Did you know that the average driver is in a car accident every 17.9 years?
If you haven’t been involved in an accident, consider yourself lucky. Car accidents are an unfortunate reality for most of us at least once in our lives.
Out of the 6 million people who are involved in car accidents in the U.S. each year, 3 million will become injured.
Car accidents are scary enough. Being injured can be devastating and can lead to long-lasting, if not permanent issues. Many people decline treatment at the scene of the accident because they don’t realize they are injured.
Unfortunately, some forms of auto injury are notorious for not showing up until weeks later. Seeking care immediately after or as soon as you know something is wrong can go a long way when it comes to treating your injury.
Keep reading for 5 signs you should visit a chiropractor after a car accident.
1. You’re Having Sharp Pains
While soreness is to be expected after a car accident, if you’re experiencing sharp pains, there’s a good chance that something is seriously wrong. If you have pain that you can’t ignore, listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
So what could these sharp pains mean?
It could be that something near your spine is out of place. This leads to pinched nerves and sharp pain.
You could be experiencing a common injury from auto accidents, like whiplash. Whiplash occurrs when your neck experiences a fast, back and forth movement, often from a rear-end accident.
On the other hand, your pain could be from something more serious, like a bulging disc in your spine. Visiting a chiropractor can bring you relief from your pain. Your chiropractor will apply pressure to your spine and neck to align your spine and relieve pain.
2. You’re Numb
While sometimes we wish we couldn’t feel pain, if you’re experiencing numbness after a car accident, something could be wrong.
Numbness usually presents as a general tingly feeling or no feeling at all. This can happen from your hip and down your legs.
The cause? Often times car accidents cause your joints to move out of place. They end up compressing the nerves that run in your spine.
Numbness and tingling can be a symptom of sciatica, a condition you shouldn’t ignore as the condition can become permanent if left untreated. Your chiropractor will manipulate your joints, bones, and muscles, to but them back in their proper place after your accident.
3. You’re Stiff
Stiffness is not uncommon, especially as we age. Some days we simply sleep funny and feel out of whack.
But you should never make the mistake of ignoring stiffness after a car accident as it can be caused by something that needs treatment.
The most common cause of stiffness in the neck, upper, and lower back after an accident? Whiplash. Whiplash is notorious for occurring in the neck and limiting your ability to turn your head, but it doesn’t always occur in the neck.
Your chiropractor will diagnose damage to the tissue of your muscles that’s causing your stiffness and manipulate your spine to put things back in place.
4. You’re Having Headaches
If you find yourself experiencing frequent headaches after a car accident, it’s time to head to the chiropractor.
Chronic headaches after a car accident are often caused by tension from the accident. These headaches often accompany pain in your neck or shoulders, which connect to your spine and its nerves.
If your tension is high up, you can experience debilitating headaches. Your chiropractor will manipulate your spine through your neck, back, and shoulders.
This will alleviate any pinched nerves and increase the blood flow to the area. This should relieve your headaches.
5. You Can’t Move
It’s not uncommon for victims of car accidents to feel little to no pain immediately following the accident. You might not feel any numbness either.
You decide you don’t need medical treatment and continue on with your life. Unfortunately, injuries from car accidents often take days to weeks to show symptoms.
One of the ways you can tell that you’ve been injured in a car accident is if you are experiencing any difficulty moving. This often means subtle reductions in your range of motion as opposed to more obvious conditions like whiplash in your neck.
Perhaps you can’t reach as high you usually can or it’s harder to twist your torso around. You might not even notice any overt issues, but your posture changes to accommodate your injury.
This can lead to even more problems in the long run.
Your chiropractor will perform adjustments that increase your range of motion as well as relieve any pain or numbness you may be feeling. You can read here for more information about how your chiropractor can diagnose and treat auto injuries.
You Need a Chiropractor for Your Auto Injury
If you’ve experienced an auto injury or have been in a car accident and haven’t sought medical treatment, you need to be evaluated by a chiropractor right away.
When it comes to treating auto injuries, fast action can have a huge impact on treatment outcomes and prognosis. Most auto injuries are treatable with proper medical care.
However, along the same lines, delaying treatment can lead to worsening conditions if not permanent damage to your nerves. Your back and your spine are too delicate to be ignored.
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