Injured in an Auto Accident?
Every year thousands experience the unfortunate event of a motor vehicle crash. Many also experience an accident that involves being struck while on a bicycle or while crossing the street. Unfortunately some people lose their lives in these accidents, and that is a real tragedy. For everyone else there are varying degrees of injury, ranging from minor and temporary soreness, to more significant and debilitating injuries. Many people are in shock after a crash, and this higher level of anxiety and stress may temporarily mask the pain of an injury. I always recommend that a person seek medical advice as soon as possible. For some this may mean the hospital emergency room or the urgent care. For others it may mean their primary medical doctor. For many who have a chiropractor already in their contacts list, this may mean a visit to their doctor of chiropractic.
Many people hope that the negative issues they experience after a crash will simply resolve on their own. Research has shown that this is rarely the case. Your body will attempt to heal your injuries even without treatment, but if there has been a change in the normal position, alignment, and function of a body part or area after the accident, it will tend to heal as is, often leaving you with permanent conditions that can eventually lead to disabling pain and restriction.
My opinion is that all patients who have been injured this way should be managed by a team of doctors. Perhaps if the condition warrants, the hospital or urgent care to begin. Then after that a visit to your well trained chiropractor. Why do I say well trained? Because not all doctors of chiropractic and not all medical doctors are trained and qualified to treat and manage the patient who has had a crash or other accident. This is really a specialty within the healthcare field, and requires additional training and experience.
There are a wide spectrum of disorders that can stem from a crash, form neck pain and headaches to back and leg pain. From shoulder and wrist pain to knee and ankle pain. A careful and thoughtful assessment by your doctor of all pain and injuries should take place, and a plan of action should be implemented, including appropriate referrals for specialty evaluations. Additionally, the most missed and misunderstood injury can be to the brain itself. During an accident a patient can experience head trauma, which can lead to a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury. This type of injury is not always immediately apparent, and requires careful and specific attention when found.