, the cause of the person’s pain is directly related to the abnormal positioning of their spine. Our techniques are the most modern approach to spinal rehabilitation available. The goal of our care is to restore normal (or as near to normal as possible) structure to your spine, and then also more normal function.

It is essential to have a chiropractic evaluation of your spine and posture if you have ever been involved in a car accident, no matter how long ago it was! To schedule for you or a loved one following a motor vehicle crash, to determine the level of damage, simply call the office at 219-696-8916 or click our book now link.

Author
Casey Walker, D.C. Casey Walker, D.C. is the founder of R2 Wellness Centers a chiropractic clinic, family-owned and operated in Lowell, Indiana. R2 Wellness Centers mission is, to create health within so that you can live your life free from pain and suffering, Live Your Life, Today. He has been practicing chiropractic since graduating from Palmer Chiropractic in Davenport, IA in 2005. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, cycling and fly-fishing.

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