After a car accident, you may not feel that you have any injuries worth of medical treatment. In fact, you may feel fine at first, with seemingly no adverse effects at all. Unfortunately, your neck or back can begin to cause pain or discomfort weeks or even months later.
If you are like many people, you may live with nagging symptoms for years, assuming that they aren’t that serious or that treatment won’t help. You may not even associate your specific symptoms with the accident. But when the discomfort begins to interfere with daily life, it is time to do something about it. You’ve likely heard that chiropractic care is the right solution for your neck and back pain, but how exactly does chiropractic work?
Here is an explanation of how the nervous system works and how chiropractors treat nerve dysfunction, including that which is the result of a car accident.
Nervous System Explained
There are three parts to the nervous system.
The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord and is considered to be the primary processing function of the nervous system. The spinal cord transmits information to the brain for processing via multiple pathways, then returns relevant data to the extremities. A simple example of the central nervous system at work is walking. Our brain tells our legs to move, and our legs move accordingly, while keeping your balance. The sensory-motor pathways are vital for completing everyday tasks, even as we are not aware of their activity.
The peripheral nervous system is made up of a similar “two-way street” system. Information is sent from feet, hands, arms, legs, fingers, and toes to the spinal cord, transmitting information back and forth.
The autonomic nervous system is in charge of our organ functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and digestion, among others.
All three systems are in constant communication with one another to keep our body functioning normally. However, many conditions can disrupt that communication, including spinal cord trauma and nerve or brain damage.
The “subluxation complex” describes a compromised nerve transmission, which can be the result of a compressed or irritated nerve. This nerve damage is typically due to an incorrect bone or joint position somewhere along the nerve’s course. Minimizing or eliminating nerve compression will facilitate the restoration of information transmission over the pathways, subsequently restoring function.
For instance, a patient may be experiencing numbness in their hand and fingers. A chiropractor determines that the patient has a herniated disk in their neck, and by alleviating the pinched nerve, he can relieve the numbness. Chiropractors may utilize spinal manipulation, mobilization, or exercises to treat the situation. Depending on your provider, they may also employ lasers, electric stimulation, or pulsed magnetic field technologies. These treatments achieve the desired results with minimal side effects or risk to the patient. Because of these benefits, many people choose to try chiropractic before any more invasive forms of treatment.
At West Coast Wellness, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with us immediately following an accident. By doing so, we can align the spine and avoid the emergence of uncomfortable symptoms at all. However, if you are experiencing any strange numbness, tingling, pain, or loss of mobility, it is not too late to give us a call. We will work with you to naturally heal your body and return your nervous system to peak operating condition.