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As the Rehabilitation Director of a pain management office, I’ve seen it all; I can honestly say that it isn’t really easy to shock me anymore. However, as we continue in our practice to find the very best methods of treating auto accident injuries, I’ve come across a piece of information about New Jersey automobile passengers that is truly shocking.

The Division of Highway Traffic Safety has recently reported new statistics on the seatbelt habits of backseat passengers. This report shows that only 27 percent of backseat auto occupants in New Jersey are wearing a seatbelt (this number is down from last year’s figure of 32 percent).

As a father, I’m even more dismayed to learn that there was an even sharper drop in seat belt usage in children and teenagers (only 37 percent; In 2009, 53 percent of kids and teens were wearing them). This is the fourteenth year in a row that these numbers have dropped. What’s going on here?

Just to be clear: seatbelts save lives. A mere one percent increase in seat belt usage in New Jersey can prevent eight deaths a year as well as 236 serious injuries. Because seatbelts are so important, the New Jersey Legislature passed a new law this year requiring all passengers to buckle up.

Statistics aside, all of the medical and healthcare practitioners at our Monmouth County pain management office can attest to the importance of driver and auto occupant safety. With our Auto Accident Injury Program, we work directly with patients injured in serious auto accidents, including both those who were wearing them and those who were not.

In an ironic twist, seatbelts can sometimes cause injury to drivers during an accident. However, these injuries are usually the result of seatbelts actually saving drivers from much worse accident repercussions. I would never say that I’m happy to see patients suffering from painful seatbelt injuries, but the alternative would often have been much worse.

For any auto accident injury, including those incurred by seatbelts (or exacerbated by the lack of seatbelt usage), our Monmouth County auto accident injury care includes a number of treatment options to help patients manage pain and get moving again.

Medical Care, for example, includes a full diagnosis as well as the creation of collaborative pain management rehabilitation programs. Our medical doctor may also incorporate steroid and/or anesthetic injections for patients with extreme pain and restricted mobility.

Physical Therapy for auto accident injuries in our Monmouth County office may include Therapeutic Exercise, PowerPlate Full Body Vibration technology, Spinal Decompression, Kinesio Taping, Hot and Cold Therapies, Low Level Laser Therapy, Ultrasound, Massage therapy, and Electrotherapy.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that not only relieves pain (without drugs) but also addresses the emotional ramifications of traumatic auto accidents.

Chiropractic Care at Monmouth Pain and Rehab for auto accident and seatbelt injuries ensures the total health of the spine. Because auto accidents can be traumatic for the spine, not only is pain a common result of an auto accident, but also a number of other nervous system disorders.

As a healthcare practitioner and as a father, I’m hoping that this blog may perhaps spark an examination into our culture’s seatbelt usage (or, rather, absence of usage). Auto accidents in Monmouth County will continue to happen, as they do, in way that can’t be predicted or prevented. But, we can take care to ensure that every passenger is as protected as possible.

To learn more about our Auto Accident Injury Program in Monmouth County, click here or contact our pain management facility in Red Bank, NJ.