If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you have come to the right place. I’m Dr. Jeff Wilson and I have undergone extensive training in the Diagnosis and Clinical Management of Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Trauma, Whiplash-Related TMJ Disorders and Brain Traumatology. I know that’s a mouthful, right? But that’s how serious we are about the proper treatment of these types of injuries. Chiropractic has been a highly successful means of treatment for these injuries because we treat the specific tissues that are injured.
Through volumes of research and forensic studies produced over the recent years, it is well documented that chiropractic has been recognized as a highly effective form of treatment of injuries sustained from automobile related injuries. In one example, a study published from orthopedic surgeons in the journal Injury, it was determined that no medical treatment has been shown to be effective in chronic whiplash injury patients. Yet, for these same patients, they found a statistically significant (93%) improvement following chiropractic care. This volume of research now substantially proves a number of factors commonly associated with whiplash type injuries:
Most injuries from rear impact accidents occur from speeds of collisions between 8 – 12 mph, which is below the threshold that would cause damage to most current vehicles.
Delayed onset of symptoms is normal, especially at the lower speeds. It is most common for symptoms to show up days, weeks and even months after an accident.
Victims of MVA’s who were prescribed to wear cervical collars following an accident as a therapeutic support (not for immediate protection to rule out a fracture) for a period of time resulted in a 36% increase in chronic pain and disability.
The sooner patients are properly treated to restore joint function following a MVA, the sooner their recovery and the less likely of experiencing chronic problems.
For victims of whiplash injury who do not seek care or do not receive appropriate care, the accumulation of literature claims that at the very least, 43% will experience long-term suffering following the injury. Most studies report much higher chronicity rates.
If patients are still symptomatic after three months then there is almost a 90% chance that they will remain so, suffering from life-time chronic problems.
The last three points are what I will stress the most if you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident (MVA). The sooner that we initiate care, the faster and better outcome of care you will experience. In my nearly 20 years of experience of treating injuries from car accidents, I can tell you that if a patient gets in the day of or within a few days of the accident, the treatment duration is significantly shorter and the chance of a full recovery is greatly favored. If a patient waits so much as a few weeks or a month or 2, the duration of treatment, although still critically important, can be much longer and full recovery is greatly compromised.
Unfortunately, car accidents are fairly common these days. And way too often, victims feel that it’s not a big deal, or the symptoms will go away, especially at lower speeds. But remember the facts above. More often, symptoms are not felt right away and the majority of rear impact collisions occur at slower speeds that often don’t cause noticeable damage to cars. However, impacts sustained from car accidents are much different than if you fall or even get hit hard playing football for instance. The sudden change in speed that occurs in collisions causes micro-trauma to delicate tissues of the spine, specifically the joint capsules and ligaments of each vertebrae. That change in speed is much faster than our nervous system’s reflexes. Under those forces, our neuromuscular system is not capable of protecting us by bracing, supporting or stopping the sudden movements that occur.
Therefore, injuries from even the most minor MVA’s are nothing to take for granted! Most people are familiar with the term ‘whiplash’ which describes the type of motion that causes injury in a rear impact collision. While the great majority of all symptoms are related to injuries of the neck and head, most people do not know that the entire spine is also subjected to trauma which also produces symptoms all the way down the back to the lumbar spine and hips. The truth is, whiplash injuries can be quite complex and often include a variety of related problems. Again most symptoms are related to the head and neck which may also include cognitive dysfunction such as foggy thinking, anxiety, insomnia and dizziness.
There are about 12 million MVA's that occur each year in this country and they involve more than 20 million vehicles. The most common type of accident is the rear impact collision, and the occupants of the vehicle that gets "rear-ended" are at the greatest risk of injury, however the occupants of the striking vehicle are also at risk. This is not to say that other types of accidents such as side impact or even roll-over are not just as serious, but the vast majority of all published studies and forensic science are created from rear impact accidents.
The millions of accidents each year represent a tremendous cost burden in this country not to mention the great amount of chronic and even disabling physical impairment that comes about from minor accidents. Getting immediate treatment from a properly trained chiropractic physician is in your best interest and may prevent you from a life of chronic but, most often, avoidable problems and pain.
Again, it's important to seek treatment as quickly as possible after the incident. And at Balanced Chiropractic in Davenport, IA, we work with patients who have suffered automobile injuries and are looking for chiropractic treatment to begin the healing process.
We believe that your health should be your top priority after a car accident. Even if there are insurance or lawsuit issues to deal with, the treatment you receive can be an important factor in the outcome of your case. To get help following an automobile injury, call us today to schedule an appointment for chiropractic evaluation and treatment.