What an Auto Injury Chiropractor Looks For After Trauma
We know that addressing everything you need to address while picking up the pieces of your life after an auto accident is difficult. But if you’ve been in an auto accident, it can be critical, not only for your wellbeing but for the outcome of your claim, to see an auto injury chiropractor early.
Below are some of the most common neck and back injuries that an accident and injury chiropractic specialist will assess you for after a car accident, as well as their symptoms and treatments:
Whiplash encompasses a variety of injuries caused by the trauma endured when the head is jolted back and forth. When whiplash occurs, joints and discs can become damaged, irritating the spinal nerves and sometimes even the spinal cord itself.
In order to diagnose whiplash, your auto injury chiropractor will ask you to perform a series of mobility tasks to determine your range and degree of motion and assess any tenderness along with your reflexes and sensation. Sometimes the accident and injury chiropractic specialist will order one or more imaging scans including x-rays, CTs (computerized tomography), or MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging).
Your auto injury chiropractor will work with you to create a plan of action to control pain and restore your range of motion and daily activities. While your doctor may prescribe pain medication to lessen the degree of pain, regular exercise and physical therapy is the primary method of treatment for whiplash. Other methods of treatment recommended by the accident and injury chiropractic specialists may include heat and cold treatment, lidocaine injections, collars, acupuncture, joint manipulation, or massage.
A herniated disc occurs when the jelly-like substance normally contained within the disc bulges out. When this disruption presses against the nerve roots, it results in pain, weakness, numbness, burning sensation, or the feeling on an electrical shock.
Early treatment of a herniated disc can often be addressed with physical therapy by an auto injury chiropractor. However, if the problem is left unaddressed by accident and injury chiropractic care, treatment of a herniated disc may require invasive surgery. Early after herniation, there may be no discernable symptoms — or symptoms that don’t appear to be connected with the spine such as tingling in the arms or legs. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to be seen by an accident and injury chiropractic early after experiencing trauma.
Scars on the outside of the body are easy to see, but auto accidents leave scars inside the body also in places where soft tissues were damaged. Like scar tissue you can see, internal scar tissue is different in consistency and thickness, and changes over time. Even slight variations in the soft tissues between vertebrae can cause complications and pain.
An auto injury chiropractor understands the nature and tendencies of scar tissue after trauma and works to eliminate or minimize pain and further damage during and after the healing process. The goal is to help you to regain a full range of motion and align the spine properly before the scarring sets in. Not doing so can lead to inhibited functionality and chronic long-term pain that is more difficult to address after the fact.
Depending on the severity of the problem, exercise, physical therapy, and chiropractic care may be suitable forms of treatment to restore you to a pain-free life. If the problem is too severe or has been left untreated for too long, NSAIDs or cortisone injections may be necessary to temporarily control pain with surgery being the only option for permanent relief.
Dr. Laura Dronen, Dr. Pamela Comes, and Dr. Jason Smith are an auto injury chiropractor team who are passionate about and specialize in helping people who have sustained injury as a result of sudden trauma. Contact our St. Paul office at 651-489-6550. We look forward to meeting you.