You Were in an Auto Accident. What Next?
Auto accidents can be devastating from a health and financial standpoint. Treatment, time off from work, and the disability of whiplash injuries cause an annual economic burden of $3.9 billion dollars a year (1). Following an accident, many people have immediate pain and soreness. However, some individuals after an auto accident don’t have any symptoms until days or weeks later. This is the silent form of whiplash of injury which may arise after a car accident.
What Causes Whiplash Injury?
Quick backward and forward thrusting of the neck causes whiplash injuries. Motor vehicle collisions commonly cause this violent motion on the spine but is also seen in contact sport injuries. The ligaments and muscles surrounding the spinal joints often are stretched and torn, resulting in sprains and strains. Spinal discs may also sustain tears that allow jelly-like disc material (nucleus pulposus) to protrude or herniate out. This jelly-like material often causes irritation and inflammation on the nearby nerves resulting in pain. Inflammation around the spine sometimes can be a slow process and a delay in feeling pain is a common occurrence resulting in silent whiplash injury. Symptoms of whiplash often present as neck pain and stiffness, shoulder weakness, dizziness, headache and even memory loss (2).
What Should I Do After An Accident?
According to Florida law, you have 14 days to be evaluated by a doctor and initiate treatment after your auto accident (3). Even if you do not have pain for 1-2 weeks following an accident, discomfort may develop after that time. Studies show chiropractic care decreases pain and increases range of motion after sustaining whiplash injuries (4). Dr. Bobby Koser is currently accepting new patients same day involved in auto accidents to assess and treat for whiplash injuries. Click here to schedule a free consultation!