Unless you have the good fortune to work and live in the same city that just so happens to have a reliable public transit system, odds are that you climb behind the wheel of your car almost every single day. While everybody thinks of themselves as the best driver on the road, there’s always the chance that through your doing or another’s, you find yourself in an accident.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than 5.5 million car crashes in the country in 2009, and over 30,000 of these resulted in nonfatal injuries. If you’ve ever been rear-ended or sideswiped by a reckless driver, you’re familiar with the aches and pains that usually come the next day. Instead of suffering in silence or waiting for hours in the emergency room, though, CareWell’s urgent care centers can help you manage the pain of minor to moderate injuries caused by car crashes.

It’s every driver’s worst nightmare: You’re sitting at a red light in your brand new car when all of a sudden you feel a strong jolt from behind, you hear the sound of crunching metal and a few seconds later, you realize you and your expensive vehicle have just been rear-ended.

These kinds of accidents are particularly dangerous because of the type of forces they put on drivers’ necks. When the impact first occurs, your seat-belted torso moves along with the rest of the vehicle. Your neck, however, does not accelerate at the same speed at first, and when the motion catches up, your head is thrown back and forward violently enough to cause an injury clinicians call “whiplash.”

Not only does this strain and pull at the muscles in your neck, but there could be structural damage as well. Unless you have other injuries, ERs are likely to triage you to a less-severe patient group, which could leave you in the waiting room for hours on end despite your acute pain.

On the other hand, after 30 minutes at a CareWell urgent care center, you could walk out the door with a treatment plan, supportive equipment and notes for pain medication and employer notification.

How long can you ignore nagging pains from a car crash?How long can you ignore nagging pains from a car crash?

Back injuries
One of the trickiest things about back injuries is that, after you’ve been involved in a car accident, there’s enough adrenaline running through your body that you can’t actually feel all the places you’re injured at once. Major pain is unavoidable, but if you were T-boned at an intersection, you might not feel the tweak in your back until you wake up the next morning stiff as a board and unable to get to work.

That’s why, even if you feel completely fine after a crash, you should still seek medical attention if you suspect there could be something wrong. Also, if you plan on filing an insurance claim, many companies require verification of your injuries and their effect on your life from a doctor.

Don’t waste time burdening ER staff with these non-life-threatening matters and seek out your nearest CareWell urgent care center after car accidents.