Car accidents and personal injury accidents can be a source of stress and pain for many of those that are involved. You are hurt, your car is damaged, others are involved, and the insurance companies just will not leave you alone with non-stop phone calls. Many patients that we have had in the past have gone to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care with little relief, they are usually given prescription pain medication, anti-inflammatories, and/or muscle relaxers that offer temporary relief and patient released still feeling pain, unable to sleep and work effectively, let alone side effects of those medications. Some patients have constant pain that lasts for several months. These symptoms are real, and these symptoms are what we see at our practice. The most common symptoms we see include neck pain, stiffness, decrease range of motion, headaches, nausea, tingling and numbness in the arms/hands/fingers, low back pain, upper back, shoulder pain, radiating pain, stress, inability to sleep, anxiety, being irritable with others, among others. If you have been injured in a car accident, do not settle for subpar treatment; come see us for a proper evaluation and examination.
Car accidents, blows to the back in sports, and on-the-job injuries can easily leave you with a whiplash injury. While symptoms are often felt immediately, pain may be delayed for days, months, or, in rare cases, even years. In fact, many people wake up with neck pain without being aware of ever having a head or neck injury. The most common symptom of whiplash (affecting 62% to 92% of those injured) is neck pain, and it usually begins between two hours and two days after the accident. This is often the result of tightened muscles that react to either muscle tears or excessive movement of joints from ligament damage. The muscles tighten in an effort to splint up and support the head, limiting the excessive movement. While muscle relaxants and pain killers can relieve some of the discomfort of these muscle spasms, these medications will only cover up symptoms, failing to address the cause of the problem.
An estimated 66% to 70% of those suffering from whiplash complain of headaches. The pain may be on one side or both, intermittent or constant, in one location or more diffuse. These headaches, like neck pain, are often the result of tightened, tensed muscles trying to keep the head stable and, like tension headaches, they are often felt behind the eyes.
Shoulder pain, often described as pain radiating down the back of the neck into the shoulder blade area, also may be the result of tensed muscles. Muscle tears often are described as burning, prickling or tingling pain. More severe disc damage may cause sharp pain with certain movements which are relieved by holding your hand over your head.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you may have a whiplash injury that, if left untreated, can cause far more serious problems months or years later. Everyone knows someone who got in a car accident and has never been the same since.
When a patient comes in our office presenting with pain from a personal injury or car accident we start by:
- First Examination: this is crucial to your treatment and our care. Examinations typically lasts 60 minutes and include making the patient feel comfortable, requesting other providers medical records to see what has worked/what has not/and what has been done, chiropractic/orthopedic/neurological/muscle testing, and getting a complete history of how the accident happened (where patient was sitting in car, rear ended, head rotated, etc.). All these are crucial in your treatment and getting you better.
- As stated in the phases of treatment on our website, we go through an intensive care phase which helps to decrease the inflammation in the acute/sub-acute phase, followed by a rehabilitation phase with more stretches and exercises to rehabilitate the injured soft tissues. Remember, if soft tissue structures are injured and you do not properly rehabilitate the soft tissue, it can lead to weakness, atrophy, and in many cases, chronic pain and discomfort down the road.
- Throughout your care with us, you will be closely monitored. We will ask you how you are doing on every visit and you will personally see the doctor on every visit for treatment. We also have a trained staff of exercise physiotherapist, stretch therapist, and massage therapist to assist in our care.
- Referrals to Specialists or Additional Diagnostic Imaging: If needed, we may take x-rays or refer for MRI as further diagnostic tools to better visualize damaged structures. We also work with trusted pain management specialist, orthopedic surgeons, neurologist, and primary care physicians and will refer to them if needed in your care.
If you have been injured in a personal injury and car accident, do not hesitate to make an appointment to see Drs. Carter, Hays, or Huynh.
The Quebec Automobile Insurance Society recently released an exhaustive study of more than 10,382 articles on neck injuries and concluded most interventions for whiplash injury were proven, including soft cervical collars and corticosteroid injections. Yet they recommended Chiropractic Manipulation as being clearly effective. If you suspect you have a whiplash injury, and/or have been involved in an automobile accident, or if you are having neck pain for some other reason, we can help you to feel better quickly, along with assisting you in the correction, rehabilitation and strengthening of your spine for prevention of future neck problems.