It is always surprising to me when people asked me if they should see a chiropractor after an auto accident. When it’s my own patients and asked me this, I feel like I’ve failed them in educating them about how bodies heal and how chiropractic works. So that’s what we’re going to do in the next two articles on “When Do You Need an Auto Accident Chiropractor in Roseville”. Today we’re going to talk about how are bodies heal from injuries, specifically from traumatic injuries such as car accidents. And in the next article, how chiropractic works, and specifically why an auto accident chiropractor in Roseville can help your body heal without any long-term effects from the injuries sustained.
In this article, we will talk about the healing processes that occur within our body after an injury. If you read any of my blogs before you’ll be familiar with the concept of inflammation and the resulting scar tissue/adhesions that it causes. You see anytime there is an injury to soft tissue in our body our immune system responds with what is called an inflammatory response. The inflammatory response is designed to do two things: first, to wall off in control the amount of damage in the area and second to help repair tissue. The inflammatory response is first designed to attack any infective organisms that are in the area of injury and to repair the tissue that is been damaged. It’s the second level that we are concerned about when we talk about car accident injuries. Most people Believe that if the car accident is minor then the injuries are nonexistent. This cannot be further from the truth. Many Studies show that low impact auto accidents can oftentimes cause more injury to the people inside the car then higher speed/More property damage accidents. This is because when there’s more property damage to the vehicle a lot of the energy that is released during the accident is absorbed by that vehicle in the crumple zones that collapse during accident. When there is minimal or no property damage, the energy is not absorbed and therefore transferred to the contents of the vehicle, namely the people inside of it.
Any type of rapid acceleration deceleration of the body in space can result in sheering forces that can disrupt and tear tendons and ligaments, discs and muscles. When these tissues are injured, the body’s response is inflammation. Carried within this inflammation are small cells called fibroblasts which lay down adhesions which are designed to help repair injured tissue. Unfortunately, this laying down of adhesions occurs haphazardly, and the best analogy I’ve ever heard regarding it, states that it is like someone is taking glue and pouring it all over the tissues. It is very sticky and adhesive and if it attaches to a ligament or tendon which is designed to elongate in contract, or if it gets inside of a joint, or if it attaches to a nerve, this can result in Long term disastrous consequences.
This is how people get long-term dysfunction and pain from accidents that seems rather minor, and whose symptoms are negligible. These people often get called from the insurance company a day or two after the accident, and are offered 500 or $1000 for trouble. The insurance companies do this because they know that the chances of many of these people having more serious complications from the accident a month or two down the line are high, if they get you to sign off liability for $500 or $1000 they are way ahead. And you my friend are, as they say, “screwed”. Because you’ve waived their liability.
Whenever someone asked me if they need to be checked by an auto accident chiropractor my answers always the same, absolutely. We can tell if tissue has been injured. A good auto accident chiropractor we’ll look for three things to see if there’s been an injury that needs attention. One, he’ll look at x-rays: is there a loss of the cervical curve? Is there pre-existing degeneration in the joints? Second, he or she will palpate the soft tissues of the neck, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Here we are looking for tenderness, signs of edema, muscle spasm, and scar tissue. Third, a good auto accident chiropractor in Roseville (Namely us) will look at range of motion. We look for restriction and stiffness in joint movement. Any of these conditions which show up during exam indicates that there’s been some soft tissue injury during the accident. That means that you need care.
Next time we will discuss what chiropractic does to help injuries heal normally so that the person does not lose any function, or suffer the consequences of chronic pain or nerve damage.