How Long Should I See a Maple Grove Chiropractor After a Car Accident?
Car accident chiropractor. It’s no secret that car accidents often result in physical injuries. Some may be serious, such as concussions and broken bones. Others don't seem as bad, such as bruising and soreness. But don't assume that any post-crash aches and pains can be ignored. Your injuries may be worse than they initially appear and can lead to persistent pain and other chronic issues if not treated properly.
For example, having your head jolted backward and then forward in mere milliseconds during a car accident may not cause pain hours or even days later. Assuming that a lack of pain means a lack of injury is a textbook misunderstanding of whiplash. Worse yet, once the pain or discomfort from whiplash kicks in, many people think it's temporary and will dissipate on its own. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.
Should Everyone Who's Been in a Car Accident See a Chiropractor?
At the very least, anyone who's been in a car accident should seek a medical evaluation or schedule a chiropractic consultation even if the accident seemed trivial. Minor whiplash injuries can take months to heal, and severe cases can take years to heal or result in permanent injury. The sooner an injury is treated, the sooner the journey to healing can start. Try to schedule a checkup with a chiropractor within 48 hours of the accident, 72 hours at the latest.
The Total Spine Health & Injury Center chiropractors can reveal hard-to-detect spinal misalignments using x-ray imaging and a special assessment called Motion Study Analysis. This initial evaluation results in highly personalized treatment plans that address injury in the short term and quality of life improvements in the long term.
How Frequently Should I See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?
If you're looking for a quick, straightforward answer, this is as close as you'll get: Appointment frequency will depend on factors such as:
The amount of time between the accident and the first adjustment
This is one of the most significant variables affecting your recovery, so it bears repeating. The longer an injury is left untreated, the harder it becomes to heal. And don't just call the first chiropractor you find. Make sure to speak to someone who specializes in chiropractic for car accidents.
The severity of your injuries
The more extensive and severe your injuries are, the more chiropractic care you'll need. An especially acute injury could require more visits per week, more months of total treatment, or both.
The number of injuries you suffered
Whiplash isn't the only spine-related issue you must worry about after a car accident. There could be multiple injuries affecting different parts of your body. Each necessary treatment comes with its own schedule, frequency, and resolution.
Your body's unique response to trauma
Each individual's body is wholly unique, which means no two recoveries are the same. While one individual may be able to tolerate more assertive treatment approaches that may help speed up their recovery, someone else may only be able to tolerate especially gentle treatments. There's no way to tell without a thorough consultation.
Your recovery needs and goals
Maple Grove chiropractors have a singular goal: helping patients feel as close to their best selves as possible. One person's optimal outcome may be as simple as eliminating pain, while another's is to maximize overall healing. Those two treatment schedules will look very different from each other.
What should I expect from a car accident chiropractor?
Although later sessions will be wholly unique to each patient, the first chiropractic visit tends to follow an established plan. Your chiropractor will ask questions about your pre-injury status and assess your current physical condition to determine the type and severity of your injuries. After that, your chiropractor will make an initial diagnosis and outline a treatment plan. Keep in mind that chiropractic adjustments evolve and adapt over time based on how a patient responds.
The first stages of treatment usually require more frequent appointments and are the most intense. For injuries like mild whiplash, two to three treatments per week often suffice. However, severe musculoskeletal injuries may require three to four sessions per week in the early stages of treatment.
Ultimately, the course of your treatment will depend on how your chiropractor categorizes your needs and stage of healing, which often fall into one of three categories:
- Inflammatory - You've recently sustained a traumatic injury that resulted in injury to the soft tissue structures of the body. This is typically the first 72 hours following an injury.
- Regeneration - Your injury has advanced beyond the initial healing response and is now actively repairing the injured tissues. This process takes place 72 hours to 6 weeks after injury.
- Remodeling - Muscle, tendon, and ligament continue to heal in relation to how the tissue is stressed. Though the frequency of treatment may start to reduce, the importance of this stage of healing can not be overlooked. As the tissue remodels, it can continue to approach the same flexibility and strength that were present prior to the injury.
Throughout treatment, your chiropractor will update their diagnosis to confirm that you're healing as expected. If the progress is slower than expected, they'll make adjustments to the plan and possibly refer you to another provider for co-management of your care. Once pain and symptoms have dissipated, appointments will become less frequent.
After recovering from the injuries sustained during a car accident, your chiropractor will likely recommend ongoing supportive or preventative treatments. These ensure that your spinal health isn't regressing and you're maintaining the progress you achieved during the preceding months.
Attending every session and following your chiropractor's advice are the best things you can do to speed up the healing process after treatment has begun. And believe it or not, maintaining a consistent treatment schedule may influence how your insurance company views your commitment to the process.
Is it Possible to See Chiropractor too Often?
In short, no. There's no reason to worry about going too often or too infrequently as long you're working with a trustworthy chiropractor like Maple Grove's Dr. Tieri at Total Spine Health & Injury Center. Once your recovery has reached a certain threshold and re-established your pre-injury baseline, your chiropractor will probably reduce your adjustment frequency to three or four times per month. That's a reasonable frequency to maintain strength, mobility, and injury prevention.
Many Americans have become too accustomed to the "quick fixes" that surgical and pharmaceutical treatments promise. Often, these approaches create more problems than they solve but chiropractic is different. It is a natural, sustainable treatment option that tends to deliver better results, albeit over a longer timeframe. Think of it like building up momentum for your health. The longer you stick with it, the greater the results.
If you've recently experienced a car accident, schedule a consultation today. We'll create a personalized chiropractic treatment plan to help you recover quickly. With well over 100 five-star reviews, we have a reputation for trustworthy and dependable chiropractic care in Maple Grove.