Car accidents are always a pain to have to endure but sometimes they can cause injuries that can linger and transform into chronic conditions that last for years. When you’re involved in a car accident, you probably think to call your insurance company but most people don’t think to call a chiropractor and soft tissue specialist.
Taking care of your body after a car accident is incredibly important. Not all serious injuries are visible, you may have had bruising and soreness a few days after your car accident but the persistent neck, shoulder, and back pain may not show up right away.
To explain better, let’s use a case study:
Liz is an A-Level student who was recently involved in a car accident. She was stationary in traffic when she was hit from behind by someone going 60 MPH. Her seatbelt didn’t lock and her body slammed into the steering wheel leaving her with a huge bruise on her forehead. Her CT scan came back normal but she wasn’t able to get an MRI at the hospital.
Liz’s neck, shoulder, and lower back pain appeared after her initial soreness died down and this pain makes it difficult to go about her daily life. She’s unable to get out of bed on some days and she’s had to postpone her school exams because she can’t sit for a prolonged period of time.
During this time Elite Performance Therapy have been adjusting her and releasing some muscle tightness using soft tissue techniques and dry needling but her shoulder is still presenting some issues that lead us to suspect that she may have a rotator cuff tear.
To properly diagnose the tear, we conduct a full shoulder assessment to determine where the pain is coming from so we know exactly how to treat it. This includes testing her arm strength on each side to identify any weaknesses in her muscles. We decide to refer her to get an MRI on her shoulder so we can get more information about what’s going on with her rotator cuff before going forward with the treatment plan.
Isy and Sarah are able to treat Liz to provide some immediate pain relief but we’ll be able to do more once we get the MRI results.
Can’t see any Injuries?
When you’ve been in a car accident, especially one that doesn’t right off your car, you may assume that you’ll just have some soreness and whiplash but nothing serious in terms of injuries, especially if they don’t appear straight away. The pernicious thing about car accidents is that even accidents that occur at low speeds can result in injuries that don’t become apparent right away. You may not have immediate symptoms other than bruising and soreness but that doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear.
According to prominent whiplash expert Dr. Ruth Jackson :
“Motor vehicle collision injuries to the cervical spine often go unrecognized or ignored for many months.”
We cannot stress enough the importance of being correctly diagnosed for any injuries and getting it treated. But it’s also important to see a chiropractor and soft tissue specialist as soon as possible after a car accident to ensure problems don’t linger for years on end.
What to expect on your first visit
When you come into our clinic, you’ll be assessed to see where the pain is coming from and what muscle weaknesses need to be dealt with. After that assessment, we may send you for imaging so we can see exactly what’s happening inside the injured area or we may start your treatment plan immediately.
Treatment is customized to the patient’s needs which means we’re able to directly treat the specific injuries you have and we can get you out of pain and feeling better as quickly as possible.
If you’ve been in a car accident, please come visit us to get checked out as soon as possible. There may be injuries that you don’t realize you have just yet and when they rear their ugly heads in the coming months, the pain will be worse than if you treated them immediately.