Despite Vehicles' Advanced Safety Features, Back Injuries Remain a Serious Risk in Auto Accidents, Says North Port, FL Chiropractor Dr. Daniel Barr of West Coast Wellness

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While modern safety features on both commercial and passenger vehicles save lives and reduce the number of serious injuries, back injuries remain a very real risk in any auto accident. Dr. Daniel Barr, a chiropractor at West Coast Wellness in North Port, FL uses the latest research and his clinical experience to explain why.

North Port, FL Chiropractor - West Coast Wellness - Auto Injury Rehabilitation Program
Remember—getting the right medical attention promptly following an auto accident is one of the keys to recovering as completely and quickly as possible!

“Back injuries are a serious risk in any auto accident, even when the vehicles involved have all the latest safety equipment installed,” says North Port, FL chiropractor Dr. Daniel Barr of West Coast Wellness. “While it’s certainly true that seatbelts, airbags and head restraints save lives and prevent many types of serious injuries, what we see in our clinic and read in the latest research suggests that there are patterns of back injury associated with some of these safety features. There’s also evidence that demographic shifts may be making some types of back injury more likely.”

A recent study published in the Spine Journal, the official journal of the North American Spine Society, indicates that certain kinds of injuries in the thoracic and lumbar areas of the back are actually more likely if you are wearing a seat belt. The Spine Journal also reported that individuals who were older and/or obese made up the largest percentage of vehicle accident victims who suffered thoracic and lumbar extension seat belt injuries.

As safety systems in vehicles continue to improve, the fatality rate should continue to drop, but minor to moderate injuries—including back injuries—will almost certainly continue to plague auto accident victims. And many of these injuries will not be obvious right away. It is actually quite common for symptoms to emerge days, weeks, or even months after a vehicle collision. This is one reason why it’s so important to seek a medical evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional as soon as possible following any auto accident. Dr. Barr emphasizes this point, “Everyone—whether in pain immediately after an accident or not—should get a proper evaluation from a doctor who actually focuses on auto injuries. Many times, a visit to a hospital emergency room (ER) without obvious, life-threatening injuries can seem like a lower priority to both the medical team on duty and to the patient. As a result, the accident victim may be kept waiting through a lengthy triage process or evaluated too quickly—or both—depending on the situation in the ER on any particular day.”

There’s also a tendency for accident victims themselves to minimize their own symptoms. When asked about this phenomenon, Dr. Barr explains, “Many people believe that as long as they’re not dead, bleeding, or suffering from a broken bone after an accident, they’re fine. But this is actually a dangerous misconception. During our own evaluations, we’ve found any number of injuries that the patient himself or herself didn’t feel acutely at that moment.” What sorts of injuries are most common? “Neck injuries are number one, though many of these could be prevented if people did a better job adjusting their head restraints. We also frequently see lower back, shoulder, wrist, knee, and ankle injuries as well as chest injuries from the seat belt. It’s this wide range of possible musculoskeletal injuries as well as the potential for delayed symptoms that makes a prompt and complete evaluation so important.”

Getting a truly comprehensive medical evaluation and treatment plan is also easier to do when you visit an office that has several healthcare specialists working together under one roof. Experience and technology matter, too. “Obviously a doctor who focuses on surgery sees things differently than a doctor who focuses on rehabilitation. So when you get both opinions at the same office you know all bases have been covered. We've treated thousands of auto accident injury victims over 30 years—an achievement that few other clinics or doctors in the area can match. Between our highly-trained and experienced professional staff and our state-of-the art equipment, we can find and successfully treat accident-related injuries that others might miss. Remember—getting the right medical attention promptly following an auto accident is one of the keys to recovering as completely and quickly as possible!”

About Dr. Daniel Barr and West Coast Wellness

Daniel Barr, D.C. received his doctorate of chiropractic from Life University in 1984 and has been licensed to practice in Florida since 1985. He is a diplomat of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He founded Barr Chiropractic in 1985 and West Coast Wellness in 2006.

West Coast Wellness
4361 Aidan Lane
North Port, FL 34287
(941) 429-0070

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Dr. Daniel Barr
West Coast Wellness
since: 05/2012
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