After being involved in a car accident, you may feel sore or experience some pain. The majority of the time, you are experiencing a musculoskeletal injury. This is an injury to the bone, joint, ligaments, muscle, nerves or tendons typically caused by a jerking motion. Fortunately, most of these injuries require minimal care or treatment to heal. Typically rest and time is all it takes to feel better. But until that happens, you may be uncomfortable or in pain. Here are a few ways that you can relieve the pain of a musculoskeletal injury after a car accident.
Ice the Affected Area
If you are in pain after a car accident, one of the best ways to relieve the pain is by icing the area. Ice can help limit the amount of blood and serum that is leaked from the injured areas into adjacent tissues. This helps to localize the pain to the affected area, rather than spreading up and down your hurt arm or back. Ice also helps to prevent swelling, which can also prevent further pain. Lastly, ice decreases nerve sensation, which can relieve the pain you are feeling. It is important to note that some people turn to heat to relieve the pain they are experiencing. This is not recommended after a car accident. Heat can cause your capillaries to expand, increasing your swelling and pain. This can also lead to inflammation, slowing the healing process. Ice the area as needed when you experience pain that you want to subside.
If you feel stiff or sore after a car accident, another way that you can treat the pain is by taking NSAIDs. This includes over-the-counter medications like aspirin or ibuprofen. Some people want to shy away from taking medications after an accident. However, this type of medication can help relieve your pain and reduce inflammation. A lot of the pain you experience with a musculoskeletal injury is caused by inflammation, so reducing this can greatly decrease your pain.
Get Treated By a Chiropractor
If ice and NSAIDs are not helping your pain, you may wish to seek out treatment from a chiropractor. A chiropractor can manipulate the body, reducing the amount of fluid that is built up in the joints. Releasing this fluid can help immediately decrease inflammation, swelling and stiffness, which can make you feel better. Depending on the level of pain you are experiencing, the location of your injuries and the severity of them, a chiropractor may recommend you have multiple adjustments a week or simply treat you one time. Chiropractic care has also been shown to help speed the recovery of musculoskeletal injuries after a car accident, helping you to recover faster. Make an appointment at a clinic like Smith Chiropractic to see the results for yourself.
The last way to treat musculoskeletal pain following a car crash is to receive acupuncture. It is not known exactly why or how acupuncture helps to relieve pain but studies have shown brain activity decreases by up to 70 percent when receiving this treatment. This may help to block activity in the brain that senses and feels pain, helping to bring some relief to you. Acupuncture also helps to decrease inflammation, which can make it easier for your body to heal. The idea of being stuck with needles can be intimidating when you are in pain, but most people report that acupuncture is a painless procedure, describing the needle entering the skin as a tiny pinch. If you are in pain, give acupuncture a try.
Most musculoskeletal injuries will heal on their own with time and rest. However, if you have attempted the above treatments and are still in pain, you will want to consult with a doctor. Your injuries may be more severe than you think or you may need medical treatment to recover.