One of the most dangerous activities that we do on a daily basis is driving. Our roads are full of dangerous and irresponsible drivers of all sorts. How many times do per day do you see the driver talking on their cell phone, eating, putting on makeup, drinking, or texting. As a Denver chiropractor, I see many car accident victims. Some seek treatment the same day of the accident, and some wait weeks to months, or even years before they seek help.

Some people understand the importance of seeking help early. Others do not, which could cost them dearly in the form of chronic pain.

The early treatment of car accident related injuries in a chiropractic office will focus on re-establishing motion and function of the spine and associated structures through various techniques. Without early intervention, substantial changes can take effect.

When we compare healthy subjects versus people who have whiplash associated disorders, there are significant changes to the muscles that occur. The difference between the two groups is that the people with whiplash associated disorders have fatty infiltration of the neck muscles (1).

So, more fat gets deposited in the muscles that are used to stabilize the neck. How can a neck work when the muscles have turned to fat? It doesn’t work. This is probably why some people end up with chronic neck pain.  Their once healthy muscles have now turned to fat, which doesn’t contract like a muscle. This invariably will cause destabilization in the neck, poor performance and control of neck movement, and loss of proprioception.

Early specific treatment can help ward off this fatty infiltration. Seeing a proplerly trained car accident doctor will help retain the function of the neck and its associated structures.

Neck pain increases the risk of injury, changes patterns of neck muscle activity, reduces strength, and endurance (2).  Auto accidents are unique in the fact that pain and dysfunction can set in hours to days, or even weeks.

If you have been in a car accident in Denver, CO I would highly advise you seek treatment and advice immediately. Don’t be a fool, minor pain can turn into long lasting pain that might never go away. Get yourself checked!

  1. Elliot J, PT, MS, Jull G, MPhty, PhD, al e. Fatty infiltration in the cervical extensor muscles in persistent whiplash associated disorders. An MRI analysis. Spine 2006;22:E847-55
  2. Jull, G. M., PhD, FACP. The Management of Disorders of the Cervical Region. 2007. Cervical spine & Whiplash research unit. Division of Physiotherapy. University of Queensland.

Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211