Whiplash is a common occurrence in the US. It is estimated that over 6 million auto accidents occur each year in the US alone, many leaving the victims with painful neck and back injuries called whiplash. Chiropractic Treatment is a safe effective option in most cases. I good chiropractor will work to reduce muscular spasms, decrease pain, improve range of motion.
You have several options after getting into an automobile accident. Regardless of whose fault it was or if you were the driver/passenger, the first few days after your accident are the most important. Your decision on how to handle this can directly affect the outcome of your case. Some cases of Neck Whiplash (cervical spine hyperflexion/hyperextension injury) are more severe than others. Regardless of the presumed severity of your situation, I always recommend following up with a physician qualified to evaluate your injuries. This can be your Primary Care Provider, an Urgent Care Facility, the Emergency Room or a trusted Chiropractor. Any of these options will be adequate in assessing your injuries and making the appropriate referral and recommendations.
If further treatment is recommended, you will typically either continue with the chiropractor you are seeing or be recommended to physical therapy. Massage therapy is also sometimes an option and may be recommended by certain providers.
If you have cuts, fear broken bones, hit your head, are having dizziness or feeling nauseous the Emergency Room is the best place to start. An Urgent Care may also be an option because of the ease of access and they are typically equipped to handle acute injuries. Your wait time will usually be less in an Urgent Care, but if you need more sophisticated tests such as a CT scan, you will likely need to be referred out. Keep in mind the goal of these two entities is to clear and stabilize you in the event you are in imminent danger. From what I have seen, they typically offer some low level pain reliever or muscle relaxant and advise you to follow up with the appropriate physician.
Your Primary Doctor is another option. Depending on how busy your doctor is, you may or may not be able to get in right away. They have the ability to offer prescriptions and advice on how to handle your condition. Depending on what types of doctor you have, they may also offer some form of manual therapy to treat your condition. This is typically offered by Doctors of Osteopathy “D.O.” Manual therapy can be a huge benefit and help restore motion in your neck and low back. Your doctor may also have another recommendation, such as pain management, physical therapy or additional imaging studies.
Chiropractic care is another option for whiplash injuries and for many it is very beneficial. The three previous options are all excellent depending on your needs. The only drawback is they are mostly symptom based. Meaning a pain reliever is great and often necessary, but it only dulls the pain. It does not address the joint dysfunction caused by your hyperflexion/hyperextension injury. Chiropractic treatment is designed to do just that….fix the problem. In other words the goal is to prevent a rear-end collision today, turning into a chronic neck problem 10 years down the road. Your wait time to be seen initially typically is not too long and you do not need a referral to see a Chiropractor. At my office, Smart Pain Solutions located in Bridgeton MO, we guarantee appointments with in 24 hours. We are convenient to St. Ann and Maryland Heights.
Hopefully this information helps. The most important thing is that you understand your choices following a whiplash injury. Make a few calls and investigate your options. We are always happy to answer questions about you’re your injuries and insurance coverage, so please do not hesitate to call.