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Posted on 07-24-2017
An auto accident is a frightening, confusing time -- and often a physically painful one as well. If you have endured an auto accident recently, you are concerned about whether you're injured or all too aware that you're suffering from an injury. Either way, you've got questions in need of answers. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about whiplash and other auto injuries from our team at Gremmels Chiropractic Center Inc.
Contrary to what you might assume, high speeds need not play a role in an auto accident injury. In fact, you could be traveling at speeds of 5 miles per hour or less and still sustain an injury. that's because cars, trucks and other engine-driven vehicles are so massive that they can transfer lots of force to your body if they come screeching to a sudden halt.
When your car suddenly stops, your head doesn't -- instead, it flies backward and forward with a sharp whipping motion, producing the injury syndrome we know as whiplash. Your neck experiences hyperextension (from the backward motion) and hyperflexion (from the forward motion), resulting in strained soft tissues, subluxated cervical joints, herniated discs, and possibly even changes in the curvature of your cervical spine. These changes can also pinch major nerve roots in the neck.
Whiplash is most infamous for the neck pain and immobility it causes, but these symptoms may be only part of your misery. Whiplash can also cause headaches, migraines, memory problems, depression, blurry vision, jaw pain, tinnitus and dizziness. Nerve compression may also leave you with pain, tingling, numbness, and/or functional problems in your arms or hands.
The lower parts of your spinal column, while exposed than the cervical spine, are nevertheless vulnerable to violent twisting motions in an auto accident. A standard seat belt with a shoulder harness only restrains one side of your upper body, allowing the other side to fly forward on impact. This twists the back to cause muscle strain, vertebral misalignment, and/or herniated discs in the thoracic and lumbar spine.
If your lumbar or sacral spine is knocked out of alignment in an auto accident, changes in vertebral or disc position can put pressure on the nerve roots that connect the sciatic nerve to the spinal cord. This causes sciatica, a syndrome that includes leg pain, tingling, weakness and numbness.
You may not be as lucky as you think. Auto accident injuries don't always produce immediate pain or other symptoms; sometimes the shock of the accident delays their onset. You should always get your spinal health checked out, if only to make sure you don't have a lurking problem.
Your chiropractor at Gremmels Chiropractic Center Inc. Dr. Gremmels or Dr. Carroll can use a range of diagnostic techniques to determine how (or whether) your musculoskeletal system has been damaged by the accident. If a spinal misalignment is causing sciatica, whiplash symptoms or other problems, we can administer adjustments to restore the neck or back vertebrae to their normal position. Spinal decompression therapy can do the same for herniated discs causing nerve compression.
We may recommend massage and ultrasound therapy to soothe and heal damaged soft tissues. Exercises can help you regain control and flexibility in these tissues following an auto accident injury. We can put together an individualized recovery program for your specific needs.
Get the solutions to auto accident injuries here at Gremmels Chiropractic Center Inc. Call (205) 854-3008 to schedule an appointment!
Is your neck bothering you following an auto accident? What symptoms do you have?
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