When you are injured, the cell membranes of your muscles and ligaments become disrupted and the cell may die. If the contents of the cell leak out in the tissues, this causes inflammation. Inflammation is necessary for tissue repair. Damage to a ligament means you have a sprain injury. Damage to your muscle means you have a muscle injury.
The four cardinal signs of inflammation are: heat, redness, swelling, and pain.
Chiropractors are experts in the neuromusculoskeletal area of the body. We are a drug-less healing art. Treatment is directed at restoring function, not just relaxing your muscles and covering up pain. We take your injury seriously and try to prevent chronic symptoms.
Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Rand Corporation, under the auspices of the United States Healthcare Policy and Research community, found that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and spinal manipulation were the two best treatments for acute lower back pain.
Spinal adjustment or manipulation of the spine promotes joint motion during the healing process. Our objective is to promote joint function during the healing processes so that when you are completely healed, you are healed with normal range of motion and normal joint function. Healing without joint function means that you will have limited motion forever.
Since the paraspinal tissues, including ligaments and muscles, are injured in a sprain/strain type injury, promoting strength and endurance is key in preventing chronic and recurrent symptoms. Oftentimes a burning pain in the paraspinal muscles of the neck or back occurs from poor oxygenation in the Type I postural muscles or endurance muscles. Athletes get reconditioned and rehabilitated after an injury so the condition goes away permanently.
Rehabilitating the spine promotes increased strength, increased endurance, and increased circulation. Rehabilitation of the spine also causes better joint position sense, increased tensile strength in the ligaments, and increased joint stability. Most of all, rehabilitation decreases fear avoidance behavior and increases confidence in movement. Rehabilitation promotes normal movement patterns. There is no pill, lotion, or potion that can stress the body in a good way to make a change from the inside out. Only exercise or good stress can make the body change. Understanding the injury from a pathophysiologic point of view is paramount in restoring function and preventing recurring and chronic pain.
If you had loss of consciousness or you experienced immediate neck pain or back pain, do not hesitate to go into the ambulance. If you have any loss of balance or sudden headache with nausea or vomiting, do not hesitate to go into the ambulance. The most important thing this to rule out fracture, concussion, and internal bleeding including subdural hematoma. Go to the emergency room.
The doctor at the emergency room should look in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat. The doctor should check your extraoccular movements. The doctor should make you follow a pen with your eyes. The doctor should make you stand and close your eyes to check your balance. The doctor should feel your neck and feel your back thoroughly along your spine and along your muscles. The doctor should make you bend forward and make you bend backward. The doctor should check your strength, sensation, and reflexes. The doctor should watch you walk. The doctor should feel each and every vertebra. Radiographs will be taken at the emergency room to rule out fracture or swelling. A CT scan should be ordered if you hit your head. You will probably be provided with medication including: anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxers, and pain medication.
Some patients experience an instant headache. Headache is probably one of the most common symptoms that occur in an injury to the neck. Sometimes a concussion can occur without striking the head. It is not unusual to experience neck pain, lower back pain, mid-back pain, shoulder symptoms, and finger and hand symptoms. It is not unusual to have burns on the forearms or face from the airbag. It is not unusual to experience knee pain from striking the dashboard. It is not unusual to experience bilateral shoulder pain, forearm symptoms, and wrist symptoms from gripping the steering wheel. Some patients experience foot pain from slamming on the brakes or having their feet come off of the pedals during the collision.
Documentation of your symptoms and your injury is most important. Whether you see a medical physician, chiropractor, osteopath, or nurse practitioner, having your symptoms documented soon after your injury protects you. Not seeing the doctor and continuing to have pain without any evaluation or documentation will be grounds for the insurance company to assume that you were not hurt. One of the favorite strategies used by insurance companies and defense attorneys is to claim that there were gaps in the treatment, meaning that you waited too long to seek care or you started treatment without finishing. Ultimately the jury must be convinced that you were injured. If you don’t seek treatment for several months, it will be difficult to convince the jury that you were hurt.
If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and the negligent party is insured, you can be treated at our offices. If you have a claim number, we can help you. If you have med pay insurance on your auto policy, you will have medical coverage. The doctors at the Slone Chiropractic Clinics will accept a lien. We have a network of physicians to which we can send you if an MRI is needed or an orthopedic or other medical consult is needed. Our staff will be happy to assist you and answer all of your coverage and benefits questions.
What if I was struck by another vehicle and the other driver left the scene?
In some cases you will need to hire an attorney. There are benefits for patients who were injured by a hit-and-run driver.
If you are unable to work, the doctors at Slone Chiropractic Clinics will provide you with a work excuse. As long as you can work without injuring yourself, the doctors at the Slone Chiropractic Clinics encourage you to return to work as soon as possible. When you do return to work, we have convenient hours so that you are able to come before or after work. Our offices are open at 8 AM and close at 7 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.