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Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA) cause much more than just a sore neck and headaches. Research has shown that even a low speed collision of 6.8 miles per hour (MPH) can cause serious damage to your cervical spine. Damage that may not be immediately apparent and difficult to diagnose. Because some of the injuries may not show up for days, weeks, or even years after the accident it is extremely important that you are seen by a provider that is able to diagnose and treat these injuries effectively. These injuries can even occur when there is very little damage to your vehicle. Treating patients involved in motor vehicle accidents is completely different than typical aches and pains.
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No Out Of Pocket Costs
Your insurance company is not on your side. Did you know that insurance companies hire Doctors to review your case and intentionally devalue your injuries and attack your case so they can claim your injuries are not as severe as they actually are? If you have seen a provider that isn’t specialized in diagnosing and documenting your injuries correctly, then these Insurance Doctors will use that against you. This will result in you not getting the care you need and possibly accepting a settlement that is significantly less than what you and your injuries will need. Some of these injuries may also require future treatments and medical interventions that if not properly documented will not be included in your settlement, meaning you will have to pay out of pocket for future medical expenses. These are aspects of your case and your injuries that insurance companies don’t want you to know about. Which is why you need a qualified medical provider to examine your injuries. All of these issues are easily addressed if your provider has the proper training and properly equipped facility. So please, if you have been injured in an accident seek expert advice and care for your injuries.
Right after exchanging insurance information and talking with the police after a vehicle accident, make an appointment with Dr. Zagiba for a complementary exam – even if you initially feel fine. The most common car accident injury, whiplash, can take up to three days to manifest symptoms, but it can cause years of misery without prompt treatment.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained during car accidents—and often one of the hardest to treat. Nearly 300,000 whiplash injuries occur each year, many at low speeds. It takes only a 2.5 mile-per-hour change in speed to injure the neck.
The physical forces applied to the spine during a motor vehicle accident can cause unseen and very difficult to diagnose injuries. These injuries include:
- Damage to the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament (PLL)
- Damage to the Supraspinous Ligament (SSL)
- Damage to the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament (ALL)
- Damage to Cervical Facet Joints
- Damage to the Cervical Disc
- Damage to the Dorsal Nerve Rami
These injuries can not be diagnosed by a CT Scan or MRI immediately after the accident. So even if you were taken to the ER immediately after your accident and cleared to return home, these injuries can still be hiding. Often these injuries aren’t evident for days or weeks after your accident and can very easily be missed by other providers.
Rear End Collisions cause what is termed Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration (CAD) Injuries, commonly known as Whiplash. However, this is only the beginning of the injury. Recently researchers have classified what is now called Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) which involves all of the secondary symptoms associated with Whiplash.
These symptoms include:
- Muscle Strains
- Nerve Damage
- Sprains & Tears to Ligaments and Tendons
- Joint Injuries
- Disc Injuries
- Low Grade Concussions that are easily missed by EMS and the ER
Soft-tissue injuries like whiplash can take a long time to heal. One study found that more than 70 percent of people who visited the emergency room after a car accident were still in pain six weeks later.
Other researchers have noted that nearly half of whiplash sufferers continue to experience symptoms three months later, while 25 percent remain symptomatic for six months.Without proper treatment, some injuries can continue to cause pain for years. As soft tissue injuries heal, they develop scar tissue. If the spine is not aligned and full range of motion isn’t recovered before scarring sets in, it can ultimately inhibit normal functioning and even lead to spinal degeneration.
Although half of all whiplash injuries are the result of rear collisions, they can occur from an impact in any direction. Frontal crashes account for 30 percent of motor vehicle neck injuries.
When a part of the body is whipped back and then forward beyond its normal limits, micro-tears can develop in the surrounding ligaments. Yet many accident victims don’t notice any pain at first.
It’s not until the micro-tears start to swell that the symptoms set in, including:
- Blurred vision
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Reduced range of motion in the neck
- Arm pain
- Neck stiffness
- Low back pain
How Chiropractic Care Helps
Because a chiropractic school curriculum teaches students how to treat back and neck pain without pharmaceutical help, a doctor of chiropractic is uniquely positioned to help car accident victims avoid the prescription drug cycle.
Using a variety of drug-free techniques, from spinal adjustments to electric muscle stimulation to rehabilitative exercises, chiropractors can:
Soft-tissue injuries may take months to fully heal, but a chiropractor can often provide pain relief much quicker than that. Some car accident victims report up to an 80 percent reduction in discomfort after just a few weeks of chiropractic care.
The soreness and stiffness from a motor vehicle injury can inhibit movement. Chiropractors work with patients to help get them moving again as quickly as possible so they can regain full range of motion before scar tissue develops.
Support Long-Term Healing
The muscle weakness resulting from a car accident can leave patients vulnerable to re-injury. Chiropractic care often involves rehabilitative exercises that improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine.
Visiting a doctor of chiropractic as soon as possible after an auto accident can boost a patient’s chances of making a fully recovery—without resorting to prescription drugs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will pay for my medical and chiropractic bills?
In the State of Colorado, treatment for all injuries suffered in an auto accident is paid for by your “med-pay”, and unless you specifically wave this coverage on your insurance policy, you automatically have a minimum coverage of $5,000, meaning in most cases you will have no out of pocket costs. If your medical costs exceed $5,000, depending on your policy, you still may be completely covered. Also, if you have a lawyer that you’re working with, we can work with you on a lien basis. This means we will wait for your case to settle to get paid.
Why is it important to get care after an auto accident?
Research has shown that even a minor auto accident can have long lasting residual effects. With the proper care we can help you heal properly with high quality chiropractic care, physical therapy and a specially designed rehabilitation plan to reduce your pain.
What if I didn’t get care right after my accident does that mean I can’t get care?
No, if your pain is related to you auto injury you have up to a year to get care.
How long does it take to heal properly from an automobile accident?
This is all depending on the severity of your auto accident. It is extremely important that you get diagnosed properly and get the proper treatment to deal with your injury.
Will my insurance premium go up after care?
If you are not at fault, your premium will not go up. If you are at fault, your premium will go up regardless if you use your “med-pay” or not. The residual effects of your auto accident will cost more in the long run if you do not get proper treatment right away. you do not get proper treatment right away.