With the snow incoming tomorrow, I would like to share some information about motor vehicle accidents and chiropractic care. Research shows that a single fender bender at speeds as little as 2 miles per hour can cause damage to the spine resulting in a reversed cervical curve. Research also shows that impacts as little as 5 miles per hour can cause significant ligament damage of the spine which can cause painful symptoms following a rear end collision. Ligaments and bones are not the only thing that can get damaged in a car accident. Most people experience significant amount of muscle soreness following even a slow-moving motor vehicle accident, though it is possible to be pain free while still experiencing significant amounts of injury to the spine and surrounding muscles. The most common neck injury is a flexion-extension injury commonly referred to as Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a sudden force stretches or tears the muscles or ligaments in the neck, which is often the case in a MVA. Soft tissue (muscle and ligament) damage is slow to resolve and sometimes takes up to 12-18 months to fully heal. Within the first 3 days following an accident, the body begins to lay down scar tissue little by little in order to protect and try to stabilize the injured tissues around the spinal column. This scar tissue is permanent and cannot be removed once the body lays it down. The good news is that we as Chiropractors can help with the healing process. By removing any interference in the spine and therefore nervous system we can help the body heal itself at maximum capacity. Individuals should be evaluated by a Doctor of Chiropractic within 72 hours following an accident. It may take up to a year of chiropractic care after an accident to achieve symptoms free status however without chiropractic care it can take many years to recover. In certain circumstances, some may even suffer from lifelong chronic pain symptoms following an accident if spinal care is not addressed within a few days. I would also like to give you guys a few quick tips for driving safely this winter. Always remember that children should be restrained in rear facing car seats until the age of 4 or until they reach the weight of 30 pounds. For adults, a properly adjusted headrest should be at least as high as the center of the skull and within 1 inch from the back of the headrest.
If you or anyone you know has an unfortunate experience of a motor vehicle accident this winter, please call us to get your free spinal consultation scheduled today.
Dr. Kiya Ciecko