Have you ever been in an auto accident? If you have, what initially runs through your mind? Are the passengers in the vehicle alright? Is the car alright? Am I alright? In this week’s blog, we are going to discuss what the body may experience during an auto accident and explain what we can do to help.
What Happens During an Auto Accident?
An auto accident should always be taken seriously no matter the severity. Whether the accident was caused by another driver or yourself, you are still at great risk of an impacted injury. During a car accident, the body is rotated, twisted, hyperflexed, and/or hyperextended involuntarily in different directions depending on the force of the impact, location of impact on the vehicle, the speed of impact, and whether a seatbelt was worn.
Often, auto accidents occur suddenly with little to no warning. When this occurs, the body doesn’t have enough time to react, thus, causing violent jolts. In other cases, people have full awareness, but not enough reaction time to prevent the accident. When this occurs, there is enough time for a natural flinching response, causing the muscles to tense and act as a guarding mechanism.
Depending on the severity of the accident, injuries could be mild or severe. The more force the body experiences when jolted, the worse the body will feel. The neck and back are both susceptible to pain during an auto accident, but a common injury sustained from an auto accident is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the neck is violently forced into hyperextension and hyperflexion from impact. The lower back is forced into the same direction but not as violently because the seat keeps the lower body more stable. The neck moves more freely and doesn’t have as much cushion for support.
What Should You Do Following an Auto Accident?
The first thing you should do immediately after an accident occurs is to make sure you, passengers, and any other affected individuals are okay. Once everyone has been checked, call the local authorities to properly document the incident. While waiting for the authorities to arrive, exchange information with the other driver, take photos of the scene and contact your insurance company to let them know you have been in an accident. When injuries are sustained, hire an attorney to provide guidance and help protect your rights.
What Can We Do to Help?
Your health is of utmost importance after an auto accident. Residual pain could occur days following an accident, so it is not a bad idea to seek medical attention immediately. When choosing a provider, you first need to determine what it is that is bothering you. Some people may choose to see a medical doctor, while others may choose to go the chiropractic route. When choosing a chiropractor, make sure they accept auto injuries because many do not.
At our office, we happily accept and encourage auto injury claims. We believe that chiropractic is the best route for auto injuries because we can repair the strain upon the nervous system that occurred during the accident. Medical doctors may only provide medication or an injection that only numbs the problem rather than fixing the problem.
When you first walk into the office, a consultation between the patient and doctor is conducted in order to learn everything necessary about the case. Providing a consultation will help the doctors to determine the appropriate examination and x-rays that need to be performed. An examination is required for a patient to be treated as an auto injury claim.
A specific auto injury questionnaire must be filled out during your first visit so that we can submit your treatment at our facility to the insurance company. The questionnaire includes detailed questions about the car accident, and insurance information.
Once the examination and paperwork are complete, the doctors can begin treating the area of complaint. We treat our auto injury patients the same as we would any patient. Mild cases may only need chiropractic care, whereas more severe cases may require non-surgical spinal decompression. We will be able to determine the right course of treatment based upon the examination and x-ray results. Treatment plans may necessitate a longer course of care due to the traumatic event that was experienced.
For more information or questions about auto accidents and the entire process, please call us at (724) 547-3377 and checkout our website at www.drlarrywilkinsspinalcare.com for more content.
Yours In Health,
Larry E. Wilkins, DC
Brian M. Steinert, DC