Injured in an Auto Accident?
Auto Accidents and Auto Injury Recovery
Car accidents at any speed can cause numerous musculoskeletal injuries. This is true whether the accident occurred at a high speed or low speed. For that reason, our chiropractor recommends scheduling an appointment as soon as possible after your accident.
Auto Accident Injuries in Parkland, Parkland and Spanaway
If you have recently been in a car accident in Parkland, Parkland or Spanaway, you may have a hidden injury. Car accidents are notorious for causing whiplash, bulging discs and sprains and strains of the back and shoulders.
Whiplash is a severe injury of the neck. It sprains the ligaments and tendons and strains the muscles. It also throws the vertebrae completely out of alignment. In severe instances, the cervical vertebrae are straightened. This puts incredible pressure on the spine, causing intense pain, headaches and migraines. It can even cause shoulder pain.
Bulging or herniated discs can occur during a car accident. The force of the impact jars the spine, causing the discs to slip out of place. This can put pressure on the soft tissues and nerve roots in the back. Herniated discs cause lower back pain and loss of range of motion. Severely herniated discs can cause sciatica, which is pain in the lower back that travels into the legs.
Car accidents can also cause shoulder injuries, particularly in the left shoulder because it is secured by the seat belt. While the seat belt stops your body from being thrown into the steering wheel, the impact of your shoulder against the seat belt can cause bruising and swelling.
Car Accident Treatment from our Chiropractor in Parkland
Our chiropractor serving Parkland can diagnose and treat your car accident injuries. Diagnosing your injuries involves taking a thorough medical history that includes the date and severity of your crash, your suspected injuries and pain level. We may also request x-rays in order to get a better look at your injuries before we make a definitive diagnosis.
Our chiropractor offers chiropractic adjustments, activator adjustments, massage therapy and traction. Chiropractic adjustments and activator adjustments are effective at realigning the vertebrae. They help with lower back pain, neck pain, whiplash, headaches and bulging discs. Chiropractic adjustments are performed with our chiropractor’s hands while activator adjustments are performed with a small hand-held medical device. Individuals with degenerative joint diseases or arthritis may prefer the activator method.
Massage therapy helps relax the muscles, ligaments and tendons. It removes helps break down scar tissue before it forms and it promotes circulation, and it reduces inflammation, which helps reduce pain while restoring range of motion.
Traction or spinal decompression slowly stretches the spine. This gives herniated discs the space they need to begin the retraction process. Traction also helps remove the pressure from nerves that have been compressed by the soft tissues.
Whiplash And Job Injuries
What are the most common symptoms of whiplash
The following is a list of the nine (9) most reported symptoms, with their estimated prevalence:
- Neck pain (97%)
- Headaches (97%)
- Shoulder pain (65%)
- Anxiety (55%)
- Back pain (42%)
- Depression (41%)
- Visual symptoms (35%)
- Thoracic outlet syndrome (33%)
- Dizziness (23%)
How long does a typical whiplash injury take to heal?
There is no such thing as a typical whiplash injury. There are so many different variables involved in a collision that its not uncommon for two people to be in the same vehicle, and suffer different degrees of injury. Anyone can be subjected to whiplash, even in a low-force car crash at speeds as low as 5 mph. It should be noted that the older the victim, the more likely it is for injury and disability to occur through whiplash. Therefore, most people have symptoms for at least 6-10 weeks after the injury. Thirty-three percent (33%) of all victims experience some kind of chronic, long-term symptoms.
The three major types of injury that whiplash can cause
Muscle Injury - Most whiplash pain involves muscle tissue, since it is the easiest to damage in a collision. During impact, the muscles in your neck are stretched beyond what they normally experience. This is accompanied by swelling and tenderness of the muscles in the neck and shoulders.
Nerve Injury - Nerves are also stretched during the rapid whiplash motion. Most nerves are able to handle such motion, but if your head is turned or your head restraint is not adjusted properly, the nerves can be stretched too far or pinched. Nerve injuries are more difficult to heal than muscle damage. In most cases, nerves that are trapped by bones or muscles in your spine require more extensive therapy regimens.
Facet Joint Injury - This can show itself in a variety of ways. Facet (fuh-set) joints are located between each vertebrae in the spine. They allow the attached vertebrae to glide freely so that a person can bend forward, backward, side to side as well as turn or twist. These joints provide feedback to the injury. Treatment of joint damage can be more difficult for many reasons. First, the joint itself does not have a good supply of blood, which makes it hard for the tissues to heal. Secondly, constant motion of the joint and swelling can irritate the injury.
What's the best way to treat a whiplash injury?
It depends on the severity of the injury and the patient's needs. Very few whiplash injuries require surgical treatment or a hospital stay, but many whiplash patients go to the emergency room as their first treatment, especially if the collision was severe. Drugs are often prescribed for whiplash patients and they can be useful for short-term relief of pain. Long-term use of medications however, can lead to dependency, while offering no assistance in helping the injured tissues heal. The New England Journal of Medicine has found that medical physicians often mistreat whiplash, by using ineffective treatments such as immobilizing the neck with a soft collar "probably prolonging disability." The key to long-term health of soft tissues after injury is mobilization of the affected areas. This is best accomplished with spinal manipulation by a trained Doctor of Chiropractic The key to long-term health of soft tissues after injury is mobilization of the affected areas. This is best accomplished with spinal manipulation by a trained Doctor of Chiropractic such as Dr. James Salmi at his Parkland office.
How does my on-the-job injury relate to whiplash?
Job injuries involve the same tissues as mentioned previously: Muscles, Nerves and Facet Joints (see above). The injuries are again, best treated by a Doctor of Chiropractic who is trained in finding the exact cause of your spinal injury. Each case requires the Doctor to take a history of the event leading to your injury, performing a detailed examination, taking any necessary x-rays to find underlying causes and then reporting the findings to you the patient so that you understand what caused your injury also! The goal is to find out was is causing your pain, not to medicate you to the point that these important signals of injury are hidden.
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