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Car Accidents And Chiropractic Care

A woman rubs the back of her neck, standing in front of two crashed vehicles.

Living through a car accident can be a traumatic and stressful experience that may result in severe and painful injuries. People often turn to chiropractors after car accidents to help ease pain and aid their recovery. While chiropractic care can play a role in recovery after a car accident injury, it should not generally be considered a replacement for traditional medical treatment. You may want to follow the advice of licensed healthcare professionals when discussing car accidents and chiropractic care. Whether post-accident care includes the services of a chiropractor or not, many people who are injured in car accidents find themselves seeking compensation to cover the costs of that care, as well as the costs of lost wages due to time missed from work and other damages sustained as a result of the collision. The experienced car accident attorneys at Steelman Gaunt Crowley may be able to walk you through the legal process of seeking compensation if you have suffered injuries in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Call (573) 341-8336 to request a free case evaluation today.

What Is Chiropractic Care and What Do Chiropractors Do?

Chiropractic care is a noninvasive practice that focuses on enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself. When it comes to car accidents and chiropractic care, chiropractors help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, enhance flexibility, restore mobility, and improve the overall function of the patient’s body in injury recovery. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), chiropractors treat an estimated 35 million-plus Americans every year. Many of these patients are seeking chiropractic care after car accidents. The injuries and conditions chiropractors help treat include but are not limited to:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Arthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal misalignments
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Headaches
  • Chronic pain
  • Joint pain
  • Restricted movement
  • Other musculoskeletal injuries

When providing treatment to patients, chiropractors focus on the spine, muscles, soft tissues, bones, joints, and the nervous system. A qualified chiropractor can diagnose various conditions and develop treatment care plans to help a patient live a pain-free life and achieve optimal health and wellness.

Types of Chiropractic Treatments for Car Accident Injuries

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose a range of musculoskeletal problems and select appropriate treatments to bring patients relief. The types of chiropractic treatments used to treat a patient’s condition will depend on the extent of the injury as well as on underlying medical conditions. Treatment plans may vary from patient to patient even among those who come to the chiropractor with the same injury. Some of the common types of chiropractic treatments — often referred to as “adjustments” — include but are not limited to:

  • Spinal manipulation when the vertebrae of a patient’s spine become misaligned or dislocated (spinal misalignment is thought to be a common consequence of car accidents, and some forms of chiropractic care are intended to help return the spine to its correct position)
  • Ice compresses
  • Adjustments to improve range of motion and restore muscle movement
  • Direct thrust technique
  • Gonstead adjustment
  • Thompson Technique
  • Activator method
  • Flexion-distraction
  • Spinal decompression

In addition to the above-mentioned manipulations, a chiropractor may also recommend nutritional interventions and physical therapy for optimal recovery. 

The effectiveness of chiropractic care is a controversial topic. A 2015 meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Community-Based Nursing and Midwifery, made available to the public through the National Library of Medicine, showed that chiropractic care had an impact on the improvement of certain conditions, but further clinical trials were recommended to support efficacy. The controversy over the efficacy of chiropractic interventions can often lead insurance companies to refuse to cover the cost of chiropractic care following auto accidents. The attorneys at Steelman Gaunt Crowley help injured victims pursue compensation for all reasonable costs associated with their treatment, including chiropractic visits.

Should You See a Doctor or Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

Seeking appropriate and prompt medical attention should always be a priority after being involved in a collision, no matter how minor the incident may seem. Chiropractic care after a car accident can help a person rehabilitate from injuries, but may be better used as a follow-up to an initial medical evaluation than as the first step in treatment. Generally, seeing a chiropractor may be appropriate if you are not seriously hurt and are experiencing mild symptoms. However, in cases where a victim suffers a severe injury, it is more appropriate to visit an emergency room or hospital to get prompt medical attention. Medical doctors can diagnose and address serious conditions such as fractured or broken bones, herniated disks, and torn muscles or ligaments, among others.

Some injuries may not be apparent for hours, days, or even weeks after a traumatic event. A chiropractor may not be able to perform a full examination and diagnose all injuries. A licensed physician or nurse practitioner may be better able to provide you with an initial assessment and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist to treat your condition. Even if you are not referred to a chiropractor, you are free to seek chiropractic care on your own if you think this type of care is right for you. However, chiropractic care should not be a substitute for traditional medical care, especially if you do not know the extent of your injuries. 

Things To Consider When Seeking Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident

If you have made up your mind about visiting a chiropractor following an auto accident, there are additional considerations to make before getting chiropractic care. Some of the questions individuals might want to consider asking a chiropractor before their first chiropractic appointment include:

  • How many years of chiropractic care experience do you have?
  • Have you previously treated people with car accident injuries?
  • Can you provide testimonials from your patients?
  • What types of chiropractic treatment will be appropriate in my situation?
  • Do you accept insurance for payment?
  • Should I anticipate a full recovery? If so, how long will it take?

Getting answers to these questions before receiving chiropractic care may give patients a better understanding of what they are dealing with and what to expect.

Consult With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident and find yourself needing chiropractic or other healthcare interventions to fully recover, you might want to consider working with an attorney to obtain compensation for your medical expenses. While doctors and chiropractors help make you physically “whole” after an injury, an attorney will work to make you financially “whole.” Reach out to Steelman Gaunt Crowley to learn more about compensation for car accidents and chiropractic care in your specific case. Call (573) 341-8336 to schedule a free case evaluation with skilled and results-driven personal injury attorneys.