What to Do When a Car Accident Happens - Texas Spine and Sports Therapy Center

What to Do When a Car Accident Happens

Whiplash from a car accident

After a car accident, one of the first things you should do is schedule chiropractic auto injury assessment. The physical damage the accident inflicted on your body may not be readily apparent to you, but your chiropractor will be able to discover what areas may become problematic to you. Don’t wait too long to be assessed, or you could run the risk of not being able to provide adequate proof that your injuries were caused by your auto accident. Beyond these more practical matters, the importance of seeking immediate attention could make a big difference on how you feel a week, month, or year later.

 

Car Accident Statistics

Nobody ever wants to find themselves in a car accident. However, a car accident occurs in thousands of people’s lives each day. In the United States, over 2.35 million people are injured each year in an accident. Many of those actually become disabled because of injuries sustained in that car accident or because they didn’t seek treatment for their injuries. According to the Association for Safe International Road Safety, road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion dollars every year. For U.S. citizens that travel abroad, road crashes are the single greatest cause of death among those travelers.

 

On a global scale, nearly 1.3 million people die in a car accident every year, with about 37,000 of those being in the U.S. alone. An additional 20-50 million people worldwide are injured or disabled from car crashes depending on the year. That’s quite a lot of people! What you do right after a car accident can determine what your health will be like over the next year and even for the rest of your life. The first 24 hours are critical for assessing damage both to your car, but also to your body.

 

car accident

The First 24 Hours

No matter how careful you drive, you may still find yourself in a car accident at some point in your life. We hope you never have this happen, but we are here to help you when an accident strikes. When a car accident happens, emergency responders generally arrive on the scene to stabilize all parties. If serious injuries are apparent, you will be directed to a hospital immediately. However, not all accidents are serious. You may simply be rear-ended by another car and not appear to have any injuries whatsoever.

 

However, it is still in your best interest to have a full assessment done within 24-48 hours after being in an accident, even if it is a small one. We can provide you an auto-injury assessment at our office. Our diagnostics can rule out cracked ribs, over-extended necks, spinal trauma and other issues that can lead to permanent tissue damage over time. This assessment is important to receive within the first 24-48 hours, as some injuries will not even start showing symptoms until a few hours have passed. A little extra attention right after a car accident can make a major difference in how you feel in one month, or even one year down the road. It’s also important to receive an assessment right away for insurance purposes and so that you get ahead of any trauma before it causes you major problems.

 

Whiplash

When you come into our office after an accident, we run a wide range of diagnostics that include:

  • X-rays to rule out fractures or breaks, especially small ones.
  • A physical exam to document and examine bruising or internal injuries
  • Measurement of blood pressure and other vital signs to determine irregularities
  • Manual testing of the spine and neck to find soreness and limited range-of-motion.

The most common injuries that happen from auto accidents are brain and head injuries, neck injuries, spinal-cord injuries, back, facial and internal injuries. One of the most-common problems we see in our patients is whiplash.

 

When you are rear-ended or in a car crash, your body keeps moving even though your vehicle has stopped. A sudden stop can cause your body to jolt against the seat violently. This causes your neck to move suddenly, causing damage to the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Your back and neck vertebrae can even misalign or crack with impact, even if it was a small car accident. Unfortunately, whiplash takes 1-3 days to fully set in. Patients will feel stiffening and pain in their shoulders and neck and may even struggle to move their neck. You may also have ringing ears, dizzy spells, blurred vision, intense headaches, chronic fatigue and insomnia after a car accident.

 

driving in traffic

How Therapy Can Help You

You want to always have your health assessed right after a car accident to help with whiplash and other symptoms. Not treating whiplash can cause you chronic pain that lasts for many months and even years. You may have damage to your ligaments and spine that lead to loss of range-of-motion, neuropathy problems, spasms, cramps and even arthritis development and depression. At our office, we provide chiropractic adjustments and spinal adjustments to fix alignment issues in your back and neck. We also provide deep tissue massage for chronic pain and therapy to release tension in your muscles. This can restore movement to your neck and body.

 

Traction and vibration therapies can slow down and reverse damage to your muscles after a car accident. Patients who seek treatment end up reducing their symptoms and even eliminating them shortly after an accident. Those who don’t may end up with pain and symptoms for many months. If you’ve been in an accident, have your health assessed! Call Texas Spine & Sports Therapy Center right away at (512) 806-0015!

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