hy is this area of study so important? Simply put, individuals involved in MVCs stand a very high potential of joint and soft tissue (muscle and ligament) damage. Specialized training in how to properly diagnose and treat these injuries is essential. If not properly treated, the damage will likely lead to degenerative changes in the future. We know that damage to a car has NO link to damage to the passenger of the car. This means that relatively innocuous looking crashes can lead to a lot of passenger damage. The studies demonstrate this clearly. Although insurance companies like to link the two, again, there are no studies to validate any such claim. In fact, many times injuries are worse when there is little to no damage to a car because the passenger(s) absorb all the energy. As car manufacturers work to make their cars ‘stiffer’ so as to absorb less damage, that energy ends up being transferred into the passengers! This is bad!
Many times a passenger in a vehicle may not feel pain immediately. Although most people involved in a MVC do experience immediate pain due to joint damage and muscle/fascia and ligament tearing, this is not always the case. After many crashes, joints in your body no longer function properly and the tissues adapt to poor mechanics. They begin to leak toxins that irritates nerves. When this occurs, you experience pain, and many times this process takes some time. Although most people associate MVCs with whiplash, or acceleration/deceleration disorder, MVCs can also lead to shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, jaw, mid-back, low back, hip, groin, knee, ankle, and foot problems. This is because, for example, if your foot is applied to the brake when you are hit; the pressure from the impact is directed up your foot, ankle, knee, and hip and into your spine. In addition, if you are gripping the steering wheel as you are hit, think of the energy your hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder have to absorb!
As you can see, passengers involved in MVCs can sustain serious injury to many different parts of the body. Please be certain that following a MVC of any severity, you get assessed by a chiropractor with special training who can properly identify your injuries and treat them appropriately. Failure to do so can lead to significant injuries down the road!