Car accidents happen so quickly that you don’t always have time to prevent them. Even if you wear your seatbelt as you should and have airbags, there’s a risk that you might suffer an injury in the crash. Accidents can range from someone who pulls out in front of you to someone who backs into your car. While some injuries are minor and do not require medical attention, others can change your life and leave you dealing with a lot of pain. Check out the top benefits of seeing a chiropractor after you suffer an injury in a car accident.

Diagnose Your Injuries

Depending on the severity of the accident, you might receive medical attention on the spot. If there was a serious crash and police arrive, they will often call paramedics. While the paramedics do a good job of seeing if you’re okay to head home, they can miss out on some injuries. You may also take an ambulance to the hospital where a doctor can diagnose your injuries.

The problem is that doctors and paramedics can miss some or all of your injuries. This is especially common if you felt fine after the accident and only experienced pain later. A chiropractor will complete an intensive examination and determine if you have any soft tissue injuries that do not show on x-rays as well as other injuries. The chiropractor will also look for torn ligaments and muscles that can cause a lot of pain. Even if you talk to another doctor or go to the hospital, a chiropractor can find things that others missed.

Reduce Inflammation

In the United States alone, more than five million people are involved in car accidents. Many of the injuries they sustain cause some type of swelling or inflammation. This is a sign of your body fighting the injury and trying to heal itself. You might suffer whiplash from the motion of your body rocking forward and back when someone hits you. In many cases, your swelling also causes some pain. Though you can treat the swelling at home with ice packs and heating pads, you may not get all of the relief that you need. Seeing a chiropractor can help.

When you make an appointment with a chiropractor, they will ask about the swelling you experienced and adjust your spine. You may need a full body alignment to treat your swelling and other symptoms. Bringing your spinal cord back into alignment can also reduce your body’s reaction and limit inflammation. The best time to make your appointment after an accident is when you experience swelling when you first get up in the morning or after a period of inactivity. This indicates that your body uses inflammation as a way to heal your injury.

Improve Your Range of Motion

Your range of motion refers to how well you can move around. Before the accident, you might have full range of motion, but this changes due to your injuries. You may find that you cannot lift your arms as high as you once could or that you have problems simply getting up and walking around. The injuries you sustained can affect your range so much that you can no longer do some of your favorite activities. It can prevent you from working at your job, too.

A chiropractor can soothe some of your symptoms and improve your range of motion at the same time. Make sure that you talk about the problems you experienced during your appointment. Emphasize that you cannot do certain activities and mention any changes you noticed. You might let them know that you feel discomfort when you drive to work or that you have issues playing with your kids. The chiropractor can decide on the best alignment for you, which may include your back and other areas of your body. Some patients find that their range of motion improves after just one session, but it may take several appointments before you see any results.

Recover from Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the more common injuries that happen during auto accidents. When someone backs into your car or you hit a car in front of you, your head and neck move forward and then snap back. Some of the symptoms of whiplash include pain and stiffness around your neck, headaches that radiate up from your neck, tingling or numbness, and a change in your range of motion. Whiplash can also cause you to feel tired or dizzy and cause pain in your upper arms and shoulders.

One of the problems with whiplash is that it’s hard for doctors to diagnose. They often need to see signs of swelling around your neck and hear that you have some of the common symptoms before they will diagnose you. You may not have any of these signs until hours or even days after the accident. A chiropractor can treat you long after the crash or in the days following it. They come up with a treatment plan that includes exercises to improve your range of motion along with alignments to change your neck and head. You can work with a chiropractor at the same time you take the medications your doctor recommends.

Reduce Headaches

No matter what type of accident occurred, the chances are good that you’ll suffer from some frequent and intense headaches. While this is a symptom of whiplash, it can also happen because your head hit a hard surface in the vehicle such as the door panel or dash. You may even have headaches because the airbag hit your face. Migraines are also common after accidents. They can affect the way you react to different stimuli around your house such as lights and smells.

If you were recently in an accident and now have headaches, talk to a chiropractor. Migraine triggers make your headaches worse and can include some of the cleaning products you use and candles you love as well as bright lights and loud noises. Chiropractors can use a variety of treatments to help with your pain such as spinal manipulation. Your chiropractor may also recommend massages that help ease stress and reduce your overall pain. It usually takes around 10 sessions before you get all of the relief you need.

Prevent Future Pain

Even if you walk away from a car accident and get the all-clear from your doctor, there’s a chance that you’ll still feel some back pain. Sciatica is a condition that can occur due to car crashes. Around 40% of Americans will experience some type of sciatica during their lives. It affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from your leg and up through your hip and into your back. It can present with numbness and tingling in one or both legs. As the condition worsens, it can cause intense pain in your upper and lower body.

Chiropractors often treat patients struggling with sciatic nerve pain. This pain can radiate through different parts of your body and cause so much pain that you can only lie down in bed. Many patients find that their pain worsens with regular activity. Chiropractors offer manipulations and alignments that take pressure off this nerve. You may feel some relief after your first appointment and continue feeling relief after later sessions. Chiropractors can help with other types of back pain after a car accident.

Stop Scar Tissue in Its Tracks

Scar tissue forms when your body recovers from an injury. You might have some minor scars on your face from where the airbag hit it or on your arms when the windshield broke. If you suffered any cuts in the accident, scar tissue will form as the wounds heal. The scar tissue you cannot see is much more dangerous. This includes the scars that form around your neck and back as you recover from an injury. There’s a risk that the tissue may limit your range of motion or cause future discomfort.

One benefit to seeing a chiropractor is that they can treat any scar tissue you have. A bigger reason to make an appointment is that they can keep scar tissue from forming. When you seek treatment for whiplash or back pain now, you don’t need to worry as much about scar tissue forming later. During a manipulation or alignment, the chiropractor will break up some of the tissue that formed. Future appointments will keep breaking down the tissue before it grows more invasive.

Find Non-Invasive Treatments

Many people do not want to take prescription medications because of bad experiences they had in the past. You might also worry about developing an addiction because you have a history of addiction or it runs in your family. When you see your family physician or an ER doctor, they will likely recommend invasive treatments like prescription medications to treat your pain. Depending on your injuries, they may even suggest surgery. While you should never ignore your doctor’s advice, turning to a chiropractor lets you find non-invasive treatments.

Chiropractors offer treatments designed for your whole body that are not invasive. You might opt for a neck manipulation in which the professional pushes your neck back into the proper position to reduce pain and swelling. With a spinal alignment, the chiropractor can improve the alignment between your neck and back or other body parts. They may also recommend some simple things you can do at home such as stretches to relax your muscles and ice packs that prevent inflammation.

Prepare for a Lawsuit

Insurers and their customers spend roughly $1 trillion on car accident claims every year. When you are the victim of a crash that someone else caused, you need to contact their insurer. The insurer should agree to pay your hospital and other medical bills, but this isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Depending on local laws, they may attempt to prove that you had a role in the incident to limit the amount they pay out. Insurance companies can also fight your claim with the belief that you didn’t suffer as much property damage as you did or that your injuries are not as serious as you state. That is why you should always call the police and ask them to file a report as well as get medical help as soon as possible.

A big reason to see a chiropractor is that you get proof of your injuries. The chiropractor can make a detailed report that explains all of the injuries you sustained and the treatments you underwent as well as how the injuries affected your life. You may file against the responsible driver because you were unable to work for a few weeks or you lost your job because of the accident. A chiropractor gives you more proof you can use along with the police report and any other evidence you collect.

Book an appointment at Dorsa Chiropractic today to get help after any type of car accident.