Yes, chiropractic adjustments are safe after a car accident. Your chiropractic physician will perform a careful examination to determine what types of injuries you have and design a plan to safely treat your injuries.
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), if you have neck or back pain, headaches, or other problems with your nerves, muscles, or skeleton, chiropractic therapies are some of the safest treatments available. Many people experience these symptoms after getting hurt in a car accident.
Chiropractic adjustments are non-invasive and do not involve the use of drugs. Many people have adverse reactions to prescription medications. Since chiropractic manipulation does not use drugs, you get to avoid the potential side effect of a medicine. Also, as chiropractic therapy is non-invasive, you have a much lower risk of a complication from a chiropractic adjustment than you would from a surgery.
What You Should Know About Whiplash and Chiropractic Treatment
Car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, are a common cause of whiplash, according to the Mayo Clinic. When a person’s head gets snapped back and forth rapidly from the force of the crash, the person can have damage to these areas:
- Muscles in the neck and shoulders
- Nerves in the neck and upper back
- Spinal bones
- Disks (the cushioning tissue between the bones in the spine)
- Other neck tissues
While some people who have never had a whiplash injury mistakenly consider these injuries as insignificant, Mayo Clinic says that whiplash can lead to years of pain and other complications.
Symptoms can take a couple of hours or days to develop after a car accident. The ACA states that you might have whiplash, also called a neck strain or neck sprain, if you have any of these indications:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck
- Pain or stiffness in the shoulders, upper back, chest, or arms
- Blurred vision
You should get a medical evaluation from a chiropractic doctor right away if you start to feel any of these symptoms after a collision.
How a Chiropractic Doctor Evaluates a Patient After a Car Accident
According to the ACA, a chiropractic doctor uses a multi-step approach to evaluate a patient’s injuries after a collision. The actual steps the doctor will take will depend on your unique situation. Here are some of the standard actions a chiropractor might select as part of the assessment of the patient:
- The chiropractic doctor will take a detailed medical history of the patient. She will ask questions about the patient’s past medical issues, including things like arthritis, which can increase the risk of a whiplash injury.
- The doctor will ask the patient questions about the accident to determine the likelihood of specific injuries. For example, the doctor might ask the patient which car area got hit by the other vehicle. She might determine the magnitude of the collision force by learning how fast both vehicles traveled before impact. She could ask about whether the patient wore a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
- A thorough physical examination is part of a patient’s workup after a car accident. Sometimes, the chiropractic doctor can uncover some hidden injuries—harm that has not yet developed noticeable symptoms.
- If the chiropractor suspects that the patient might have a broken bone in the spine, she might order an imaging study, like a CT scan of the neck. Other reasons to order imaging studies can include severe pain or possible nerve compression or damage.
A chiropractic doctor performs the steps necessary to ensure that the chiropractic adjustments will be safe after a car accident.
Chiropractic Treatments for Injuries from Car Accidents
Your chiropractic doctor selects the treatments will depend on many factors, like the type and extent of your injuries and your underlying medical conditions, like arthritis or previous fractures. Your treatment plan will vary depending on your unique situation.
Some of the chiropractic therapies a chiropractic doctor might use to treat a patient who got hurt in a car accident include:
- Spinal manipulation to return the spine to its correct position
- Chiropractic adjustments to restore muscle movement and range of motion (a series of adjustments can reduce or take away the patient’s pain, stiffness, and soreness)
- Possible immobilization of the neck with a cervical collar for the first few days in cases of severe cervical trauma
- Ice compresses
- Exercises and physical therapy
- Nutritional interventions to reduce inflammation and pain
These are but a few examples of the safe, non-invasive treatments a chiropractic doctor might use to treat a patient after a car accident.
At Dominguez Chiropractic, Dr. Barbara Dominguez personally visits each patient during treatment, even though the offices employ several chiropractic doctors. We speak Spanish and English, so we can help more of our community.
We are your “One-Stop Car Accident Center.” You can call us at (404) 800-3000 right after your collisions. We can help with transportation, towing, and arranging your car repairs. You can rest and focus on getting healthy again. We even take care of filing your insurance paperwork and getting the insurer to pay you what you deserve. We can refer you to a personal injury lawyer if needed.
Contact Dominguez Chiropractic. You can then devote your attention to getting better while we take care of everything else.