Chiropractic Care After an Auto Accident
Being in a car accident can lead to a range of health issues. Even minor collisions cause spine and muscle injuries that aren't always obvious at first. Trying to recover on your own or just relying on emergency room treatment often leaves these underlying issues unaddressed. That's why seeking chiropractic care soon after an auto accident is highly recommended.
Keep reading to learn more about why chiropractic is essential for thorough injury diagnosis and optimal car accident recovery. We'll cover:
- Hidden spinal injuries accidents cause
- Why pain sometimes doesn't develop until later
- How chiropractors identify auto injuries
- Effective chiropractic treatments for accident injuries
- The risks of delaying chiropractic care
- Using auto insurance to pay for chiropractic
- Finding experienced auto accident chiropractors
- Long-term chiropractic benefits
Understanding what chiropractic care offers will help you make the best choices following an auto collision to protect your health and wellbeing.
Hidden Spinal Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Major spinal and soft tissue damage can occur during an accident even without direct impact. G-forces from the collision jerk and whip the spine out of alignment, straining the intricate muscles, ligaments, and joints. Severity depends on your sitting position, head placement, and the force vectors involved.
Common spinal injuries from auto accidents include:
- Intervertebral joint sprains and tears
- Vertebral subluxations - misalignments irritating nerves
- Herniated, bulging, or compressed discs
- Compression fractures of vertebrae
- Sprain of facet joint capsules
- Whiplash injuries
Just because you can walk away from a crash doesn't mean you're injury-free. Chiropractors recognize many collision injuries aren't apparent on X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs done in an emergency room. Specialized testing is needed to uncover the full extent of accident damage.
Why Car Accident Pain Can Take Weeks to Develop
In the initial days and weeks after an auto collision, your body is flooded with anti-inflammatory chemicals and adrenaline. You may feel only minimal pain despite significant underlying injuries. This masks issues like:
- Joint instability or misalignment
- Nerve inflammation and irritation
- Ligament or muscle tears
- Vertebral subluxations
- Disc damage
Over time as your natural pain masking wears off, you suddenly start to feel much worse. Ache, stiffness, spasms, reduced mobility, headaches, and shooting nerve pain develop.
That's why prompt chiropractic evaluation using advanced diagnostics is key even if you have little pain immediately after an accident. Identifying issues early prevents long-term suffering and disability.
How Chiropractors Identify Injuries Missed by ERs
- Chiropractors have the in-depth training and diagnostic tools necessary to find accident injuries overlooked by hospital ERs. These include:
- Palpation – Chiropractors manually palpate for areas of misalignment, spasm, and reduced motion.
- Range of motion tests – Assessing flexibility identifies restricted joint movement indicating injuries.
- Orthopedic testing – Specialized tests pinpoint ligament tears, disc problems, and nerve damage.
- Posture analysis – Evaluating standing and sitting posture reveals misalignments and guarding.
- Muscle strength evaluations – Weakness often results from innervated spinal injuries.
- Thermography – Scans detect inflammation and asymmetry signaling tissues injuries.
- EMG – Measures muscle electrical activity to uncover nerve impingement.
- X-rays – Motion X-rays show joint dysfunction difficult to spot on static ER films.
- Chiropractors have the clinical expertise and technology to find what CT scans, MRIs, and ER exams miss after accidents.
Effective Chiropractic Treatments for Car Accident Injuries
Chiropractors utilize hands-on, non-invasive approaches to treat accident injuries. Common techniques include:
- Spinal manipulation – Precise manual adjustments restore mobility and alignment to injured vertebral joints.
- Soft tissue mobilization – Helps muscles and ligaments heal through massage, stretching, and other hands-on methods.
- Myofascial release – Relaxes spasms and breaks up scar tissue adhesions.
- Graston technique – Specialized tools break down internal adhesions and restrictions.
- Active release technique – Specific motions and positions release entrapped nerves.
- Heat/ice therapy – Alternating temperatures relieves localized inflammation and pain.
- Physiotherapy – Exercises and modalities like ultrasound strengthen the spine and supporting muscles.
Based on a complete diagnostic workup, chiropractors develop customized multi-therapy treatment regimens to address each patient's unique post-accident health situation.
The Risks of Delaying Chiropractic Care After an Auto Accident
Many accident victims put off chiropractic care, instead waiting to see if pain improves. This delays vital treatment and allows secondary injury cascades to worsen problems. Ongoing consequences include:
- Compensatory movements – Guarding injured areas leads to abnormal alignment stressing other joints.
- Degenerative changes – Uncorrected injuries hasten arthritis and degeneration.
- Chronic pain – Sprains and tears worsen without care, becoming permanent issues.
- Reduced mobility – Lack of treatment tightens muscles and stiffens joints through adhesions.
- Nerve damage – Pressure on nerves left untreated can lead to numbness, burning, and loss of function.
- Recurring flare-ups – Problems thought to have resolved spontaneously flare back up.
Don't gamble with your post-accident health. Seek chiropractic care right away after a collision to identify and resolve issues promptly before they progress.
Using Auto Insurance to Pay for Chiropractic After an Accident
A huge benefit all Colorado auto insurance policies share is Mandated Medical Payments Coverage. This provides reimbursement for medical expenses resulting from any accident up to the limit (typically $5,000).
Chiropractic care is included in the allowable medical expenses covered by this mandated MedPay insurance. To use it:
- Notify your insurer of the accident even if not at fault.
- Have your chiropractor submit itemized bills directly to the insurance provider.
- MedPay coverage doesn't affect premiums or fault determination.
- It provides an immediate no-fault way to pay for chiropractic treatment without dipping into your health insurance.
- Coverage continues until fully utilized regardless of any settlement timeline.
You deserve the best possible healing and recovery from auto accident injuries. Leverage your MedPay coverage to make chiropractic care affordable.
Choosing the Right Auto Injury Chiropractor
Not all chiropractors have equal experience specifically treating car accident patients. Look for a chiropractor who:
- Has 10+ years practicing chiropractic care
- Offers advanced diagnostic testing like thermal imaging and EMG
- Uses leading-edge rehab technology and equipment
- Accepts auto insurance and private injury cases
- Is highly skilled at reading and interpreting X-rays
- Will communicate closely with your healthcare team
- Provides flexible appointment scheduling for your convenience
The right chiropractor will outlined a coordinated treatment plan using proven techniques to help you regain your pre-accident mobility and enjoyment of life.
Long-Term Benefits of Prompt Chiropractic Care After Collisions
While eliminating pain is a primary motivator for chiropractic care after an accident, treatment provides many additional benefits:
- Restored range of motion and flexibility
- Improved posture and alignment
- Greater strength and stability
- Reduced risk of degenerative changes
- Supported musculoskeletal system health
- Accelerated healing response
- Better sleep quality and energy levels
- Improved brain-body connection and neural integrity
Thorough chiropractic rehabilitation soon after an accident enhances your overall health now and years down the road. Don't wait to start the healing process.
Start Correcting Your Collision Injuries Now
If you live in the Centennial or Littleton area and were hurt in an auto accident, seeing a chiropractor promptly is your best bet for finding and treating underlying issues before they worsen. Take control over your health by acting now, regardless of any insurance claim proceedings.
Dr. Leach at Greenwood Village Chiropractor has helped auto accident victims improve their health for over 25 years. His integrated, patient-centered treatment approach combines gentle chiropractic adjustment with massage, physical therapy, nutritional support, and cutting-edge diagnostic technology. Start feeling like yourself again.
Schedule an exam with Dr. Leach today to uncover and address any hidden collision injuries you may have. The sooner you seek chiropractic care, the sooner you can put your accident behind you and enjoy your active Colorado lifestyle once again.
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