Car Accident Treatments in Hiram
Has a car accident in the Hiram area left you in pain or with a limited ability to do your usual activities? Unfortunately, car wreck injuries can cause lasting pain for many people, even if you were told that your injuries were minor and would heal quickly. Injuries like whiplash, back strain, and more can be more complicated than they seem at first. Some patients diagnosed with soft tissue injuries also have spinal misalignments that may cause more pain over time instead of getting better.
How Can You Get Car Accident Treatment in Hiram?
It’s important to see a healthcare provider who specializes in diagnosing and managing pain. In particular, experience in treating car accident injuries is also crucial. Often patients go to an urgent care facility, an emergency room, or their primary care physician after a car crash. These doctors are skilled in diagnosing broken bones and other acute injuries, but they may not have the necessary training and resources to help a patient with chronic or longstanding pain.
Optimum Health Rehab uses a full diagnostic suite to pinpoint the cause or causes of your pain, which could include a lingering muscle injury, spinal misalignment, or a damaged or compressed nerve. Once we determine the difficulties you’re facing, we’ll plan a treatment course that may utilize multiple therapies to treat your injuries and pain.
Here are some of the benefits of seeing a chiropractor to treat your pain after a car accident:
Treat Your Pain Safely
Often our patients tell us they have concerns about taking prescription medications for their pain. This is understandable, with the current opioid addiction crisis frequently in the news. Although there are other, non-addictive medications for pain, many have troublesome side effects, don’t work well for the patient, or both. Even when they do work, pain medications are usually only treating the pain and not the root causes.
Unfortunately, prescription medication is the main solution doctors can offer patients with chronic pain. However, in some instances, you may find a doctor who believes surgery could help with your pain. It is possible surgery would be helpful, but many people are concerned about the risks of an operation, the long recovery time, and the possibility that it might not help or could even make things worse. It’s not unusual for patients to tell us that they want to explore other options before resorting to surgery.
Seeing a Hiram chiropractor is a good way to do that. We offer multiple safe, drug-free treatments for pain, and we make every effort to address the root cause or causes rather than simply mask the pain with medication.
Treat a Common Cause of Post-Accident Pain with Chiropractic Care
A chiropractic adjustment, sometimes called spinal manipulation, is used to treat misaligned vertebrae in the spine (and sometimes other bones that are out of alignment). Your chiropractor will examine your X-rays and may run other imaging tests, then perform a thorough physical exam. When we find misaligned vertebrae (also called a subluxation), we administer a sudden, controlled force that maneuvers the vertebrae back into place. The process is painless and very quick.
How do your vertebrae get out of alignment? Very easily. The spine has 33 vertebrae, and because of the way the spinal column moves with you, the bones and joints must be very flexible. As a result, it’s relatively easy for one to slide out of alignment, even during everyday activities like doing chores or sleeping. Now, imagine the impact of a car crash on your spine. Even if there is no direct blow to your back or neck, a collision is still very jarring, and the vertebrae can easily be pulled out of alignment.
It’s not surprising that back and neck pain are common symptoms after a car crash. While some people have pain right away, others might not experience symptoms for a few days or weeks. Spinal subluxations can be sneaky, with no pain or discomfort at first. But as time goes on and the misaligned vertebrae put pressure on surrounding bones and soft tissues, you may develop pain later on. If you initially feel fine but later start having back or neck pain following a car accident, don’t delay treatment any longer. See a chiropractor right away so we can address your needs.
If you did have pain right after the accident and saw a doctor, they may have diagnosed you with a soft tissue injury or strain. Whiplash and back strain are two very common diagnoses after an accident, and for a good reason – the jolt that occurs when you’re thrown forward against your seatbelt can cause your head to snap forward and then back sharply. In turn, small tears in the neck muscles can cause pain and soreness. Similarly, the back muscles may also suffer small tears.
The problem is not that a diagnosis of muscle strain is incorrect, but that sometimes it’s not the only injury. Emergency room doctors will generally scan a spinal X-ray for fractures, which can be dangerous due to their location in the spine. If there is a fracture, the doctor needs to find and treat it immediately to avoid the risk of permanent damage to the spinal cord or even paralysis.
However, if there isn’t a fracture, the doctor will probably assume the spine is in good shape and that your pain originates from a soft tissue injury. Spinal misalignments can be difficult to diagnose from an X-ray, and emergency room doctors or general practitioners aren’t looking for them. For this reason, a patient may go home with instructions to rest and take over-the-counter pain medication. Soft tissue injuries usually clear up after a few days or weeks, and if your pain persists, you may not know why. Further doctor visits might not illuminate the problem, and your physician could assume you have chronic muscle pain. They may prescribe pain medication that does little to treat your spinal misalignment, whereas a chiropractor would diagnose the subluxation and correct it.
Chiropractic Adjustment is Not the Only Treatment Available
Spinal manipulation is a very effective treatment for vertebral subluxations, but we are also equipped to treat other injuries, including deep muscle injuries or nerve pain or damage. These conditions can also result from a car accident and may co-occur with spinal misalignment issues.
Muscle injuries may be treated with deep tissue massage, in which a massage therapist uses strong, deep strokes to reach the inner muscles. This technique helps break down scar tissue and increase blood flow to the area, prompting healing.
Other patients may have myofascial pain after a car accident, which occurs when the myofascial tissue that surrounds bones and joints develops stiff, inflexible areas called trigger points. As these knots persist, they can limit function or range of motion and make it harder for you to move. A massage therapist will apply pressure to these trigger points until they relax and become pliable again, relieving pain and stiffness.
Nerve pain is often misdiagnosed because it doesn’t show up easily on many imaging tests, except MRIs in some cases. It often causes burning, numbness, or tingling, and these symptoms may be intermittent, especially at first. Following a car accident, nerve damage can occur if a subluxation or other injury puts pressure on the nerve. If we suspect this is a problem, we may do nerve conduction studies to understand better how electrical impulses move through the nerve in question. If the signals move too slowly, that’s a sign there is a problem with the nerve.
Treatment for nerve pain often involves spinal manipulation or other treatments to remove the source of pressure or inflammation. We can also use electrical stimulation therapy to help reroute pain signals from traveling to the brain, relieving discomfort.
If these therapies aren’t successful, we may consider a regenerative treatment like plasma-rich platelet injections or PRP therapy. These therapies make use of the platelet-rich plasma found in your blood. We’ll filter out the PRP, then inject it into or near the nerve that’s causing your pain. Because PRP contains high levels of bio proteins and growth hormones, this is an excellent way to promote the healing process and rejuvenate the damaged nerve. PRP is also sometimes used on persistent muscle or tendon injuries.
Will Insurance Cover Your Car Accident Treatment?
In most cases, yes. Our administrative staff can help answer questions about copays and some services that your health insurance does not cover. For these additional expenses, we recommend speaking to a lawyer, as the at-fault driver or their car insurance company may be responsible. If this is the case, your attorney might be able to seek reimbursement for your out-of-pocket medical costs.
Make an Appointment for Car Accident Treatment in Hiram Today
If you’re in pain after a car accident, don’t wait – call Optimum Health Rehab at (770) 439-6997 for an evaluation and treatment plan today. The sooner you see us about your pain, the sooner we can help.