Auto Accidents

We never expect to have them yet auto accidents happen to all of us.  It’s important to stay calm and to be sure that everyone is OK.  At Eade Family Chiropractic we have provided a link to help you gather the right information during this time.

Understanding Auto Accidents

As a Doctor and a specialist in Biomechanics and Spinal Correction I spend time emphasizing how auto injuries can have “serious” consequences to our spines.  When we think of accidents most of us tend to say, “Oh, I’m ok. There are no fractures.” That couldn’t be further from the truth.  Most of the time there are injuries and they do worsen with time.  

The classic example is a patient being involved in a car accident, reports that there is no problem except for minor stiffness.  They dismiss the case.  Four months later the patient has started to have worsening neck pain every morning, increased headaches and numbness in the hands.  

Any correlation?  Absolutely.  

So, getting checked is the most important thing you can do.  However, low speed impacts can also have long term consequences.  

“Acceleration depends on the force applied and the inertia of the vehicle that has been struck.  The force is dependent upon the weight and the speed of the striking vehicle,  so that a streetcar traveling as little as 3 mph can apply as much force and initiate the same degree of acceleration as a compact car traveling at 40 mph.”

Ian MacNab – Research Specialist

Common Misunderstood Problems

Too frequently in this office we have seen patients several months following an accident.  The patient usually complains of neck pain.  Upon careful examination and x-rays it was revealed that the accident that they swore caused no problems has now seriously compromised the integrity of their spine often times causing permanent damage.  Unfortunately, insurance companies do not like “late” filing and will often times fight to not take care of injuries sustained from an motor vehicle accident.  

How can you tell injuries came from the accident?

In Napa Valley I often see low speed to high speed injuries.  The commonality is the amount of damage done to the ligaments that hold the spine together.  Several ligaments “Posterior Longitudinal” and Anterior longitudinal ligaments can be torn.  This is quite visible on x-rays for Doctors of Chiropractic to view.  Some well known radiologist may over look this as I can attest to reading radiology reports from accident victims that never mention this injury.  Typically this type of injury can affect many people and the American Medical Association has actually applied a disability rating of 5-8%!

What Happens to the Brain in a Car Crash

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What to do?

These type of injuries are often referred to as Whiplash injuries.  A whiplash is described by a sudden rapid change in force where the head moves rapidly back and forth tearing ligaments, tendons and muscles.  The other concern is that trauma to the brain can happened as well.  This trauma can cause concussions and headaches.  A thorough examination is always very important along with follow up to a chiropractic specialist or medical specialist.

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