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There are many kinds of auto accidents and many kinds of injuries that can result. After an accident, many people aren’t sure exactly what is wrong with them or where their pain is coming from, so they aren't sure what kind of auto accident doctor they should see. Even if you feel fine or if you only have minor pain, you should see a doctor, as there may be other injuries that aren’t apparent right away. 

The type of auto accident doctor which is best for you will depend on your injuries and symptoms. You may wish to go to the hospital, see your general practitioner, chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapist.  

What Kind of Auto Accident Doctor Should I Go To? 

Immediate Injuries: Broken Bones, Concussion

During the accident, you may sustain major injuries such as broken bones or signs of a concussion. If you have a bone fracture, you will have significant pain and bruising, even if the skin is not broken. A concussion can be more difficult to see. If you have dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, lack of balance or memory loss, you may have a concussion. 

If you have broken bones or you sustained a blow to the head, you should go to the hospital immediately. At the hospital you’ll get the initial treatment you need for your body to heal properly, and to prevent other, even more serious, conditions. 

Once you’ve received treatment for your initial injuries and you’ve begun to heal, you will likely need to continue some regular treatment or exercises in order to regain full balance and range of motion. At this stage it’s ideal to seek physical therapy. The physical therapist will give you exercises you can do at home and in the clinic to increase flexibility, reduce pain, and regain strength. This will help your bones and muscles heal properly.

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After the Accident: Muscle Soreness, Joint Pain

Even if you did not sustain visible injuries during the accident, you may notice pain or soreness days or even weeks later. This most commonly occurs in your neck, back and shoulders. These symptoms can appear in many ways, as there are many types of injuries that can be responsible. You may have any of the following; 

  • Dull throbbing pain
  • Sharp, stabbing pain
  • Lack of flexibility or movement
  • Pain only with certain movements or positions

If you have these symptoms, a chiropractor is the ideal auto accident doctor to see. These symptoms indicate that you have a soft tissue injury, such as damage to muscles, ligaments, or tendons, in your neck, back or shoulders. Chiropractors specialize in these types of injuries and they can give you the best treatments, both in the clinic and at home, for healing the damage and regaining flexibility. 

Your chiropractor may perform massage therapy or refer you to another auto accident doctor. After initial adjustments, massage therapy may be used to release tension, relieve swelling, promote blood flow to speed healing, and retrain the muscle to return to its original position. Physical therapy can also be beneficial by keeping blood flowing through the muscles and rebuilding strength and flexibility. Combining therapies is, in many cases, the best way to restore the damaged tissue completely. 

Long After the Accident: Back and Neck Pain

After your car accident, it’s possible that not all of your injuries were fully treated if you went to the doctor or hospital, especially if you were in a severe accident. Often, severe injuries like broken bones or head trauma overshadow less severe injuries like spinal misalignments or whiplash. When this happens, these injuries often persist and worsen. 

Though these injuries are not life-threatening, they can drastically decrease your quality of life over time. Spinal problems like a herniated disk or bulging disk will not heal by themselves and you may feel pain or discomfort months afterward. Since your spinal column impacts almost every movement and activity you do, these issues can be especially painful. The best auto accident doctor to see in this case is your chiropractor. Your chiropractor can perform readjustments like spinal decompression using a specialized spinal decompression table to relieve pressure from the disks and return them to normal over time. 

Even minor auto accidents can be traumatic, and you may not be aware of the extent of your injury until later. If you’re feeling muscle pain or soreness, don’t wait for it to get worse. The sooner that you get treatment from an auto accident doctor, the sooner your body will heal and the faster you’ll regain strength and flexibility. 

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