Car Crash


Bam! Crunch! We hate it when that happens! The heart is pounding, you’re breathing hard, and maybe you’re stinging a little– -or a lot. An automobile accident can be very traumatizing, painful, and expensive. What should you do now? Go to the hospital? See your MD? Get bed rest? See your chiropractor, Take ibuprofen? Get a massage? Well, a trip to the ER is a good place to start, (if you’re bleeding or feel some pain or intense anxiety), if only to make sure you have no broken bones or to get– -heaven forbid– -stitched up. But, did you know that just because the ER doctor says you’re ok, have no fractures and releases you, you most likely are not ok? (And ER doctors usually recommend a follow-up with physical therapy and chiropractic, such as Cedar City Chiropractic, to treat the possibility of whiplash.) The emergency examination does not treat the less obvious soft tissue injuries, which is the stretching or tearing of ligaments, tendons, nerves, and muscles.

The ER can prescribe medication for pain or anxiety, but it will not treat or rehabilitate the whiplash, sprains, and strains that commonly occur in your soft tissues. That’s why we have chiropractors and physical therapists. Physical injuries require physical medicine to heal properly, and Cedar City Chiropractic does physical medicine. Pain medication can take the edge off the pain from whiplash so you can function better and tolerate the necessary physical treatments. This important rehabilitation is done by chiropractic and physical therapy.

You may not even feel the soft tissue injuries for days or weeks after your car crash. You see, only 10% of our nerves send pain signals to the brain, and it may take a while for enough inflammation to set in so you can feel it. What’s more, you may not feel the subtle changes in your spinal joints, caused by the jarring and jolting of the impact to your car. Left uncorrected, these small misalignments will eventually promote degenerative disc disease, only speeding up the effects of aging. That’s why it’s smart to at least get your spine checked by a doctor at Cedar City Chiropractic so you can get your spinal vertebrae adjusted and corrected. And, typically, the doctor of chiropractic you choose is board certified in physiotherapy.

Remember, your ligaments and tendons are attached to the spine, so if a spinal segment is stuck out of place even a little bit, the soft tissues won’t be able to move properly to get optimal blood flow to heal the area. You don’t want the soft tissue on one side of a misaligned vertebra to be more slackened or more tightened than the other side. This will cause problems and delay healing. Your nervous system senses when a vertebra is stuck out of place, (subluxated) and it tells the spine to collect calcium in order to become stronger and more stable. The body instinctively protects itself from further damage or displacement when it senses something is wrong. The problem is that this leads to less mobility (stiff spine) and (DJD) degenerative joint disease. (Another word for DJD is spinal arthritis.) There is no sense in speeding up the signs of spinal aging by thinking you’re fine and that you’ll get better on your own.

It’s natural for some victims of car crashes to be hesitant to seek treatment. “I’m fine; this ache will go away; I can take a pill for these headaches.” But, these thoughts almost always come back to bite you. If still unsure of whether you should get chiropractic care and physiotherapy after a car accident, a statement in the Journal of Orthopedic Medicine can help you decide: “Chiropractic is the only proven method of rehabilitating whiplash.”