A patient that has been injured in a auto accident really has only a couple of main questions.
Can I Get Better? And How Long Will It Take?
It is very understandable as to why these are the main questions that an injured patient has. It has interfered enough with their lifestyle that they are doing something about it. It has affected them to the point that they are starting to think that they may not be the same ever again. So when a patient comes into my chiropractic office in St George, Utah, they often ask these questions.
Unfortunately, these are difficult questions to answer. The common answer that is first given is: “It depends”. What does it depend on? Well to answer that question, we need to look at the severity of the injuries. If it is a simple strain and misalignment of the spine, it can be a relatively fast-ish to fast-er recovery. However, if it is more severe, then we could be looking at months to years. If it is really severe, it could be a permanent problem that obviously will not get better; even with surgery.
There are other factors that need to be addressed. The older the patient the longer the recovery. Our bodies do not heal as fast as we get older. If we get real old, full recovery might not be an option.
Females, you are 2 times more likely to get injured in a car crash than your male counterparts. Most of this has to do with muscle mass. If you are not one that likes strength training, then your muscles tend to get injured more and therefore, will take longer to recover.
Did you have your head turned at any angle at the time of impact? If so, the likelihood of having ligament sprain or tendon/muscle strain became significantly higher. If you have sprained ligament, or worse, a torn ligament, then your recovery time exponentially increased. Possibly even putting it into the category or permanent injury and never fully recovering.
Broken bones will take historically 6-8 weeks to heal. Smokers will require longer time to heal. Drug users will take even longer.
But what happens if you only think that it was a minor crash and do nothing at all. The silent killer becomes a slow process. Chronic inflammation doesn’t go away. What happens is the body becomes very protective of injuries and will start to do whatever it can to prevent further damage. Enter Arthritis! Arthritis is by definition, inflammation of a joint. You keep the inflammation there and you will soon develop bone spurs. These bone spurs will continue to progress until they achieve fusion. If it is fusion in the spine, then your two bones just became one and the ability to turn your head just went down. Worse yet, the work load of that joint is now passed on to the adjacent joints which will in turn wear them out faster perpetuating the problem.
So it really comes down to this. It depends. There are so many factors that can make this a simple or complex problem. Guessing on which it is for you could be the decision that ruined or saved your life. Don’t take that risk. The Whiplash Center of Utah has been successfully treating car crash injuries for many years now. We can help you through this recovery process and minimize the long term pain and problem, through proper chiropractic care. If you have been involved in a crash, to any magnitude, call 435-674-7515. We take pride in restoring hope to the injured.