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Even a minor automobile accident can have major ill effects on your health. It may be weeks, months, and even years before the problem shows itself.

Impact and your spine.
Consider for a moment that the average head weighs between 7 and 15 pounds, and sits on the most flexible and fragile part of the spine: the neck. Although the neck is relatively short, it contains 32 joints and is easily stretched and injured if it's thrown in any direction.

If these joints are stretched or strained beyond their normal limits, they can lose their ability to return to their original length, much like a rubber band that has been stretched too far.

When one automobile is struck by another, thousands of pounds of force are exerted upon the neck and spine of the passengers. The head, which is very heavy compared to the neck, is thrust toward the hitting vehicle. The muscles then stretch and react with a violent spasm in the opposite direction. The painful result is injury to the muscles, ligaments, nerves and, on occasion, broken bones.

An accident victim isn't necessarily all right, even if he or she doesn't have any broken bones. Painless chiropractic treatment is necessary to realign the structure of the spine and restore integrity to the ligaments, muscles and joints.

The minor "fender bender" is never a minor accident to the neck. This type of accident can cause more damage than one at 30 mph. The reason for the increased damage; time to brace for the impact. You try and resist an irresistible force. As you lock your muscles, the force is powerful enough to tear the muscle, then the reflex motion further tears soft tissue, i.e. muscles, ligaments, tendons.

When a bone is broken, it heals with more bone and becomes even stronger than before. Soft tissue, however, heals as scar tissue. Left alone, this scar tissue becomes inflexible, resulting in a loss of motion. With chiropractic care, the scar tissue forms a more flexible structure, greatly reducing the amount of lost motion.

Regardless of whether you have any symptoms after an accident, you should still have an inexpensive chiropractic check-up to determine the potential for unforeseen problems.

More than half of the neck injuries from automobile accidents and falls cause victims to suffer recurring headaches and other unnecessary problems and pain. Additionally, falls, sprains, or occupational accidents very often go unnoticed, only to return in the form of chronic pain.

Remember, even though pain is one of nature's ways of telling you there is something wrong, it's possible to have a problem that hasn't reached the "pain" stage. Often the early symptoms of these injuries subside, only to return weeks, months and even years later.

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