Having Neck or Lower Back Pain after a car accident? Here are my 7 tips to help you recover naturally.
Car accidents are one of those unexpected, unfortunate events that have become a common occurrence in our modern day lives; dealing with neck and lower back pain are almost always a part of the process. Here are my seven helpful and easy tips that I’ve learned through my experience as a natural wellness Chiropractor/Massage Therapist/Diet Coach.
Tip number one: See a doctor.
Don’t presume you’re one of the “lucky ones.” Whenever you are involved in a car accident, know there is a high probability of pain, if not instant then in the near future. The normal onset of lower back pain or neck pain after car crash is 24 – 72 hours. Some have experienced emerging pain 2 weeks after an accident. A good rule of thumb is if you are involved in a car accident make an appointment with your doctor that week. You have 14 days to seek medical help before insurance no longer recognizes its responsibilities to help. Being prepared, being organized and having a good plan of attack can save you and your loved one’s time, money and unnecessary pain.
Tip number two: Use Ice on the pain.
Heat vs Ice. Know when to use what. In my experience as a Longwood chiropractor, I’ve heard stories of people, after a car accident seeking the relief and comfort of heat. BIG MISTAKE! For the first 24 hours after a car accident (or any traumatic injury for that matter) any form of heat to a problem area is a big NO NO. Your muscles are very inflamed, the body is trying to protect itself from any further injury.
For low back and neck pain after car crash, ice is the best answer for the first 24 hours. The body has an increased amount of blood in the affected area. Ice decreases early inflammation by pushing excess blood from the area and makes sure that blood doesn’t get full of metabolic waste. Swelling can lead to decreased range of motion and increased pain. If the area is hot, cool it down early on in the healing process.
Tip number three: Drink more water.
Water. I know this sounds like an obvious suggestion but staying hydrated in the midst of the healing process is vital. Often, while going to doctors’ appointments, getting your vehicle fixed and just trying to navigate this stressful time in your life, drinking water is overlooked. Don’t underestimate the importance of H2O. Water helps carry unwanted toxins out of the body making it easier for recovery. Water also helps joints stay well lubricated and your brain sharp.
Tip number four: Use Epsom salts for muscle pain remedy
Epsom salt. After the initial shock your body has undergone relaxing in an Epsom salt bath can be a much-needed oasis in the complications a car accident can bring. Not only can you destress from the seemingly endless running around, which decreases cortisol levels (a good thing) the Epsom salt encourages relaxation, a great remedy for difficulty sleeping. Put 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in a regular bathtub, fill with hot water that is still comfortable to the skin. Soak for up to 30 minutes (do NOT use Epsom salts if you have open sores/wounds-wait for them to scab over). Epsom salts are cheap and I highly recommend this tip.
Tip number Five: Eat foods that help the body heal.
Cutting out inflammatory foods. This is where a Longwood Chiropractor who is also a Diet Coach can be very beneficial. If you already unknowingly have a diet that is high in sugars or bad carbs, a car accident can be the perfect storm to make the situation even worse. Making the wrong food choices during this time can drastically affect your recovery time and the amount of pain you experience after an accident. Providing your body with optimal food choices can have long lasting effects even after recovering from the initial injury. Natural anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric or curcumin are great additions to your diet. I have seen many of my patients who struggle with weight loss, lose 10+ pounds while recovering from a car accident. Talk about turning a bad situation into healthy, long-lasting habits for the future.
Tip number six: A change in mindset.
Please know that if you have an injury, you need to give your body time to heal properly. Most people think that when pain disappears the problem disappears along with it and they can go back to their lives like nothing ever happened. Please believe me this is not always the case. Many times, in fact, an individual can injure themselves in the midst of the healing process by prematurely exerting themselves. The way they used to work out before the accident can cause re-injury. Don’t fall into this trap. Take things slow. It is much better than making meaningful progress with a specialist, than halfway through the journey having to start from the beginning because the patient wasn’t patient. Trust the process.
Tip number Seven: Sleep when you can. The body needs rest.
The most restorative time for your body is when you are fast asleep. During sleep the body can focus on repairing the injuries you sustained such as low back pain and neck pain after car crash. Try to stay away from harsh sleeping aids, many of which have negative side effects. Instead look for natural options such as teas made with passionflower, chamomile or valerian root.
If you’ve made it this far, I hope you found this blog post helpful. Like I stated earlier, car accidents happen and if you find yourself going through the processes, trust me, you will make it past this hurdle. If you or a loved one need any help in dealing with neck or lower back pain, please feel free to call us. We provide a natural wellness alternative without habit forming medication or invasive surgery. Feel free to look into alternative health such as Longwood Chiropractor, Dr. J. (Valerie) Johnson (Dr. J for short). Have a lovely rest of your day!
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