Personal/Auto Injury

What you should know if you have been involved in an auto accident

Some auto accident injuries are hidden and are not detected for months or even years.
Even if you are just sore, you should get checked out immediately because you may experience pain, numbness, headaches, muscle stiffness, fatigue, and other problems including arthritis many months down the road.

– Most people who suffer from an auto accident are primarily concerned about their automobile, and very often the last thing on their minds is their own health –


A common complaint of auto accident victims is that they don’t feel like their normal selves. You may also be experiencing obvious pains and symptoms like:

  • muscle stiffness or spasm
  • neck pain
  • headaches
  • numbness and tingling
  • back pain
  • difficulty sleeping
  • irritability
  • memory loss
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • you also may be injured and feel nothing at all

Auto accidents can also cause post-traumatic osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis can ruin your posture (giving you a slumped or hump back appearance).  Osteoarthritis can cause the discs in your spine to degenerate and create scar tissue formation leading to chronic stiffness and the inability to move properly.

If you have been in an auto accident, you need a doctor who is trained in the biomechanics of the human body; someone who treats these injuries every day. X-rays can be taken to find out if there has been any structural damage.

At River Falls Spine Chiropractic & Wellness, we evaluate auto accident victims and make any appropriate referrals to other health care providers if needed.

Our primary responsibility is giving you the care you need, and submitting the required medical reports to the insurance company so your rights are protected. If we can’t help you, we will refer you to a doctor or facility that can.


If you have been in an auto accident recently, consider the following:

  • Q: Should I see an attorney before I see my chiropractor?
    A: It is important to get checked out by the doctor first. That way the findings from your exam will provide you with the information you need in order to decide if an attorney is necessary. If necessary, we can refer you to a reputable and qualified attorney.
  • Q: What if my car sustained only minor damage?
    A: Documented studies done by Charles Carroll, M.D., Paul McAtee, M.D. and Lee Riley, M.D. revealed that: “The amount of damage to the automobile bears little relation to the force applied to the cervical spine (neck) of the occupants.” In other words, the damage to the passengers is not necessarily directly related to the damage to the vehicle.
  • Q: If I need treatment for this injury, do I have to pay for it myself?
    A: No, only in very rare circumstances does the patient pay for his care as he goes. Our office provides care “on credit” when patients are represented by an attorney. Some car insurance policies have what is called “Med Pay.” This means that medical bills will be paid at 100% up to a certain limit. Our office can assist you in obtaining this information.
  • Q: The insurance company has been calling me and wants to settle. What should I do?
    A: Do not sign or settle until you have had us evaluate your injury for you. If you settle before your injury is fully resolved, you will be completely on your own and will have to pay out of pocket for your care.
  • Q: I’ve been to the hospital and my medical doctor; do I really need to see a Chiropractor?
    A: You need a doctor who focuses in the treatment and diagnosis of auto accident injuries. Usually hospitals will check vital signs, make sure there are no life-threatening conditions and release the patient with pain relief medication. They normally do not treat the underlying improper musculoskeletal biomechanics the way a chiropractor would. Dr. Gartzke has the experience and education to evaluate and treat your underlying medical issues.

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