Have you ever been involved in a car accident? The majority of drivers on the road today have been involved in at least one accident, and often more. I would estimate that a minimum of 90% of my patients have been impacted in some form on the road. Surprisingly, many people are unaware that these types of impacts, even impacts as small as 5 mph, can cause damage to the spine, and are often directly related to their health complaint.

Impacts from car accidents force the spinal joints into extreme and sudden movement patterns. When a joint is forced quickly past its normal movement, ligaments can stretch, muscles can tear, and cartilage can be damaged. Sometimes these effects, if they happen at the microscopic level, can lie latent: slow inflammation causing long term spinal erosion that is felt years later. For more forceful impacts, the effects are immediate. Proper spinal alignment can be lost quickly, especially in the neck where the impact is felt the most. These impacts can lead to a loss of the natural forward curve in the neck.

X-rays that are taken after an accident are often reported as “clear” because the subtle findings are missed, anti-inflammatories are prescribed, and you are sent home, either living in pain, or maybe waiting until the pain starts. But medications do nothing to correct these problems! Chiropractors are trained to detect these subtle findings that are so often missed, providing real solutions that can correct the problem so long term damage isn’t done. Chiropractors understand the damage these impacts have on the spine and the choking irritation that can compress the nervous system housed within.

The health of your spine and nervous system are directly proportional to the health of your whole body. After any accident, wouldn’t it make sense to get a check-up by someone qualified to assess the condition of your spine, someone who won’t miss these subtle problems?