What happens to your spine when it is involved in an automobile accident?

When a vehicle stops suddenly in a crash or is hit from behind, the seat belt will keep a person’s body from being thrown forward. The head may snap forward, then backward, causing a whiplash injury.

Whiplash is an injury caused by the neck and head being thrown suddenly back then forward upon impact. The impact forces the neck and head beyond their normal range of movement causing tissue damage and pain. The pain of whiplash may not appear right away after an accident, but sometimes may take hours to weeks or even months to develop. You may feel pain and stiffness in your neck for the first few days to weeks after a whiplash injury. These symptoms can be indefinite unless otherwise treated.

Another source of back pain, potentially caused by car accidents (or exacerbated by) would be a herniated disk (also called a slipped or ruptured disk). Your spine is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae and in between them are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. A herniated disk is a disk that slips out of place or ruptures. If it presses on a nerve, it can cause extreme back pain or sciatica.

Lastly with injuries resulting from car accidents, there can be the issue of nerve, muscular and ligament damage. Often times these soft tissues, which are invisible on x-rays and often overlooked, can cause severe debilitating pain long after a car accident. If nerve and soft tissue injury is not directly addressed with chiropractic and left untreated and unresolved, the injured nerves, muscles, and ligaments can end up causing chronic pain for even years after the initial incident.

So often, the standard medical approach to these injuries amounts to nothing more than suppressing the symptoms with painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, leaving the injured tissues to hopefully heal on their own. This “Band-Aid” approach does not address the issue at the source, but rather masks the pain and leaves the scar tissue to heal in abnormal ways, making daily movement more pained and less bearable. A chiropractor, on the other hand, will take care to address your spine rehabilitation from the inside out- with the goal of healing nerves, soft tissue, and realignment of damaged spinal structure and function.

One more reason why you should seek chiropractic care after a car accident? To ultimately prevent later complications. Not all injuries result in pain. But that does not mean something didn’t happen to the body, your muscles, joints, or spine. Chiropractors will examine the body and identify what is wrong and where the pain stems from. (Rather than simply addressing the pain and nothing more.) A chiropractor will be able to evaluate your whole-body health- resulting in an accurate, safe and natural response to a traumatic automobile accident.

Need help or an evaluation for car accident injuries?

Call our Fort Collins auto accident treatment center at 970-493-3100 and schedule an appointment today. We offer a complimentary 20-minute consultation including free x-ray/MRI review to determine if we can help you. Sit down with Dr. Gil and see how you feel working together. No strings, No pressure. No charge. Simply our experience working to help you.

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