What happens to the body during a car accident?
Car accidents are extremely common. It’s estimated that in the US alone, one car accident occurs every minute. Whether a car accident is severe or mild, the impact of a collision is enough to produce a disruption in the body’s natural balance, even if no immediate injuries are perceived.
During a car accident, the body is subjected to the impact of a collision from one or more directions. This impact can have several negative effects on the body, including misaligning the bones and joints, causing damage to muscles and nerves, and in severe cases, causing damage to internal organs. It’s always important to seek medical care after a severe injury to ensure that no severe damage to the body has occurred.
Below are some of the injuries and side effects that often follow an auto accident.
Perhaps the best-known effect that follows a car accident, whiplash occurs because of violent thrust of impact, forcing the neck to “whip” forwards and backwards, sometimes more than once. This force can cause what’s known as a “subluxation,” which is a misalignment in the joints and spine. Subluxation causes the bones and joints to shift out of their natural position, which can create a series of painful and uncomfortable side effects, chronic neck pain being one such effect.
Subluxation as a result of whiplash is very common. Immediately following an auto accident (or several months later), the neck may begin to hurt. The pain may be a sharp pain, a shooting pain, a dull ache, or a numbness or tingling effect. Pain resulting from subluxations often occurs because a nerve or bundle of nerves in the local area is being compressed by a misaligned joint.
Similarly to whiplash, back pain can occur as the result of subluxations in the spine, as well. During a car or auto accident, the vehicular impact can cause the back and spine to absorb the pressure and force of the collision. Because the spine and back are not suited for this task, bones and joints often shift during this process.
Just like with whiplash, back pain can begin immediately after an accident, or arise seemingly without cause months later. When back pain occurs long after the initial event, this may be because a small subluxation has worsened over time.
Sciatica is known for the sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the left or right glute and leg muscles of the body. Sciatic pain originates from the low back, and can often be caused by subluxation in the spine resulting in inflammation of the sciatic nerve. When this occurs, the nerve is particularly sensitive to all kinds of movement and many normal positions, and can cause sudden weakness or pain when standing, getting up from laying down, climbing or descending stairs, and more.
A classic cause of several different conditions, misalignment in the spine as the result of an auto accident is very common. Misalignment can happen in any area of the spine: primarily in the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical regions. The lumbar spine reflects pain in the low back, the thoracic spine reflects pain in the middle back, and the cervical spine reflects pain in the neck.
One of the most common injuries to accompany nearly any auto accident, ranging from mild to severe, is psychological stress. Psychological stress can begin immediately during or after the accident, or, if shock occurs, psychological stress may not be perceived until a day or days later.
How long psychological stress lasts varies from person for person, as do the symptoms of psychological stress. These symptoms include racing thoughts, faster than normal heart rate, insomnia, digestive distress, headaches, a general feeling of unease, foggy-headedness, vertigo, and poor memory and concentration.
Psychological stress can take a toll on not only the mind, but on the body as well. It can lead to delayed recovery, inflammation in the body, and decreased resilience.
Chiropractic Care for Car Accidents
It’s important to seek medical care after an auto accident to ensure that there is no trauma to the brain or internal organs. Barring severe internal injuries, chiropractic care can be a powerful tool in helping the body recover after a traffic collision.
If you find yourself asking “should I seek chiropractic care after a car accident?” read on to discover how chiropractic care can help after an auto accident.
Chiropractic care can help to realign the cervical spine, which is located in the neck, after an auto accident. This can decrease pain, improve posture, and help inflamed nerves to heal.
Chiropractic care can help correct subluxations (misalignment) in the lumbar and thoracic spine after a car accident. This can reduce or eliminate back pain and help the body to heal at an ideal rate.
Chiropractic care can reduce inflammation of the sciatic nerve by realigning joints that are pinching the nerves of the lower back, alleviating the sharp and shooting pain.
Overall, chiropractic care can help to reduce misalignment and realign the body’s bones and joints after the impact of an auto accident. This can help to reduce pain, improve mobility, and increase overall wellness.
Chiropractic care can be very beneficial for cognitive function and nervous system regulation. Patients who receive regular chiropractic care often report feelings of increased clarity, relaxation, decreased heart-rate, decreased anxiety, and improved mood.
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If you’ve been in an auto accident and are seeking chiropractic care to help your recovery, Graybar Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Centers are standing by to provide the highest quality of care available.
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