According to the Insurance Research Council, nearly 1/3 of all claimants injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVA's) seek treatment from doctors of chiropractic. This is an impressive number given that the National Safety Council (NSC) has determined there to be more than 12 million MVA's annually involving
more than 20 million vehicles.
The reason individuals like yourself choose chiropractic care for treatment of injuries sustained in MVA's is simple - chiropractic care is exceptional in the treatment of soft tissue injuries, especially of the spine. Since the most common injuries associated with MVA's are sprains and strains of the spinal muscles and ligaments, it's only natural that chiropractic be the treatment of choice.
Many studies have also found individuals injured in MVA's prefer chiropractic care for the treatment of their injuries. One such study evaluated 190 whiplash injury victims and found those who received chiropractic care reported treatment satisfaction of 100%.
1.Balla JI, Iansek R. Headaches arising from disorders of the cervical spine. In: Hopkins A, ed. Headache: Problems in Diagnosis and Management. London: WB Saunders; 1988.
Minimum Accident Speed to Cause Injury:
Minimum Accident Speed to Cause Injury:Studies involving live humans have demonstrated that a motor vehicle accident of as little as 5 mph can induce cervical (neck) injury. However, other studies have shown that cars can often withstand crashes of 10 mph or more without sustaining damage.
Motor vehicle accidents can result in a number of very diverse and complex injuries and symptoms. This is due to the diversity of factors involved with the each MVA - i.e. vectors of the collision, size of the vehicles involved in collision, preexisting health conditions of victims, age of victims, size and strength of victims, etc.
The Forwards-flexion and/or backwards-extension of the neck essentially
results in a soft tissue sprain/strain injury to the structures within the cervical
and upper thoracic spinal regions. When the initial impact occurs and the head
is forced in either excessive flexion or excessive extension, protective
reflexes cause the muscles of the neck to forcefully contract which "whips" the
head back in the opposite direction. The resulting injury often leads to
numerous symptoms, many of which are confusing and poorly understood.
Symptoms following a "whiplash" accident include:
Headaches are the second most common complaint following motor vehicle accidents (MVA's). Like the many other MVA symptoms, headache may not be present immediately following the accident and may take several weeks and often months to eventually surface.
Most post-traumatic headaches are thought to originate from the soft tissues and facet joints of the neck as well as injury or irritation to the nerves of the upper cervical spine.
In addition to whiplash/neck pain and injuries, the mid and lower back are also frequently injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVA's).
Mid Back Pain:
The mid back or thoracic spine is most commonly injured as a result of the asymmetry of most seat belt designs. As the torso moves forward the seat belt locks and the torso is forced to stop at the end of the shoulder strap. Because the shoulder strap crosses only one shoulder (usually the left), the side without a strap (usually right) is able to travel forward further which results in a forward flexing and twisting injury to the mid back.
Lower Back Pain:
The lumbar spine is also frequently injured, but the mechanism differs from the above. As the torso and pelvis move forward the pelvis is stopped by the lap belt. However, the torso continues to move forward which producing a shearing force in the lumbar spine. These injuries often result in lumbar disc injuries.
Chiropractic care is a safe, natural, noninvasive, and addresses the cause of the symptoms. Our treatments also include active patient participation, and in some cases, lifestyle modifications. While we do focus on eliminating pain early on, we realize that in addition to pain - optimal tissue healing, restoration of normal function, and prevention of future recurrences and reinjuries - are equally important.
We also incorporate many natural and safe adjunctive therapies into our treatment plan to further assist in the healing process. Some common adjunctive therapies include ice therapy, heat therapy, physical therapies like therapeutic ultrasound and muscle stimulation, spinal traction, soft tissue mobilization, spinal exercises and stretches, and nutritional supplementation.
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