The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations reports that more than two million people are injured every year in auto-related accidents involving either a passenger vehicle, large truck, or motorcycle. These accidents range from full on collisions with totaled vehicles and ambulance rides, to small, low impact accident where people in the cars simply walk away thinking they are unharmed.
We know that being involved in this type of incident can have long-lasting effects. For instance, one study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that “a substantial minority” of subjects questioned reported experiencing anxiety when traveling in a motor vehicle post-accident, with 10 percent developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that, in some cases, plagued them for years.
This is a constant experience in our Roseville California Chiropractic Clinic where we specialize in the treatment of trauma and car accident injuries. Many people show up weeks after the accident with increasing anxiety, pain and neurological symptoms. Most pain that comes following accidents is related to the formation of adhesions and scar tissue.
Another recently published study has found that being in a car crash can also result in long-term physical ramifications as well. Specifically, it discovered that back pain can linger or appear long after the vehicle has been fixed and the debris has been cleaned out of the roadway.
Chiropractic Care and Car Accidents Can Prevent Long Term Chronic Pain
In April of 2017, the European Spine Journal presented a study involving 789 adults, all of whom reported experiencing mild low back pain or no pain at all. Upon entering the study, each person was asked whether or not he or she had been in a motor vehicle accident resulting in low back pain, making note of whether their level of pain increased, decreased, or stayed the same six and 12 months down the road.
Approximately 74.8 percent of the participants responded at the six month mark, with 64.5 percent providing input at 12 months. Of those who did respond, researchers noticed a positive correlation between those who had previously been involved in an auto accident and the incidences of low back pain at a later date. In other words, having a car crash in your past may increase your risk of back pain in the future.
This is partially why being seen by a Chiropractor right after a car wreck is so critical. While broken bones and lacerations can be seen or easily felt, damage done to the musculoskeletal system isn’t quite so visible or easy to pinpoint, which also makes it easier to ignore. Unfortunately, these are the types of injuries that can lead to permanent disability and chronic pain.
At Twin Creeks Health, we are experts in assessing and treating soft tissue injuries and injuries to the musculoskeletal system. Always, one of the first questions we ask of our new patients is if they have had any car accidents, both recently and in the past, and then what kind of treatment did they have following the accident. This gives us a good idea of whether there may underlying degenerative processes that resulted from the accident which we can confirm utilizing imaging like x-rays and MRI.
- Mayou R, Tyndel S, Bryant B. Long-term outcome of motor vehicle accident injury. Psychosomatic Medicine 1997;59(6):578-84.
- Nolet PS, Kristman VL, Côté P, Carroll LJ, Cassidy JD. The association between a lifetime history of low back injury in a motor vehicle collision and future low back pain: a population-based cohort study. European Spine Journal 2017;doi:10.1007/s00586-017-5090-y
- Traffic Safety Facts. (August 2016). 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.