Being involved in a car accident can take its toll on the body. There are a variety of injuries that result in long-term effects such as back pain, shoulder restriction, and much more. Even famous people like George Clooney have to take time to recover from the effects of a vehicle collision because let’s face it the human body was not designed to absorb a lot of damage, let alone from an impact between two 3-tonne cars.
Whether the accident you’ve experienced is low impact or more severe, the impact will always have an effect, whether it’s something as simple as bruising and soreness that might appear a few weeks later, or as bad as an immediate concussion and bone fracture. It’s important to understand that some injuries are minor, and some are major. Regardless of how bad the injury is, physiotherapy and chiropractor care can help provide some relief from the pain, and speed up the healing process even if you are waiting for surgery. Let’s not forget: EVERYONE IS COVERED for some Physiotherapy and Chiropractic care by the insurance company after any car accident!
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So, what are some of the long-term effects of a car accident on the body? And how can they be treated?
First, let’s talk about what a car crash does:
All car crashes are unique, and no single accident will affect a person in the same way. When looking at the severity of an accident, there are many things to be considered. The type of car crash, such as a rollover, will result in different injuries than a T-bone. Another factor is the speed that which the vehicle was moving. Additional considerations include whether the driver and passengers were wearing a seatbelt, or like in the case of Mr. Clooney, the type of vehicle being driven can give a strong indicator of how strong the injuries in the crash might be.
One of the largest groups of crashes involves one vehicle hitting another vehicle. Head injuries with associated neck and shoulder problems and mild or severe back injuries are two of the largest injury classifications. During a crash, belted drivers and passengers may experience shoulder pain from the tightening of the belt, or an impact with an inflating airbag, which accounts for why head and neck injuries are some of the leading injuries in a car crash. However, this is still better than being ejected from the vehicle or hitting the steering wheel and/or instrument panel when not wearing the seat belt.
The sudden stopping, jarring, and jerking motion of a car crash will also cause a whiplash effect, which further injures the neck, and shoulder, and can likely affect the spine. This type of injury is often experienced during a rear-end crash but can also occur in other types of vehicle crashes. What whiplash does is cause injury to the soft tissues and bone in the neck such as the:
• Neck muscles
• Shoulder muscles
• Nerves in the neck
Feeling the strain: how to recognize negative effects from an accident
Men and Women involved in a minor or medium car accident often report neck stiffness, pain in the neck ligaments, headaches, dizziness with various shoulder and back pains. These can be immediate, or even start to appear days or a week or two after the accident. Some of the less often experienced effects can also include memory loss, sleep problems, being easily agitated, losing patience, sensitivity to sound and light, and even fatigue coupled with a decreased ability to concentrate.
It can only get better: treatment options after a car crash
Patients who’ve experienced a minor or medium car crash injury and are seeking alternatives to medication or surgery will be pleased to know there are several treatment options available to ease their discomfort and pain. Ottawa Chiropractic care is one of the leading treatments available for the treatment of minor car crash-related injuries. Chiropractic care has come a long way from its early years and involves the gentle adjustment of neck, shoulder and back issues that have been strained to help ease pain and provide relief from an injury.
Chiropractors are able to quickly discover problem areas and then discuss a treatment plan based on their findings. These types of treatments focus on providing relief for:
- Pinched or trapped nerves
- Numbness in the arms or legs
- Dislocated disc
However, chiropractic care isn’t the only treatment available to ease the pain of a car accident injury. If you’re seeking one of the latest treatments available for reducing the pain of an injury, you should look into physiotherapy.
Our Physiotherapists are also specialized in Neurokinetic therapy, which is a holistic natural therapeutic practice used to treat injuries and chronic pain. This type of therapeutic treatment involves a process of using soft tissue release combined with the knowledge of biomechanics and neuromuscular activation (brain programing of your muscle) to ease the discomfort experienced after a car accident injury. With NKT, patient symptoms are eased using gentle touch and adjustments to trigger the body’s self-healing response. The process can be of benefit to both young and old to help reduce muscle tension, retrain muscle movements after a trauma such as a crash, and get back pain relief.
Another therapeutic treatment to ease body discomfort from a car crash is acupuncture. Originally started in China, it has been studied and modified here in North America and Europe to combine it with the latest in medical knowledge, resulting in the modern version of acupuncture: medical acupuncture. Medical acupuncture uses the new knowledge of anatomy and physiology to identify points in the body that will treat pain and discomfort by releasing endorphins (the happy, relaxation hormones).
Acupuncture can ease pain after an accident by:
- Reducing inflammation within the body
- Improving blood flow
- Reducing muscle tension
- Improve range of motion
- Decreasing stress
Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s healing response which allows blood flow to restore body tissues at a faster rate than through bedrest rest or conventional methods alone. The process of acupuncture doesn’t require the body tissues to be manipulated in any way during treatment. Acupuncture is at its heart a holistic medical treatment for the body, mind, and spirit making it a positive low-impact way to treat the additional mental effects that can occur after an accident.
Coping with the after-effects of a car accident can be challenging, but knowledge is power. Understanding the after-effects of injuries after the accident will speed up the process of moving into a treatment plan to reduce any chronic pain experienced. Chiropractors and Physiotherapists in Ottawa are waiting to help you being the journey towards recovery after an accident. If you need help to set you on the road to recovery, seek one out today.