Millions of people are injured in car crashes each year in the US, and many of these “minor” collisions result in long-term symptoms and disability. In fact, research shows that a significant number of people have pain from a crash even 10-15 years later.
Chiropractic is one of the best ways to treat and heal from these types of injuries. Chiropractic works by restoring the normal function of your spine, allowing the tissues to heal and become pain-free.
If you’ve been in a car crash, here’s how chiropractic can help you:
1. Chiropractic Reduces Inflammation
During an auto collision, the ligaments and muscles that make up your spine can be stretched or experience micro-tears. X-rays or MRI scans usually aren’t sophisticated enough to diagnose these kinds of injuries, but this tissue damage causes the area to become inflamed. Many times, an auto injury patient won’t feel much discomfort immediately after the crash, but they wake up the next morning to a stiff and painful neck. This is caused by the body’s inflammation response to these micro-lesions.
A study found that chiropractic adjustments actually helps the body release anti-inflammatory Interleukin 6 (IL-6), an important substance created by your body that’s used to help heal acute injuries.
2. Chiropractic Restores Motion
Another problem with inflammation is that the tissues become immobile, which can slow healing to the area. Ligaments of the spine don’t get many nutrients or blood supply normally, and this becomes even more difficult when inflamed and injured.
During a chiropractic adjustment, the joints of your spine are mobilized, which helps increase blood flow and healing nutrients to the area.
3. Chiropractic Reduces Scar Tissue
Your body heals ligament, tendon, and muscle injuries by creating scar tissue. Scar tissue in an injured area is made up of the same kind of cells as the original tissue, but it’s laid down rapidly and randomly as a temporary “patch” on top of the damaged area.
If you get scar tissue in a large muscle, it can be uncomfortable for a while until you stretch it out, but it most likely won’t cause any long-term problems. Scar tissue in the ligaments of your neck or back, however, can be much more debilitating, since we can’t stretch it out ourselves. Your chiropractor focuses the adjustments on these specific vertebral joints that are fixated, effectively stretching them and breaking up the scar tissue in the joint.