CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — As spring approaches, tourists and visitors flood Southern Utah for the fantastic weather. Unfortunately, when traffic increases, so does the possibility of an auto collision.

Stock image | Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

The St. George Police Department has notified an uptick of cars running red lights.

“It’s very serious,” officer Neilson said. “We’ve had a ton of accidents of people running red lights, hitting other cars and doing serious damage to other people. That is mainly what we are concerned about.”

After you have been involved in a car accident, it is essential to remain calm. The St. George Police Department advises to do the following after an auto accident:

Stay at the scene and call the police department. 
If there are injuries or any emergency circumstances, call 911.
If the accident is minor and/or there are no injuries, call dispatch at 435-627-4300
If there aren’t life-threatening injuries, locals can go home instead of to the emergency room.

The following day, you may notice injuries you did not notice the day of the accident. This is common due to adrenaline helping with pain relief immediately after the accident. Concussions and severe whiplash sprains may present as just a mild headache, and other injuries may cause feelings of being stiff and sore. While it could be minor, it could also indicate more serious medical concerns that can become chronic without treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “Signs and symptoms generally show up soon after the injury. However, you may not know how serious the injury is at first and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days.”

The Vista Healthcare injury care team is composed of medical doctors, a chiropractor, physical therapists and massage therapists. Pain management specialist Dr. Bryt Christensen, M.D., neurologist Dr. Shawn Allen, M.D., chiropractor Dr. Russ Jepson, D.C. and physical therapist Dr. Amber Majeskie, D.P.T., want to educate Southern Utah on the importance of properly diagnosing injuries after accidents and especially concussions.

Having the right team of injury providers with experience with the entire injury process is essential. Vista’s Sports Spine and Injury Center specializes in helping people suffering from various auto and other accident-related injuries, such as injuries to the head, back, neck, arms or legs. 

Concussions are a particularly common problem after an accident. Concussions resulting from accidents occur when the head experiences a sudden, violent impact and can occur without the head contacting anything.

Concussions can happen in various ways during a collision, such as the following:

Direct impact: If the head strikes an object like the steering wheel, windshield, side window or headrest due to the force of the crash, it can result in a concussion.
Whiplash: Even without direct impact to the head, the sudden deceleration of the vehicle can cause the head to whip back and forth rapidly. This movement can cause the brain to collide with the inside of the skull, leading to a concussion.
Secondary impact: In some cases, a concussion can occur even if the head doesn’t directly hit anything. The force of the collision can cause the brain to move inside the skull, leading to injury.

Symptoms of a concussion from a car accident can vary widely and may not always be immediately apparent. Symptoms and problems Vista’s Sports Spine and Injury Center most commonly treats include the following:

Headache: This is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion. The headache can range from mild to severe and may worsen with physical or mental exertion.
Confusion: A person with a concussion may feel mentally foggy, disoriented or have difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
Nausea and vomiting: Some individuals may experience nausea or vomiting following a concussion.
Dizziness or balance problems: Concussions can disrupt the normal functioning of the vestibular system, leading to feelings of dizziness or problems with balance.
Sensitivity to light and noise: Bright lights or loud noises may worsen symptoms in individuals with concussions.
Blurred vision: Vision disturbances such as double vision or blurred vision can occur.
Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or fatigued, even with adequate rest, is common after a concussion.
Sleep disturbances: Concussions can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or excessive sleepiness during the day.
Mood changes: Some individuals may experience changes in mood or behavior, such as irritability, anxiety or depression.
Other symptoms: Additional symptoms can include numbness or tingling, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and changes in taste or smell.

Anyone involved in a car accident should seek medical attention, even if they don’t believe they’ve sustained severe injuries. 

Concussions can have long-term effects and are important to have correctly diagnosed and treated. Treatment for concussions typically involves rest, both physical and cognitive, along with monitoring of symptoms. In some cases, rehabilitation, therapy and certain procedures may be necessary to help the individual recover fully.

Promotional image courtesy of Vista Healthcare, St. George News

The experts at Vista’s Sports Spine and Injury Center craft customized programs for every patient, facilitating their recovery journey and helping them return to normal life.

Your recovery may include examinations, X-rays, MRIs, anti-inflammatories and medications, ultrasound-guided injections or fluoroscopic guided procedures, physical therapy, chiropractic care, spinal decompression, medical massage, post-rehabilitation treatments and more. With all of these options under one roof, you don’t need to go to multiple locations for treatment!

Vista is the first health care provider in Southern Utah to have the state-of-the-art NeuroCatch platform, a neurological monitoring device that can aid in the diagnosis and prognosis of concussions through objective evaluation of cognitive function. Used by world-class research centers like Massachusetts General Hospital and the Mayo Clinic, this device is also used by several professional sports teams in the NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR and collegiate sports to help providers diagnose and track concussion recovery.

Vista works directly with patients, their insurance and the attorneys involved to get you the very best care. They understand that every day you are in pain is likely a day you miss work – and maybe miss earning your income. That’s why Vista uses its physician-managed protocols to get you out of pain and back on your feet.

About Vista’s providers 

Dr. Russ Jepson boasts over 15 years of clinical chiropractic experience, specializing in chiropractic sports and pain management. He was born and raised in American Fork.

His expertise lies in the treatment of injuries resulting from auto accidents, encompassing issues such as whiplash, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, herniated discs and various soft tissue injuries. Jepson holds multiple certifications and was recognized by Best of Southern Utah voters three years in a row as best chiropractor.

Dr. Bryt Christensen, a Utah native, pursued his medical education at the University of Utah School of Medicine, where he earned international recognition for his research on spine-related matters. He also completed residency and fellowship training at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

During his final year of hospital training, Christensen’s exceptional dedication and commitment to patient care led his peers and hospital staff to elect him as chief resident. Christensen brings a distinct skill set that significantly contributes to diagnosing and treating various pain-related conditions. His unwavering dedication lies in empowering his patients to improve their overall function and enhance their quality of life.

Promotional image courtesy of Vista Healthcare, St. George News

Dr. Shawn Allen evaluates and treats general neurological conditions including epilepsy, stroke, migraine and other headache syndromes, dementia and movement disorders (including Parkinson’s disease). He has completed further training in neuromuscular medicine and additionally treats myasthenia gravis, neuropathy, muscle disease including adult and pediatric muscular dystrophies/myopathies and ALS. 

Allen performs electromyography and nerve conduction studies as part of evaluating conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuropathy, polyneuropathy, neck and lower back pain (i.e. radiculopathy) and muscle disease.

Dr. Amber Majeskie graduated with a doctorate in physical therapy degree from Franklin Pierce University in Phoenix, Arizona. During that time, she underwent additional training for treatments of musculoskeletal conditions as a graduate assistant. Prior to her graduate work, she grew up in a town of 1,800 people in North Dakota. She attended North Dakota State University and received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in psychology. 

After completing her undergraduate degree, Majeskie served in Albania as a community health educator in the Peace Corps. This experience solidified her passion for helping others overcome physical barriers so they can do the things they love. Upon her return from living overseas, she worked as a weight loss coach while applying to graduate school.

This coaching position focused on motivational interviewing and helping others uncover the “why” behind what drives them to make healthy changes in their lives. These roles have created an excellent foundation in understanding the physical and mental components required to improve one’s health.

After completing her graduate program, Majeskie has worked in outpatient clinics specializing in orthopedic, vestibular and sports injuries. She has received additional training in the pediatric population as well as blood flow restriction training. She completed her LSVT BIG certification to allow specialized treatment for patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s. She works closely with patients to align their individualized treatment plans with their goals to ensure they return to what they love. 

Vista is the leading concussion and auto injury provider in Southern Utah. If you or someone you love has recently experienced an auto-related injury, call 435-215-0257.

Same-day appointments are generally available so that patients can find relief when they need it most. Visit the Vista Healthcare website to learn more.

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Vista Healthcare | Address: 2891 E. Mall Drive, St. George | Telephone: 435-215-0257 | Website.

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