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Why Chiropractic Evaluation is Essential after an Auto Accident or Whiplash

Unfortunately, auto accidents are part of life for many.  They may range from minor to catastrophic.  Did you know that even a minor fender bender can have a significant long lasting impact on your spine?

Car Accident Whiplash Chiropractor Ann Arbor

I always encourage clients to get their spine assessed by a chiropractor after an auto accident.  When an individual is in an accident, forces are dispersed through his and her spine.  Many times, individuals may report that they feel stiff and sore after an accident.  They may think these symptoms are minor and will dissipate over time. However, they could be a sign of a serious, long-term injury.

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that result from an auto accident.  The technical term for whiplash is a cervical acceleration deceleration injury (CAD).  In simple terms, when a vehicle undergoes a sudden force or sudden stop, the driver or passenger’s head and neck will suddenly accelerate forward and then backward.  The forces in these cases are so significant that it may result in damage to the soft tissue around the spine and misalignment of the spinal vertebrae.

You may be thinking, “That sounds really severe, but I was in a simple fender bender.  I don’t have anything to worry about, right?” WRONG!!! 

Most people think that whiplash only occurs in severe auto accidents at high rates of speed.  Studies have shown that whiplash can occur with a change in speed as low as 2-3 miles per hour.  Let’s use a real-life example. If you are stopped and a car collides with your rear bumper at five miles per hour, you could experience a whiplash injury!

Additionally, many people think that their symptoms will self-resolve with time.  This is also completely wrong!  Approximately 25% of people that experience whiplash will have residual symptoms for the rest of their life.  Symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, reduced range of motion and headaches.  Imagine experiencing some of these symptoms for the rest of your life after what appeared to be a simple fender bender.

After most minor accidents, individuals do not go to the emergency room for evaluation, and may not even seek any medical care.  In significant accidents, people may go the hospital for evaluation.  The first goal of any emergency room visit is to assess for any life-threatening circumstances and treat them accordingly.  Frequently, this process does not involve any evaluation of the spine.

Although, this information may be concerning, there is help after an accident.  I strongly suggest individuals get their spine evaluated by a chiropractor as soon as possible after an accident.  X-rays of the spine should be strongly considered since damage can occur to the bones in your spine.  Sometimes, these bony structures can be damaged with little or no symptoms.

At Precision Chiropractic, we utilize a very precise, low force instrument to deliver adjustments to the spine.  After experiencing a traumatic event like an auto accident, people feel very comforted that we gently adjust the spine without any popping, cracking or twisting.  Additionally, we use targeted, therapeutic massage to address the soft tissue that may be damaged during an accident.

If you have been in a car accident recently, or would like to discuss any aspects of your health, do not hesitate to contact Precision Chiropractic & Massage Center for a complimentary consultation.

*All content is for informational purposes only.


Dr. Ryan Burke
Posted By Dr. Ryan Burke

Ann Arbor Chiropractor, Dr. Ryan Burke uses state of the art equipment and analysis to deliver gentle and precise adjustments to correct structural shifts in patients' spines. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Life University, Dr. Burke has received advanced training in pre-natal and pediatric adjusting as well as clinical nutrition, functional lab testing and pediatric health disorders.

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