Motor Vehicle Collisions (MVC) are a real and unfortunately only increasing source of injury that we see in our clinic every day. Despite large leaps in technology and safety that modern vehicles have, automobiles are still an ever-rising source of disability, injury, and death. The forces involved in an auto collision are exceptional and profound. This is a simple outcome of basic physics. A moving object such as a vehicle carries with it a form of energy called kinetic energy. This energy is a basic calculation of the weight of the vehicle combined with its speed. The average sedan weighs just over 3,300 pounds and traveling at 35mph it carries 183,222 joules of energy; in contrast, a hunting rifle used for large prey delivers just 5,400 joules. As you can see, the energy in an auto collision is far greater and thus it is not surprising that injuries happen.
Sometimes we find that the pain from these incidents can set in immediately but it is not uncommon for discomfort or pain to come on over the next 24 hours or even up to a week after the collision. Chiropractic care has been shown to be very effective in dealing with the pain and strains that happen so often in MVCs. If we at Boulder Back Pain Clinic are your first point of contact, we will be sure to do a thorough exam and evaluation to determine if x-rays or other imaging are needed.
The goal of conservative chiropractic care for an auto injury is to help your body heal more quickly and efficiently. Most people who contact urgent care or are seen in an emergency setting will be prescribed some type of pain medication and a muscle relaxer and told they will hopefully feel better in a few weeks. While these medications can be very effective in blocking and masking pain, they do not actually do anything to help the body or to accelerate the healing process. By choosing us as your chiropractors, we have many tools at our disposal to actually help your body HEAL FASTER than it would with just rest and medication.
We can use certain physical therapy modalities such as electronic muscle stimulation or therapeutic ultrasound to directly target the injured tissues in order to increase blood supply and decrease painful muscle spasms and sprained tissues. We couple this with biofeedback as well as proper muscle movements and rehabilitative exercises to avoid maladaptive splinting and muscle guarding (which just shifts the pain to a different part of the body). It is also very common in motor vehicle collisions for our joints to become dysfunctional and not move as easily or freely as they are designed to after these events. This is where manual mobilization or “adjustments” come in handy and very effective.
Our years of training and practice allow us to deliver a very specific, and direct force to a dysfunctional joint which will cause the joint to release and get it moving normally again. This is very important as our joints do not have a direct and dedicated blood supply of their own. They are reliant on the movement of our bodies to exchange the fluid in them in order to bring in new nutrients and to wash out old and injured cells which is crucial for proper healing and avoiding long term injury and reduced mobility. Many studies have shown that care after MVC’s is very important for reducing long term disability and returning a person back to their normal daily function. Usually, treatment plans for these injuries are best delivered in an “early and often” type of approach. This allows us to control the healing process and to avoid developing dysfunctional movement patterns (think a limp) and formation of disorganized scar tissue. Injuries like this are mechanical by nature and often respond well to mechanical and manual intervention and treatment.
We will decrease the frequency of care as quickly as possible based on your response and healing. Motor vehicle collision injuries are also usually, unfortunately, complicated because there is most often some type of legal responsibility involved as well. Long term injuries lead to ongoing legal complexities such as permanent disability. By treating things early it gives your body the best chance at healing more completely and fully in order to avoid and minimize ongoing hassles.In Colorado, most auto insurance plans come with what is know as a “medical pay” rider unless you specifically request not to have this. This should be used first when paying for medical care following a motor vehicle collision regardless of who is at fault. We have found that many people will try going through their general health insurance (even some lawyers recommend this in order to reduce costs) for these injuries and have been denied care or payment because the injury in fact occurred as the result of an auto collision.
We have cared for motor vehicle collision patients for decades here in Boulder and have an excellent reputation for getting good results quickly. This has allowed us to develop strong relationships with personal injury lawyers whom we are happy to refer you to.
Give us a call today if you are in need of chiropractic care.
I've been seeing Dr. Cahn for over 3 years now and love that he is relaxed, genuine, and personal. He has helped resolve issues with my neck, low back, and hip. I go in for the treatment, but it's probably the great conversations we have that keep me coming back!
Dr. Guzik is awesome. He's knowledgeable, affable, and passionate about wellness. He has a natural, easygoing way with patients that will put you right at ease. I have only great things to say about this practice and Dr. Guzik!
Both Dr. Cahn and Dr. Guzik are highly knowledgeable and skilled in providing excellent care to their patients. They were instrumental in getting me through an injury to be able to compete competitively in triathlon this season. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing high level chiropractic care!