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Whiplash and Treatment Delay: Does it Matter?

When a person is involved in a car accident, the inevitable question comes up: should I see a doctor? In most cases the answer is yes. But why is this important?

A collision between two vehicles imparts a considerable amount of force on the body and spine. Even in low speed collisions, the forces add up to several times the force of gravity. So what does this mean? It means your body generally cannot resist such large forces without being injured. These injuries may be minor, such as a muscle strain or more substantial, involving stretching of the disks and ligaments of the spine.

Will these injuries always cause pain right after the collision? Only if there is severe damage to tissues will you experience immediate pain after a collision. In fact, having instant severe pain is a good indicator that you suffered a severe trauma. But most low speed collisions do not produce this type of instantaneous and intense pain. Instead, the person may feel “shaken up” or a little stiff. Unfortunately many patients interpret this stiffness as nothing more than a simple muscle strain and do not seek medical or chiropractic attention. Up to two weeks can go by before you start to feel the effects of a whiplash injury. This is why it is important to see a doctor immediately to see if things are truly ok following an accident.

Only a doctor can examine your spine, pressing on different structures and seeing if your movements are fluid, pain-free and symmetrical. You will find it difficult to do this type of examination on yourself. In addition, x-rays may be needed to see the posture and alignment of your cervical spine. If you had radiating pain or symptoms of a brain injury, then an MRI may also be needed to see the soft tissues that x-rays cannot detect.

Without these types of important examinations it is hard to say if you’ve been injured significantly following an accident. Treatment delay, if you have been injured, will not help to get you back to health quickly. In fact, if you limited your activities and neck movements, this could impair your function down the road. Simply taking pain medications to restore the alignment of your spine will not be enough.

What Our Customers are Saying

“My husband pulled a muscle in his back. He was in extreme pain for a couple if days, made an appointment to get adjusted. They were able to get him in in right away, he got an adjustment and a massage. He left there feeling 100 percent better! Great service! I will recommend anyone I know who needs to see a chiropractor to Joel Gutierrez anytime!!!!!.”

Catherine Z.

La Habra

“I kind of walked (my husband was helping me walk, and carrying me) into this nice office, the receptionist is very helpful as well as Dr. Gutierrez is nice, too! I had a really bad lower back pain, 4 hours before I had fainted because of the pain! My DM recommended this chiro because he said it was my sciatiac that was giving me problems. I filled some paperwork and in less than 15 minutes I was seen by Dr. Gutierrez, as soon as you talk to him you can tell he’s knowledgeable on this subject. When I walked out, my pain lowered ALOT, I felt relieved! Today was my 2nd appointment, took 5 minutes wait and I was out the door! The staff was surprised to see me walking in there like nothing happend! Thumbs up to this CHIRO!.”

Christina C

Bell Gardens Ca

“I finally decided to give myself the opportunity to live without pain. I started going 4 weeks ago; feeling my body release the tension has been transformative for me. Thank you..”

Beatrice V

San Pedro Ca

“Best chiro ever!! Injured my back doing deadlifts at the gym. Thanks to Gutierrez treatment I was back to the gym in no time..lifting weights after I thought I would never lift again! Thanks to Gutierrez and his awesome staff I can be me again:).”

Jaime B

Rosemead Ca

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