Being in a car accident can be an extremely traumatic experience. There’s the hassle of dealing with the other people involved, sorting out the insurance, and even having to replace your car if too much damage has been caused. You just want to forget the whole incident and carry on with your life like normal, but one thing you shouldn’t forget is to check in with your doctor.
Although you might feel fine, injuries that auto accidents can cause aren’t always obvious right away. You might think that the stiffness and bruising is nothing to worry about, but there could be significant spinal problems beneath the surface, and the only way to know for sure is to see your doctor.
The most common injury from a car accident is whiplash, with around two million Americans experiencing it each year. Whiplash typically happens when your car is stationary and another vehicle slams into the back of you (although you can get it from non-car related causes, too). Whiplash can cause problems to your neck and spine that lasts for days, weeks, and in some cases, years.
Whiplash twists the ligaments and muscles in your neck and back, which can cause permanent damage. Although the common symptoms of pain and stiffness you’d probably expect following a car accident are part of this condition, a few other symptoms may develop over time, including:
Whiplash isn’t the only injury that can be caused by a car accident though. Other soft tissue injuries can also occur, where the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your spine are torn or damaged and can cause extreme pain when left untreated.
Your spine can also be directly injured. The momentum of your car being pushed or spun caused by the car accident can cause immense pressure to be forced on your neck and spine, which can cause fractures, sprains, and spinal disc injuries.
With appropriate treatment, most people feel better from these kinds of injuries within a few weeks of the accident, but when it’s left untreated, long-term problems can take hold, including chronic pain, headaches that can make everyday life difficult to handle, sleep disturbances, and difficulties concentrating.
Having to live with these complications day after day can be difficult to cope with, so mental health problems can also kick in as a secondary complication, causing irritability, depression, mood swings, and post-traumatic stress.
The good news is that the sooner you start treatment for whiplash and other auto accident injuries, the better the chance of avoiding long-term complications and making a full recovery.
We’re experts at treating whiplash here at McGowan Medical Centers
If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident, then you should come and visit one of our chiropractors here at McGowan Medical Centers in Jacksonville as soon as you can. You’ll receive a detailed examination to ensure your soft tissues and spine haven’t received serious damage, and we’ll set you on the road to recovery with a specialized treatment plan.
Treatment for whiplash and related injuries can involve several different aspects working together to aid your full recovery and will usually involve a mixture of manual manipulation, physical therapy, and muscle stimulation/relaxation.
If you’ve been in a recent car accident, or you’re struggling with symptoms from an accident you’ve had in the past, make sure you come and visit us at McGowan Medical Centers to discover how we can help you.