The most common injury when involved in a car accident is whip lash. This injury is not only complex to diagnose, but also difficult to treat. Most people who suffer from whip lash will have to undergo chiropractic treatment for most of their life. It is important that when one thinks they may have whip lash, they seek immediate chiropractic care.
Usually, when involved in an accident where the vehicle is struck from behind, it causes the neck to extend in a way that is not its normal motion, causing the soft tissues in the neck to stretch and become extremely sore. The most comprehensive way to diagnose and treat this injury is through chiropractic care. The first step the chiropractor will take is to do a comprehensive injury assessment exam; this includes a physical examination, where the chiropractor will ask the patient various questions about the type and location of the pain, as well as movement that makes the pain worse.
Next in the exam is to do full spinal x-rays to rule out any other underlying injury or condition. These x-rays will let the chiropractor know that there are no small fractures in the neck, causing the patients' pain. On the other hand, if a small fracture is found, the chiropractor will stop all treatments and send the patient for an orthopedic consultation. In some cases, the chiropractor will also order an MRI only when needed to determine the extent of any injuries and to be sure that there are no tears in any ligaments or tendons.
When treating whiplash, the first step is to see where the patient is experiencing the most pain as well as how much range of motion has been lost. This is where the chiropractor will set goals for the patient to work on throughout the treatments. Treatments start out with heat therapy at the beginning of the visit, where the patient's keeps heat packs on the affected area for a few minutes, relieving any inflammation that might be present in the injured area. Then, when the tissues are soft, the chiropractor is able to adjust the neck so that the spine is where it should be.
This is usually repeated three to five times a week for up to six to eight weeks after the initial injury, working down to one to three times a week after that. Sometimes, chiropractors will also perform massage therapy as well to relive tight muscles as well as inflammation. Attempting to adjust the spine when there is inflammation can lead to even more pain for the patient, therefore; the chiropractor tries everything to get inflammation down before they perform an adjustment.
The final step in treating whip lash is a very simple one, the attorney's for those involved in the accident in question must have thorough records called comprehensive treatment reports, stating the type of injury, date of injury, cause of injury and any further treatment of the injury. Since most of the time, whip lash cannot be positively diagnosed, many people will claim whip lash in order to collect money they are not entitled to, just because it is considered "easy money." It is imperative that patients use a reputable chiropractor who has a good cliental and is not known to fake diagnosis in order to get bigger paychecks from the insurance companies.
Chiropractic care is a vital form of medicine. They are the only form of doctor that can treat an injury like whip lash to get the patient back to almost their normal functions. This is a very complex injury and requires an experienced chiropractor's care.
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