Every year in America, nearly 1.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), most of which are caused by vehicle accidents. A quarter-million of those victims spend time in the hospital, and approximately 50,000 die.
Types of TBIs
A traumatic brain injury is a closed head injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain due to swelling, bruising, or tearing of brain tissue. TBIs are categorized as follows, from most to least severe:
- Penetrating. Loose objects with pointed or sharp edges that fly around inside a vehicle during a crash can break the skin, penetrate the skull, and damage any part of the brain they pierce. A penetrating TBI can cause debilitation or death.
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI). DAI can occur even when there is no actual blow to the head. Severe whiplash in a car wreck can snap the head back and forth, tearing nerves and other tissue in the brain stem, which extends into the neck and upper spine. The results might be major brain damage, coma, or even death.
- Contusion. This is bleeding of the brain, generally caused by the victim’s head hitting the dashboard, windshield, or steering wheel.
Concussion Risks Are Often Overlooked
A concussion is the most common and least serious TBI. Concussions do not bleed as contusions do, but they can range from minor to severe in their degrees of neuroinflammation and swelling of the brain. They result from blows to the head inside the car or shaking of the brain inside the skull from whiplash and other violent movements.
While minor TBIs are frequently overlooked or ignored, research shows that untreated concussions (especially if you suffer more than one) can drastically increase your risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life. Concussion symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Erratic behavior
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Reduced motor skills
- Slurred speech
These symptoms do not always surface immediately after an accident and do not always show up on CT scans. If you’ve suffered a blow to the head or shaking of the skull in a car crash, you should see a doctor right away even if you don’t feel seriously injured. Delaying examination and treatment can aggravate your TBI and lengthen your healing time.
Seeing a doctor immediately after your accident also gives you documentation of the injuries you’ve suffered in the wreck, which will be important to the insurance claim you’ll file to receive compensation for your medical bills. Even if you have no health insurance, the personal injury protection (PIP) on your Minnesota auto insurance policy will cover your treatment expenses up to your coverage limits.
Consulting a Car Accident Chiropractor
Most people don’t realize how valuable chiropractic treatment can be to a TBI victim. Recent studies show that concussions are characterized by a misalignment of the cervical spine that can pinch and damage nerves—causing severe pain and affecting your ability to stand, sit, walk, and bend over. After an examination to assess your balance, reflexes, coordination, and strength, your car accident doctor can:
- Test your cognitive ability, emotional responses, and concentration
- Order an MRI or CT scan to look for bleeding or bruising of the brain
- Check your neck and spine for the misalignment of discs and vertebrae
If your brain is concussed, there is damage to its neurons and neurotransmitters, which causes chemical imbalance and misfiring of nerves. When this happens, the cells in your brain release an increased level of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in what is called a metabolic cascade. This is your body’s healing response to damages and ionic imbalances caused by your TBI.
Once you’ve been examined and your TBI assessed, you won’t be treated with chemicals or synthetic medication just to mask your pain. Instead, your car accident chiropractor will utilize a series of safe and natural treatment techniques that work in conjunction with your body’s natural tendency to heal itself over time:
- Manipulation of the neck and spine
- Electrical stimulation of nerves
- Resistance-based stretching
Have You Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in a Twin Cities Car Accident?
Our free referral service can find the best car accident chiropractor to treat your TBI and document your injuries. Contact us online or call 763-251-PAIN for a free consultation with the Twin Cities’ top resource for victims of car crash TBIs.