Do you need to seek out chiropractic care following an auto accident? My answer is a resounding “yes!” Why is it so important? Why can’t you just rest and take the medications that were prescribed by your medical doctor? Is the insurance company going to give you a hard time about it?
The reason why chiropractic care is so important after an accident has little to do with you being in pain (although it’s good for that too). A vertebra that moves out of its normal alignment can wreak havoc on your neck or low back. When a vertebra moves out of alignment, it reduces the natural motion in the spine causing your body to adapt. Over time, altered curves in your spine develop, which can lead to degenerative disc disease and arthritis. You may not be in a lot of pain immediately following the accident, but research indicates that most people will experience a bulk of their symptoms after a few days. New symptoms may become present even up to a year after your accident.
Once you start to feel symptoms, this is a good indicator that something has moved out of place, and likely that you’re experiencing a sprain/strain kind of injury. Sprain and strain don’t sound horrible, but really they are describing tears of various tissues in your body. The severity of the tear will indicate the type of treatment you should probably consider first. The chiropractor can help make the determination.
Eventually, your body will heal with scar tissue. Scar tissue is more sensitive than the previously uninjured tissue that you had within you before. Once scar tissue sets up (this takes about 3 weeks following the trauma), it will become increasingly difficult to get you back to your pre-accident state. Receiving some chiropractic adjustments to your spine will help assure that your spine is in its best position as that scar tissue begins to form. The better your spine is when all of this occurs, the more likely you can return pain-free following your therapy and treatment.
In addition to the chiropractic adjustment, you can typically receive additional therapies that will help your muscles and other soft tissue heal more quickly than just “resting” alone. The additional therapies also help with pain, swelling, and inflammation and can be a big help in the speed of your recovery.