A small fender bender may not seem like cause for a health concern, but even a minor car accident can lead to delayed pain and other symptoms. Waiting to seek treatment until serious pain develops isn’t a good idea.
Our experienced, caring team at White Integrated Health Clinics in Fort Worth, Texas, recommends seeking treatment as soon as possible after a car accident. One of our Chiropractors or our Family Nurse Practitioner can give you an early evaluation and prompt care to prevent more complex conditions from developing later on.
If you’ve had an auto accident, and you’re not in pain, here’s why you want to seek treatment anyway.
Just because you don’t feel pain, doesn’t mean you aren’t injured
Sometimes, as a result of adrenaline, shock, or preoccupation with car repairs, you may not even notice that you have a headache or a stiff neck — common symptoms after an auto accident. But just because you don’t feel pain right away, doesn’t mean you didn’t sustain an injury. Research shows that an injury can occur when involved in an accident at speeds of as little as 5 mph.
Whiplash, one of the most common auto accident injuries, may cause delayed symptoms which don’t show up for 24 hours or more after the trauma takes place. If you were rear-ended, and your neck quickly jerked forward and backward, you might not even notice you have a headache, neck, or shoulder pain — common signs of whiplash — until several days later.
If you don’t seek prompt care for a whiplash, your condition can worsen and lead to chronic neck problems. If your pain isn’t from a whiplash injury, it may be a more complicated spinal injury that needs treatment as soon as possible.
Delayed back pain could mean a herniated disc
Spinal discs provide cushioning between your vertebrae. A herniated or bulging disc occurs when the soft material inside a disc pushes through a tear in the disc’s tough exterior. When this happens, the disc may put pressure on a nerve and cause back pain, weakness in your muscles, or tingling in the part of your body that’s affected by the pinched nerve.
You might not notice this pain or discomfort until several days after your car accident, but during a chiropractic exam, your doctor can determine if you have herniated discs in your spine. Most of the time, herniated discs occur in your lower back, but they can also happen in your neck as a result of an injury like whiplash. Left untreated, herniated discs can lead to worsening symptoms and chronic, debilitating pain that prevents you from participating in daily activities.
Muscle strains and ligament injuries
Sore muscles after a car accident may seem like nothing to worry about, but muscle pain can also be a sign of a tear or more seriously injury that limits your mobility. Ligament injuries, like a sprained ankle, are a stretching or tearing of the fibrous bands of tissue that connect the bones in your joints. After a car accident, sore muscles, strains, and sprains may worsen in the days that follow, even if you didn’t experience pain right away.
The Chiropractors at White Integrated Health Clinics specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They can tell you if you’ve injured an area that needs therapy or other non-invasive treatments to help you recover and prevent a chronic condition.
As soon as you’re safely home after a minor car accident, it’s a good idea to make an appointment for a thorough evaluation with the experienced healthcare team at White Integrated Health Clinics. They may recommend chiropractic adjustments, therapy, and other non-invasive treatments designed to help you recover quickly and prevent further complications.
It is in your best interest to seek treatment sooner rather than later after a car accident. Call our office today to make an appointment or click the button to get started online.