kinni valley chiro, river falls wisconsin chiropractor

Auto Injuries

At Kinni Valley Chiropractic we focus on auto injury rehabilitation. Our goal is to offer you the most effective treatment possible to ensure the best opportunity for your body to heal quickly and correctly.

Everyone involved in a motor vehicle accident in Wisconsin are covered, to some extent, for injuries by insurance or a personal injury agreement.

Common Questions

What happens in a Motor Vehicle Collision?

When a vehicle is struck, the force from the striking vehicle is transmitted into the struck vehicle. This force either damages the struck vehicle, makes the vehicle move, or both.

If the struck vehicle moves, the person inside the vehicle moves as well. That is, what is connected to the vehicle moves, and what is not connected to the vehicle doesn’t (at least for a brief period of time). What is usually connected to the vehicle is the torso of the victim contacting the seat. What is usually not connected to the vehicle is the neck and head of the person. The seat moves forward until you
literally run out of neck, at which time the head is snapped back like the snap of a whip, thus the name whiplash.

As the struck vehicle is moved forward, the seat of that vehicle slams into the upper torso of the victim.  The movement of the seat and the weight of the victim cause the moving seat to bend. If the seat does not break, it will recoil at some point in time, sending the victim forward at an accelerated rate of two times the rate of the striking vehicle.

If the vehicle’s headrest is farther than one inch from the back of the victim’s head and the victim is unaware of the impending collision, which is likely, the lower part of the victim’s neck is moved beyond its normal range of motion. This abnormal movement results in tearing and stretching of muscles and ligaments in the area.

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What happened when my car was struck from behind?

When your car was struck from behind, the force of the collision pushed your car forward. What was connected to your car, namely your legs and upper torso, went forward with your car. What wasn’t directly connected to the car (your head) stayed still. Finally, your neck, that portion of your body that connected your moving torso with your non-moving head, came into play. When this happened, your head was catapulted forward, resulting in stretching and tearing of soft tissue in your neck.

When your vehicle came to a sudden stop, your moving body was caught by your seatbelt while your neck and head kept moving forward. Again, when your head ran out of neck, your neck stopped the forward progress of your head, stretching and tearing soft tissue in your neck.

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What happened when my vehicle was struck from the side?

When your car was struck from the side, it was literally moved out from underneath you. That part of you that was attached to the car by restraints moved with the car. This results in stretching and tearing the soft tissue in your neck, that portion of your body that connected your moving torso with your non- moving head.

If your head was facing straight ahead at the time of impact, the movement of your head toward your shoulder could pinch nerves on that side of your neck while soft tissue on the other side of your neck would be stretched and torn. This process would be reversed when your head rebounded to the other side.

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What happened when my vehicle was struck head-on?

When your car came to a sudden stop, you kept going forward while your seatbelt stopped most of your body. If the airbag was not deployed, your neck is what stopped your head’s forward motion. When this happened, the soft tissues in your neck were injured.

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How is soft tissue injured?

If tissue is moved beyond its limits, limits imposed by the strength of the connecting forces of that tissue, tearing will result. If movement doesn’t go beyond molecular limitations, tissue cannot tear.

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Does the striking vehicle have to be traveling very fast to injure me?

It has been shown that when a 3,500 pound car traveling at ten miles per hour strikes the rear of another car it may transmit a force of 25 tons. The person’s body in the struck vehicle continues to move forward while, since it is hinged at the neck, it snaps backward. The average head weighs about eight pounds and the cervical (neck) vertebrae are very delicate; this makes the force applied to the head even greater than believed since the neck acts as a fulcrum and leverage is applied near the top of the head. Therefore, the head snaps back with the equivalent of several tons of force. The muscle control of the neck is caught off guard, leaving little support at the time of impact. Often when there is little or no damage to the vehicle, much of the force of the collision is absorbed by the body, causing injury.

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What causes pain?

Pain receptors fire for three reasons. Two of those are chemicals and swelling—both products of soft
tissue stretching and tearing.

When soft tissue is damaged, stretched and/or torn, chemicals are released in the area of injury.
When the quantity of these chemicals becomes sufficient to fire local pain receptors, pain impulses are
transmitted through your spinal cord to your brain and back to the injured area causing muscle tightness
or spasm.

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What causes the swelling and muscle spasm?

These chemicals cause the body to react in such a way as to create signs of swelling. Thus, swelling
found during your exam is indicative of soft tissue damage. There are pressure-sensitive pain receptors
in soft tissue as well as chemical-sensitive pain receptors. Pain is felt when pressure produced by
swelling fires pressure-sensitive pain receptors. Inflammatory chemicals can cause injury to local cells
resulting in local muscle spasms.

These muscle spasms reduce blood flow in the area, resulting in a reduction of nutrients and waste removal for local cells. The circulatory system provides cells with a source of food and a way to rid the area of toxins. Either a reduction of food or waste removal will result in cell death. The death of cells will produce chemicals that not only damage more cells, but cause more localized muscle spasms.

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Why didn’t I realize all my pain immediately after my accident?

Remember, to feel pain the pain center in the brain has to be stimulated. For this to happen, the pain messages have to travel to the spinal cord and to the brain. Also, the products of injury have to be of sufficient quantity to fire pain and pressure receptors in the area of damage. There are not as many pain receptors in deep tissue as there are in skin, joints, periosteum (the fibrous membrane covering the surface of bones and serving as an attachment for muscles and tendons) and arterial walls. Therefore, it takes longer for the inflammatory chemicals and swelling to accumulate and produce pain.

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Doesn’t the lack of pain mean I’m not injured?

Not necessarily. You feel pain when your brain’s pain center is stimulated. If a pain impulse is blocked, either because of medication or a large amount of touch impulses, the pain center in the brain will not be stimulated. In other words, just because you don’t feel pain doesn’t mean that chemicals or swelling from injured tissue isn’t causing pain receptors to fire.

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What provides the best chance for a stronger, less painful, more functional product of soft tissue damage?

Chiropractic care! The chiropractic adjustment reduces or eliminates localized muscle spasms for a lengthy period of time. This elimination of muscle spasm consequently allows more movement of your involved joints. Movement of your joints produces more touch and movement impulses. This decreases the possibility of your nervous system becoming over-sensitive.

Joint movement also rids the injured area of chemicals and swelling by flushing these harmful products into your lymphatic system, which carries them away.

Finally, joint movement will produce a stronger and more functional scar.

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