Life Force Chiropractic Notes Uptick in Auto Accident Injuries in January

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Chiropractic clinic cautions drivers to beware slick winter roads, and to seek treatment quickly if they are injured.

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Many patients end up seeking our help for conditions that had originally started from untreated auto injuries years prior. So be careful on the roads in the wintertime, but also don’t decide to just tough it out if you are injured in an accident.

The doctors of Life Force Chiropractic recorded a clear increase in patients seeking treatment for auto-related injuries in January, as chilly and wet winter weather persisted in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

“We certainly see many more accidents in the winter,” said Dr. Rustin R. Schreiner. “I would say roughly twice as many as we do normally.”

Washington may be famous for its rain, but Schreiner noted that a periodic lack of rain can actually correspond with increased injuries from car accidents. “We see a lot of accidents if it hasn't rained in a while; we tend to get car accidents from that due to the newly slicked roads,” he commented.

Though Washington State ranks relatively well nationally in terms of low road accidents and fatalities, there were more than 98,000 auto accidents in the state in 2011 (the latest year for which the state’s Department of Transportation provides data), resulting in more than 43,000 injuries.

Some of the most common injuries Schreiner and his colleagues see in relation to car accidents are headaches and neck pain. Headaches are commonly caused by whiplash, with jaw pain affecting some patients as well.

The chiropractic approach, Schreiner explained, starts with an assessment of how the physical trauma from a car accident has damaged the patient’s alignment. This allows the doctors to create a customized treatment plan to alleviate pain and correct the underlying problems causing that pain. In addition to the manual adjustments most commonly associated with chiropractic techniques, treatment may be supplemented by massage therapy and ongoing physical therapy. The clinic also offers cervical and intersegmental traction. All of these strategies work together, Schreiner said, to promote healing in the most natural way possible.

Schreiner encouraged anyone involved in a car accident to take advantage of the clinic’s offer of a consultation at no out-of-pocket cost. That holds even if the patient has already gone to an emergency room. “The hospital’s concern is if anything is broken, and if not they don't worry about much else,” Schreiner explained. “They don't check for neck and other alignment problems or whiplash, especially in the emergency room.”

Some types of headaches or back pain may not even materialize until two months after an accident, at which time healing processes can already be inhibited by inflammation. This makes it even more important to seek immediate care, Schreiner said.

Schreiner also warned that accident-related injuries often get worse with time, rather than better. Patients who have been involved in car accidents often experience migraines, postural problems, severe arthritis in the neck or nerve impingements down the road. “Many patients end up seeking our help for conditions that had originally started from untreated auto injuries years prior,” Schreiner said. “So be careful on the roads on the wintertime, but also don’t decide to just tough it out if you are injured in an accident.”

About Life Force Chiropractic

Life Force Chiropractic in Auburn, WA, offers a wide range of chiropractic solutions to the local community. Whether a patient needs treatment for whiplash or chronic back pain, the Life Force Chiropractic team has the experience to help them reach their wellness goals. To learn more, visit auburnfamilychiro.com.

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Dr. Skylar Gemmer