There is much debate on the effectiveness and safety of chiropractic care. Below is a brief discussion of the potential benefits and risks associated with chiropractic care according to several sources.
Potential Benefits of Chiropractic Care
- Catches Injuries That Are Not Obvious
Some injuries sustained in a car accident are not always apparent. Broken bones, lacerations, and fractures are easy to diagnose. However, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and dislocated discs may not be immediately known following a car accident. It could take days or weeks for symptoms to manifest. The soreness and pain an accident victim experiences may be ignored because it is assumed these symptoms will “go away” once the impact of the collision subsides.
However, these symptoms could indicate a severe injury that, if ignored, could cause long-term adverse health consequences. Chiropractors can diagnose these injuries early so that a chiropractic treatment plan can be developed to reduce the risk of long-term damage while speeding the healing process.
- Pain Relief Without Medication
Painkillers can have serious side effects and addictive qualities. Furthermore, pain medication does not “treat” the condition, but it merely masks a symptom (pain) of the condition. Many traffic accident victims are prescribed pain medication, but once they stop taking the medication, they realize the pain continues. In some cases, the pain has increased.
Chiropractic care treats the cause of the pain to reduce and alleviate pain caused by car accident injuries. Through a comprehensive chiropractic treatment plan, your DC can relieve pain without the use of addictive medications and dangerous drugs. Chiropractic care heals the underlying injuries instead of masking the pain with drugs.
- Non-Invasive Treatment for Car Accident Injuries
Many of the treatments prescribed by other medical providers include invasive surgical procedures that carry the risk of additional injuries and complications. Chiropractic care is a completely non-invasive form of treatment for injuries sustained in a car accident. By using various methods, a chiropractor can realign the spine and joints to reduce pain. In addition, realignment promotes faster healing and general health without the need for surgery.
- Reduction of Inflammation
X-rays and other diagnostic tests generally do not reveal the microscopic tears in the muscles and ligaments that are often caused by a motor vehicle crash. These tears are one of the reasons accident victims suffer severe pain in the days and weeks following the collision. A DC can use manipulation and other chiropractic techniques to realign the spinal cord, which relieves pain and reduces inflammation by releasing the body’s own anti-inflammatory properties.
- Reduction of Scar Tissue
One of the problems many accident victims experience is the formation of scar tissue. The body’s natural healing process causes scar tissue to form around tendons, ligaments, and muscles that have been injured. As the scar tissue forms, it can cause stiffness and become uncomfortable for the patient. A DC can target specific areas to break up scar tissues and promote healing before the scar tissue can fully form. Without scar tissue, injuries can heal properly so that the patient feels better and avoids long-term issues caused by scar tissue.
- Restore Mobility and Range of Motion
The soreness and stiffness a person feels after a car accident can limit mobility and range of motion. A lack of blood flow and nutrients in the affected areas can cause inflammation and limit range of motion. Through chiropractic adjustments, a DC can mobilize the spine to increase blood flow and essential nutrients to injured areas, which promotes the natural healing process to increase range of motion and mobility.
- Improves Overall Health and Well-being
Chiropractic care is not just about treating a specific injury or area. In addition to treating back injuries, whiplash, and soft tissue injuries caused by car accidents, chiropractic adjustments can improve posture, nerve communication, coordination, blood flow, joint motion, and physical function. It can also reduce tension and stress disorders and relieve other chronic injuries and conditions by promoting the body’s natural healing process. The preventative health benefits from regular adjustments and chiropractic care can help your body to continue to function at its best.
Potential Side Effects of Chiropractic Treatments
According to the Mayo Clinic,[iii] chiropractic adjustments are safe when licensed and trained professionals perform them. However, there are some risks associated with chiropractic care, including the worsening of a herniated disc, the risk of stroke after neck manipulation, and compression of nerves in the back. While these risks are “overall rare,” you should still discuss these risks and any other potential risk with your DC before proceeding with treatment.
Some of the most common adverse effects of chiropractic treatment included fatigue, localized discomfort, and dizziness. Numbness and tingling have also been reported, but the rates appear to be low.[iv] Again, it is up to patients to discuss the benefits and risks with a chiropractor to make an informed decision whether adjustments and other chiropractic treatments are right for them.
If you have been injured, The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team can help you recover compensation for your injuries, including compensation for physical therapy, surgery, and chiropractic care. If you suffer a personal injury or are involved in a work-related accident, and Pinder Plotkin agrees to take your case, you do not pay a dime unless there is a recovery by settlement or judgment. Please call us today at (410) 661-9440 or online.
[i] Palmer College of Chiropractic (http://www.palmer.edu/about-us/benefits-of-chiropractic/)
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