The past two weekends were marked by rain which was sure to end the notion that South Carolina is suffering from a drought.  As I traveled the roadways, the deep runoff on some roads brought to mind that this weather brings about an increase in auto accidents and auto accident injury.
A few observations if you were involved in an accident in the last few rainstorms:
As a previous accident victim myself, I realize that the first thing a person thinks about after the crash is their car, and not necessarily their health. Many victims are not aware that some injuries cannot be detected until days, weeks or even months have passed. Two things can result from this:

  1. an insurance company settles with you without compensating you properly for the pain and treatment needed from these as-yet-undiagnosed injuries, and
  2. the injury gets worse over time due to the lack or delay of treatment.

It is absolutely imperative that anyone who is in an auto accident immediately see a doctor trained in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injury.

While “whiplash” is a common term for the injury suffered in auto accidents, common complaints of crash victims are that they don’t “feel normal”.  They may experience symptoms like dizziness, blurry vision, headaches, back pain, muscle stiffness or spasms, neck pain, numbness and tingling, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, irritability, memory loss or difficulty concentrating.  Auto accidents can eventually cause post-traumatic osteoarthritis years after the wreck. This ultimately can have a damaging effect on posture (producing a slumped or hump back appearance). Osteoarthritis can also cause discs of the spine to dehydrate and thin, resulting in scar tissue formation and chronic stiffness. Our bodies produce adrenaline (a stress hormone) at the time of an accident. This hormone acts as a natural pain killer and can give victims a false sense that they came through the accident without injury. As I mentioned before, it can be hours, days or weeks later that the full reality of an auto accident injury is felt.
Chiropractors are primary care doctors trained specifically in dealing with injuries to the spine, so a doctor of chiropractic is your best source for the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue and joint injuries. X-rays or MRI (if indicated) can be used to check for any significant structural damage resulting from an auto accident injury. In our office, we routinely evaluate accident victims and can make appropriate referrals to other health care providers when necessary. Our primary responsibility is providing proper care and submitting the required medical reports to insurance adjusters or an attorney (if one is involved) so your rights are protected.
The reason people choose chiropractic care for the treatment of injuries sustained in auto accidents is really quite simple—chiropractic care is exceptional for the treatment of soft tissue injuries, especially those of the spine. Since the most common injuries associated with car accidents are sprains and strains of the spinal muscles and ligaments, it’s only natural that chiropractic should be your treatment of choice.
 Photo credit:  W. Robert Howell via Compfight