I feel all right. Do I still need to see a doctor?

If you have recently been in a car accident, it is important to seek medical care as early as

possible. The severity of injuries sustained from a car accident may not be immediately noticeable

either due to shock or to the particular nature of the injury. The damage done to the vehicle is also

not a good indicator of the severity of the passengers' injuries. ( The type of car that best protects

passengers is made to absorb the impact of the collision instead of transferring the force of impact

directly to the passenger.)

What should I be doing before my visit? For instance, should I stretch, or take medications?

The injuries sustained in a car accident can affect every system the body. One of the most

common injuries I treat following a car accident is whiplash. The symptoms can vary from mild

tingling and numbness in the fingers to severe nausea and headaches. The types of exercises and

treatments I prescribe are individual and based on a complete neurological examination of the

spine. I do not recommend taking pain medication until you have been evaluated. The medication

can often mask important signals the body is trying to send. Stretching, especially after taking

pain medications is not a good idea. In a car accident the joints in the neck and other areas of the

body shift significantly applying severe stress to the stabilizing muscles and ligaments which may

no longer properly support the spinal column. It is dangerous to attempt any stretching or

exercises until the stability of the spine has been properly evaluated.

Should I see my General Practitioner/Internist?

I recommend immediately seeking the care of your primary care physician to have your basic

health evaluated. Chiropractors are primary care physicians in Oregon and can be the first doctor

you consult for treatment, but it is often advantageous, given the complicated nature of injuries

sustained in a car accident, to coordinate care with another physician, preferably someone who has

prior knowledge of your health history which could be your G.P. Internist, or chiropractor.