One of life’s most stressful times is having to deal with the problems that arise after an auto accident. After a car acci­dent, even a seemingly minor fender bender, the victim is faced with many pressing questions. Questions like: How am I going to get around town while my car is in the shop? Who’s going to fix my car? Who exactly is responsible for the damage? Is my insurance going to cover all ex­penses?

However, the single most important question which should be asked and answered right away is: Have I sustained any injuries from the car accident?

If over the next few days following a car accident, the neck or shoulders get tight and sore, it is evident that a whiplash injury was sustained and that an effective treatment plan to heal the damaged neck is very necessary.

However, it is possible to “feel fine” after an accident but still have extensive damage done to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the neck. It is not uncommon for symptoms to surface weeks, and in some cases, even months after the accident. There is a condition, now confirmed by scientific research, called DOWAD which stands for delayed onset whiplash associated disorder. DOWAD is a very tricky condition to identify and treat. Why would the pain of a whiplash victim sometimes manifest much later after the trauma? From my chiropractic perspective, I attribute this delayed pain onset to a spinal condition called vertebral subluxation.

Vertebral subluxation is a condition where the spine misaligns and fails to function and move properly. Whiplash from a car accident can definitely cause vertebral subluxation. The subluxations of the spine can pinch on nerves which may start out small and go unnoticed. However, as weeks, months and years go by, this condition will worsen and can eventually trigger severe pain problems.

This is why following a car accident, you should schedule a visit to a chiropractor. A medical doctor will not diagnose or treat vertebral subluxation. When you go to see a medical doctor for pain, you will be confined to only two possible medical treatment options (regardless of the cause of the pain or the diagnosis): drugs or surgery. If the condition you have is vertebral subluxation, there is no drug or surgery ever developed which can realign the spine.

Only a chiropractic adjustment can realign the spine.

In a published report found in a 1999 issue of The Journal of Orthapaedic Medicine, chiropractic is revealed as “the only proven effective treatment” for a whiplash injury.

There is another problem that DOWAD creates, one of a legal and financial nature. When symptoms surface much later after the car accident, usually the no-fault insurance claim has already been settled. Then at that point, it becomes very difficult to apply the benefits of the coverage that is deserved and already paid for.

Anyone who is a victim of a car accident should immediately be checked out by a chiropractor. Even if the car accident victim is not in pain, a chiropractor can detect any asymptomatic injuries and recommend a course of care before the pain starts. The best thing about getting checked for injuries after a car accident, besides the fact that it can prevent years of pain and spinal degeneration, is that in Hawaii according to state law, no-fault insurance covers the entire cost of chiropractic care— which includes the spinal exam, all x-rays, 30 adjustments and all adjunct therapies.

When you decide to get chiropractic care for your car accident injuries, please remember:

You do not need a referral from a medical doctor.

Your premiums do not automatically go up if you start chiropractic care under your insurance benefits.

If you know anyone who has been in a car accident, whether they are in pain or not, please refer them to see a chiropractor as soon as possible, especially before the insurance claim is settled and closed for good.

Furthermore, when a whiplash victim comes in for treatment at Honor Box Chiropractic there is an added benefit. Sometimes a no-fault case takes more than 30 visits to resolve. After the benefits of a no-fault claim run out, Dr. Parker and Dr. Shiraki's patients may use the Honor Box and pay whatever amount they can comfortably afford. Also, after the chiropractic case is closed, the patients may get on a maintenance/prevention care plan, again using the Honor Box and thus avoiding expensive prepayment fees.

Healing from a Whiplash Injury