Recently a patient came in with severe neck pain from an untreated auto accident three months prior. After a mild car wreck, her husband had immediate pain and was treated right away. The wife stayed home with her kids, not having enough time to get treated…till now, 3 months later. By this time her pain was 7/10 (10/10 = most severe pain, 0/10 no pain), severe headaches from the neck, numbness in one hand, stress level off the charts, AND now, because she waited so long to get checked, her insurance is denying coverage. What a nightmare! So what is the point?
A few points when getting in an auto collision:
- Seek Immediate Help: The first 24 to 74 hrs is the most crucial for getting immediate help. Patients who get checked by their Chiropractor in this amount of time have a significantly better outcome and a speedier recovery than those who wait. Seek a chiropractor in your area who specialized in auto accident cases. They will know exactly what to do. Even if you don’t have PAIN, get a thorough evaluation by a Chiropractor. Medical doctors are great, BUT generally don’t specialize in this type of injury like a chiropractor. Generally, they will give pain meds or muscle relaxers and send patients on their way.
- Don’t Over Estimate PTSD: The body physically remembers highly stressful events (such as an auto accident). I often hear patients say, “I am stressed out to driving now!” or “Any time I pass the accident site my body tenses up.” If these stored emotions are not dealt with, they can haunt you the rest of your life. This sound crazy, but it is real and a big problem. Get a counselor or better yet, find a NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) Practitioner who specialized in this type of trauma.
*Pro tip: Look for a Chiropractor who uses NET or AK (Applied Kinesiology). These are specialized techniques that will make your practitioner better qualified to handle these situations.
- Call Your Lawyer: They will fight for you, making sure you get all the treatment needed to recover. Especially if it was just a “minor” accident, you might not know there is damage until a few weeks or months down the road. Pain is the VERY LAST thing the body tells you when there is a problem. What will make a stressful accident even more stressful is when the insurance denies paying for your Claim because you did do step 1 (get your spine and nervous system check by a Chiropractor to make sure there is no injury or damage.)
Follow these tips next time you are in an accident to ensure you get the help you need, and make sure you reach out to an auto accident chiropractor.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Living Well Family Chiropractic for their insight into getting help after a car accident.