When we think about car accident injuries, the first thing to come to mind is a serious collision on the highway attended by paramedics and multiple first responders. It is all too easy to discount a fender bender as a “minor inconvenience” rather than the potential cause of serious injury. Just because you do not go to the hospital in an ambulance, however, does not mean that your car accident has not caused serious damage to your body. Musculoskeletal injuries affecting the neck and back can occur in accidents with speeds as slow as 5mph. A comprehensive diagnostic exam and chiropractic care is essential to identifying and treating these injuries before chronic pain develops.
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Whiplash injuries are the most common cause for neck pain. This injury occurs when the ligaments that support the vertebra in the neck are torn. The joints covered by these ligaments, known as the facet joints, are especially vulnerable to whiplash injuries. Nearby muscles and tendons may also be stretched beyond their normal limit, leading to additional pain and reduced mobility. The most common whiplash symptoms are pain and stiffness in the neck. Headaches at the base of the skull are common. Your neck injury pain may extend to stiffness and soreness in the shoulders and down the arms. You may experience dizziness, difficulty swallowing, nausea and blurred vision. While some of these symptoms may resolve themselves naturally, the neck pain and headache pain will not simply “go away”. In some cases, your pain may persist for months or even years.
Back pain is also common after a car accident injury. While seat belts are an incredibly important lifesaving device, in order to do their job, seatbelts hold your body in place and prevent the spine from moving naturally in response to the force of an accident. Consequently, the force of impact in conjunction with the seatbelt restraint may result in a spinal misalignment or herniated disc. Once the spine is knocked out of alignment, the misaligned disc or discs can place pressure on nearby nerves, triggering additional pain. Chiropractic adjustments can bring proper alignment back to the spine and alleviate this pain.
While back and neck injuries from an auto accident cannot be prevented, a prompt diagnostic exam and effective care can help to prevent serious back and neck pain. Since delayed back pain and neck pain is common following a car accident injury, it is all too easy to believe you are “uninjured” and neglect to seek treatment. Unfortunately, failing to seek prompt treatment can lead to months and years of chronic pain. Chiropractic adjustments help to correct the underlying spinal misalignments that exacerbate your pain. Together with physiotherapy, these treatments naturally relieve back and neck pain and bring a fuller range of mobility back to the body.
Even a minor car accident can cause serious back and neck injuries. If you are experiencing back and pain symptoms, schedule a diagnostic exam today.