At Damron Chiropractic & Wellness (DCW) we emphasize education. Every day we make it a priority to arm our patients with relevant information to help them live a safer and more healthy life. A recent article in Dynamic Chiropractic (August 2016) caught our attention and we felt it was important to share. The article, titled “A Spinal Cord Injury That Can Be Hard to Spot,” covered pediatric injuries to the spine as a result of car accidents. However, the injuries sustained by a child may not require X-rays if examined at the emergency room. If there is not an X-ray taken, how and when will an injury reveal itself? What can be done to ensure your child is okay after a car accident, even a minor one?
No one would argue that a major car accident would be indicative of X-rays on all parties involved, especially if there is trauma. But there are countless other car accidents that would not be classified as major. In fact, these car accidents can be so minor that there is little if any damage done to either vehicle. Regardless of the scale of the accident, the people inside the cars absorb the impact. Where else could this energy go?
A study was conducted in 1992 called the National Emergency X-Radiation Utilization Study, or NEXUS. This study established protocols to direct emergency rooms how to treat patients following a car accident. If certain symptoms were not present then the patient may not be considered for X-rays before being discharged. The symptoms the ER physicians are looking for include:
- tenderness in the neck or cervical spine
- lack of alertness, confusion
- problems with vision, hearing, or speaking
- pain or obvious injury (i.e. broken bone)
But what if the child that is involved in the car accident is young, say under the age of 8? Would it be safe to assume that the younger the child is the more difficult it would be to get reliable information? If it is a minor accident and a very young child, perhaps a visit to the emergency room is declined. The lack of severity of the accident does not necessarily mean there has been no injury.
Symptoms may not present themselves until four days after the accident. In the case of the child, they may have a difficult time explaining how they feel. Fortunately, a visit to a chiropractor can ease not only a parents worry but ensure the child has been properly treated after the accident. Many chiropractors can see a new patient the same day and provide treatment as well. Just because an injury is not visible to the naked eye does not mean it does not exist.