Car Accident Treatment Orange County
Injuries from car accidents are different from every day neck or back pain.
The forces caused by a car wreck are like no other type of strain or injury. A collision that barely dents your rear bumper is enough to cause several G's of force on your neck. Researchers have found that an impact of only 2.5 g's is enough to cause damage to the neck ligaments. Other studies have shown that in order to see visible vehicle damage, the average speed must be between 9-15 mph. Some cars can be struck at over 25 mph and show no damage at all. Therefore, if your bumper shows damage, it is highly probable that you have suffered an injury.
The types of injuries after a car accident are due to excessive stretching or loading and include:
- Ligament tears
- Muscle strains
- Joint cartilage damage
- Disc tears and herniations
- Nerve stretching injuries
- Brain injuries (concussion) even without direct head trauma
Treatment for car accident injuries like these must be properly done
There are stages to car accident whiplash treatment. For example, if you have a fresh injury you cannot begin doing vigorous exercises right away. Although this is exactly what some physical therapists and general chiropractors do, which leads to prolonged pain and a delay in recovery. Treatment at each stage must also be appropriate. Not providing relief of inflammation early on will result in a chronic injury.
Stage 1 treatment of recent car accident injury (1 hour to 2 weeks post accident)
The key here is to lessen inflammation and pain and maintain some range of motion. Therapies such as ice, cold laser light therapy, electrical stimulation and gentle movement of the spine with chiropractic adjustments is good at this stage. Home range of motion stretching exercises are good as is resting with an ice pack or alternating heat and ice. Physical activity should be as normal as possible, but nothing strenuous; no gym, no heavy lifting/bending at work, no amusement park rides, etc
This stage will last about a month, after which time your pain levels should be down by about 70%.
Stage 2 car wreck treatment (after 1 month post accident treatment)
At this stage of your auto accident injury care you are ready for what is called rehabilitation. Rehab is the process of returning you back to your normal strength, range of motion and biomechanics (how your body parts work as a unit). Treatment here usually involves active exercise with the therapist or doctor, traction or distraction of the spine, movement of the spine via adjustments, massage therapy to remove knots followed by ice or cold laser to alleviate pain and swelling after your tissues have been worked.
This is the longest stage of treatment and the most overlooked part by doctors and therapists. Many patients are released from care by their doctor or therapist because they have reached a point where they have no outward pain or symptoms and do not go through rehabilitation. This is a huge mistake and is definitely a leading cause of people suffering from chronic pain and impairment after an accidental injury. Mild injuries require 1-2 months of rehab, moderate injuries 3-6 months and severe injuries 6-12 months.
Proper car accident treatment requires a knowledgeable doctor who has the training and experience to get your spine and body back to good working order, not merely symptomatic pain relief. For this reason, when you've been injured in a car accident, you should only consider doctors who are specifically trained in whiplash injury treatment.