The weeks following an auto accident can be extremely stressful. You might have to file insurance claims, repair your car, speak to lawyers, and more. Often, these legal and financial obligations take precedent over checking in with our health – especially if it doesn’t really seem like you’re hurt.
After all, some aches and pains or a bit of stiffness are normal, right? Is it really worth the time and money to get yourself checked out?
Definitely. No matter how small or common your symptoms may seem, it is particularly important to check in with a medical professional after an auto accident.
Even smaller symptoms related to a car accident can quickly become big problems if they are left unchecked. And since back pain and whiplash are common symptoms of a car accident, a chiropractor is recommended as one of the first medical professionals to visit. Here’s why:
Whiplash – Many victims of auto accidents experience whiplash, the quick movement of your head and neck back and forth due to a sudden force. Whiplash may not produce the most significant symptoms at first (slight shoulder or neck pain, reduced range of motion, stiffness, and so on), but it can have long lasting impacts, like numbness or more severe pain.
This is because the sudden motion can cause misalignments in the neck and spine. Left unchecked, your “small” symptoms can easily turn into chronic pain. Getting chiropractic adjustments after a car accident minimize the chances of this happening by ensuring that your spine is aligned in the best way for your overall health.
Herniated Disc – Discs sit between the vertebrae and act as “shock absorbers.” When the spine is hit with major force, the discs absorb most of the impact. Car accidents put a lot of pressure on discs, sometimes causing them to move out of place and put pressure on nerves or other parts of the spine.
Immediately after an accident, herniated discs may have no symptoms. But as with whiplash, pinched nerves or misalignment caused by herniated discs can have painful effects later on.
Getting Back on Your Feet – Auto accidents can have a big impact on every area of your body, not just your back. You may sustain sprains, strains, or other injuries depending on the severity and the logistics of the accident.
Chiropractors focus mainly on spinal health, but can also provide treatments and counseling to benefit your overall health. Many chiropractors can offer massage or physical therapy for pain throughout the body, as well as one-on-one counseling to help create a healthy exercise routine and diet plan. A chiropractor may just be the one-stop-shop you need to begin recovery after your accident.
Your Insurance May Cover Your Treatment – Floridians are required to carry $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. Laws have been tightened in recent years to put restrictions on what treatments or procedures can qualify for PIP, but getting to a chiropractor soon after your accident may fit Florida’s qualifications. Check in with your insurance company about where chiropractic appointments or treatments fit in with your plan.
Don’t let fixing your car be a higher priority than fixing your body. It is recommended that all car accident victims visit a chiropractor within 14 days of the accident, or as soon as they can get an appointment. If you or a loved one has recently been in a car accident, pick up the phone and make your appointment today.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.