Should I See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

Immediately after a car accident, most people will ignore pain and potential injury.  There’s so much to do; information exchange, insurance notifications, tow trucks and police reports seem never-ending on the scene of the accident.   With the rush of emotions, nerves and adrenaline it is very easy to forget that you may be injured and in need of medical attention.

Injuries may not always be immediately apparent.  Some can take weeks to appear.  It is important to be evaluated by a medical professional immediately even if you do not think you are injured.  It may seem that you don’t have time for a doctor’s visit; you’re still dealing with the emotional stress of the accident, fighting with insurance companies, and trying to recoup any losses.  Remember, though, that your health is more valuable than any car will ever be.

The failure to seek medical treatment after your car accident can cost you money and valuable healing and recovery time.  Undiagnosed injuries can cause you to miss work, suffer pain, and maybe even keep you from doing the things you love.

So when should you schedule an evaluation from your chiropractor?  Here’s a few things to keep in mind after your accident.

The Degree of Damage Done to the Car is No Indication of Injury

While extensive damage to your car, a potential head injury, or immediate pain is an automatic indicator that you should seek medical help, don’t discount the minor fender bender’s ability to cause you lasting physical injury.  Even a “minor” car accident can result in injuries to the soft tissue, neck or back; if not treated properly, these injuries can result in chronic issues, such as arthritis.

Your car is designed to absorb shock from a collision, but it isn’t capable of fully protecting the occupants from injury.  Any time you are suddenly and forcefully jerked, like from a rear-end accident, there is potential for injury.  Even the most minor accident can cause injury such as whiplash; in fact, over half of all documented whiplash injuries happen in accidents involving very little vehicle damage.

The only way to be sure you are physically unhurt is to be evaluated by a professional. 

Remember that a Lack of Pain Following the Accident Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Injured

Even though immediate pain at the time of the accident will mean you are injured, remember that sometimes it can take several days or even a few weeks or months for the injury to show.  Obviously, if you are severely injured you should go to the emergency room for evaluation, but if you “feel fine” after the accident, you should always make an appointment for a professional evaluation by a chiropractor as soon as possible.

Many insurances will deny payment of any claims for doctor visits after a certain amount of time has passed, even if the injury seems to be from the accident.  To make sure your visits and injuries are covered, schedule an appointment with your chiropractor a maximum of two weeks after the accident, but the sooner you are evaluated, the better for your health and your insurance adjuster.

The Sooner You Can See a Chiropractor, the Shorter Your Recovery Will Be

It is most advisable to schedule your evaluation by a chiropractor immediately after your car accident.  If your injuries are immediately apparent, of course, like fractures, bleeding or a head injury, you need to immediately seek treatment from your local emergency room.  Otherwise, you should make an appointment with your chiropractor even if you feel fine after the crash.

Medically, your chiropractor will asses and document your injuries, and begin treatment for them immediately.  This is important because while you are not feeling pain, you could still have neck or back injuries.  No matter how you feel after the accident, you should always play it safe and be evaluated by a chiropractor trained to treat car accident injuries.

Financially, most insurance companies will only cover medical claims made within three days of an accident.  Claims filed after the time limit will diminish your benefits and may not even be paid.  Remember that insurance companies are not on your side and will look for ways to get out of reimbursing claims.  As far as they are concerned, if you wait more than three days to seek medical treatment, your injuries are probably not that serious or not related to the car accident.   As a result, they will limit payments or deny them altogether.  Even if you do not feel any symptoms of injury, always seek immediate chiropractic evaluation to ensure your injuries will be covered by your insurance companies.

Can a Chiropractor Help After an Accident?

Chiropractors are specially trained in many things and follow up post-accident is one of their specialties.  Chiropractic attention to address injuries will aid in stopping pain and speeding the healing process.  Your chiropractor will, through a series of gentle spinal manipulations, help you by:

Restoring your mobility:  As the days pass after your accident, you will develop soreness and stiffness that can severely limit your mobility and the ability to perform daily activities.  Your chiropractor can address these issues and get you back on your feet quickly.

Healing the Injury:  A trained chiropractor will improve your strength and flexibility following your accident.  Chiropractic adjustments will also improve your health in the long-term.

Relieving the Pain: Your chiropractor is trained to understand soft tissue injuries and the pain they can bring.  A chiropractic adjustment will help these injuries heal, naturally and without harmful medications, faster than they would without treatment. 

Make Your Chiropractor Appointment Immediately After Your Accident 

With all the phone calls you have to make following a car accident, make sure that one of those calls is to you chiropractor. Waiting too long to seek medical attention will cost you money and valuable healing time and may make a minor injury worse without treatment.

Don’t ignore minor pain or assume that you’re not injured because you have no pain.  A chiropractor will assess you and, if an injury is discovered, will begin immediate treatment to heal you and get you back to your life with a natural, non-invasive treatment plan.

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