Most of us have been involved in an auto accident at some time in our lives. Many were just a fender bender, but others may have been more serious. Most accidents, even the slow-impact ones, cause some injury. These can include:
- Brain and head injuries
- Neck and spine injuries
- Facial injuries
- Internal injuries
The level of injury can be as simple as a sprain or strain, a laceration, or as serious as a broken bone depending on the speed and severity of the collision. The more obvious injuries are usually quickly identified and the victim is routed to an emergency room or personal doctor for immediate care. The problem occurs when someone thinks they only have a slight stiff neck or weren’t injured at all in the accident.
Many times, a serious injury occurs later as a result of a “minor” injury that occurred at the time of the accident. That’s why it is critical that to get checked by a medical professional at Pivotal Health Physical Medicine, even if you don’t think you have anything majorly wrong. This also leaves a paper trail for insurance purposes showing that you were experiencing some problems, even if they were minor, in case more serious problems develop later.
Most time the “hidden” injuries, or those that people don’t feel until after hours or even days after the accident are injuries to soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. Unfortunately soft tissue injuries cannot be detected using X-rays.
The most common type of soft tissue injury after a car accident is whiplash. While not a medical term, whiplash occurs when the head is snapped forward and back as a result of the accident, resulting in significant force in the muscles and tissues of the neck. Due to adrenaline and excitement, you may not feel much at the time of the accident, but as time goes on, these injured soft tissues can result in inflammation, possibly chronic pain, and even herniated disks in the spine.
Symptoms of a soft-tissue injury include
- Muscle stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Neck pain
- Numbness and tingling
- Mid- or low-back pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
To find out whether you have a soft-tissue injury resulting from an auto accident, find a chiropractor that specializes in after-accident care such as those at Pivotal Health Physical Medicine. We can evaluate soft tissues that were impacted by the collision, as well as check out your spine to make sure it is in still in proper alignment. An immediate spinal adjustment will allow the muscles attached to your spine to go back into their proper place before they become painful after a day or so. They also will evaluate each injury to let you know whether it is likely to become a problem in the future.
It’s important to see a medical professional after a car wreck because the insurance company will not pay for any future accident-related medical care until you have been evaluated. If your injury comes up a month after the accident and requires extensive physical therapy or surgery for a herniated disk, for example, chances are the insurance company won’t pay at all unless you saw a doctor within 2 weeks of the accident.
Hidden injuries are just that—injuries that don’t show up immediately or initially present with very minor symptoms. But they can lead to chronic pain, joint problems, or even more severe problems after some time has passed and the body has begun to work on trying to heal them.
Pivotal Health Physical Medicine has doctors that specialize in treating auto accident victims who have soft tissue injuries. They can evaluate for immediate injury as well as for possible future complications. Don’t assume you aren’t hurt. Call them at 941-697-3001 today.