When you buy eggs, do you open the carton to check if any are cracked? Can a football player have a concussion after a collision even if there is no damage to his helmet?
These are both examples of how something inside a container can still be harmed even if the container itself looks fine. This is also the case with auto accidents. Just because a car has sustained minimal or no damage, it doesn’t mean the people inside are OK.
Insurance companies will try and tell you otherwise. In fact, they have a whole category of these types of damage claims they refer to as MIST (Minor Impact Soft Tissue) and their policy on them is essentially “no crash, no cash.”
But chiropractors and crash experts know that it takes a lot less force to damage the body’s soft tissues than a car’s bumper which is expressly designed to protect the vehicle. When a car is hit and there is little damage to the vehicle itself, it usually means that the kinetic energy and force have been passed on to the occupant. On the other hand, when a car is severely damaged that is often a sign that the force was dissipated and absorbed into the vehicle. A 2001 study revealed that when there was slight damage to the car, damage to the bumper, or one-third or less of the car was damaged, the occupants had significantly more injuries than when the vehicle was totally destroyed.
And as we’ve discussed before, just because you may look and feel fine directly after a crash, it doesn’t always mean you are fine. Pain may be masked by all the adrenaline and endorphins created by the experience of the accident, and soft tissue injuries, which are not visible on an X-ray, can take days or even weeks to manifest.
Do you feel some soreness, stiffness or headaches after your accident? That’s normal, right? Actually, those symptoms could be the signs of a serious injury. Even low-speed impacts can damage your muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments as well as cause misalignment issues. “Near-miss” accidents can also cause trauma to the head and neck as a driver has to violently swerve or slam on the brakes to avoid the other driver.
So bottom line? After a car crash it’s always advisable to have Dr. Levi give you an examination to make sure an invisible injury doesn’t turn into a permanent problem.