Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries in the United States. Those involved in a car accident can experience a variety of physical injuries in the aftermath. One of the most common discomforts people experience following an accident is back pain. Knowing how to best treat back pain is critical in expediting the road to recovery. Anyone experiencing any sort of back pain or discomfort after an accident should visit a chiropractor to determine the best ways to heal the pain.
Visit a Chiropractor
Depending on the severity of a car crash, those involved can experience back pain for anywhere from a few days to years afterward. A chiropractor can help determine the exact injury to the back and how to best relieve the pain.
Back pain is often caused from a spinal cord injury after an accident. When someone who has suffered a spinal cord injury, they may feel a tingling or burning sensation in their back, a loss of muscle function and involuntary muscle movement. Herniated discs are also a common injury causing back pain after an accident. Some signs of a herniated disc include back spasms and difficulty breathing.
Chiropractors are trained in alleviating back pain and specialize in pain caused by spinal cord injuries. A chiropractor can help by using spinal manipulation, massaging and repositioning areas of the head, shoulders, neck and back to help reduce the pain.
Because chiropractors are so specialized in reducing all sorts of joint pain, they’ve grown in popularity in these types of cases. It’s estimated that more than 25 million people visit a chiropractor annually in the United States and there is probably one in your area.
For less serious back pain, you should consider over-the-counter relievers that can be purchased at most grocery stores. Tylenol, Advil, Motrin and Aleve are all brand-name relievers that are commonly recommended. Other non-ingestible relievers like Icy Hot can also be effective if applied to the area of pain. Even simpler relief can be found in using a hot pad or ice bag to soothe pain or reduce swelling to the back.
Sleeping is often incredibly uncomfortable in the aftermath of a car accident. An injury to the spine can create extreme discomfort when you lie down to sleep. To remedy the pain, many recommend specific sleeping positions. For example, sleeping on your side in a fetal position, with your knees bent takes pressure off of your back. Pillows can also assist in getting a more comfortable sleep. A pillow under your neck will help keep your spine aligned and one between your legs can keep your legs from twisting and forcing you onto your back while you sleep.
For those more comfortable sleeping on their back or stomach, there are tricks to assist too. If you sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees it will help to keep your spine in its natural position. A similar trick can work if you prefer to sleep on your stomach. If sleeping on your stomach, put a pillow under your abdomen and midsection to take pressure off of your back. Sleeping on your stomach can actually be more helpful in cases of a herniated disc because it takes away stress from the injured area of the back.
While visiting a chiropractor, over-the-counter medicine and more comfortable sleeping positions can all remedy back pain, there are also a few little things that anyone with back pain should think about to help reduce it.
Lessen your load: If you typically carry a backpack or purse, consider lightening it a bit, and if you’re having to lift heavy items, make sure you’re always bending at your knees and lifting with your legs, not your back.
Two straps at all times: Wear your backpack on both shoulders instead of using just a single strap. It will help evenly distribute the weight and take more pressure off of only one shoulder.
Stretch: Even just five minutes of stretching in the morning or before going to sleep can help give you some relief from back pain.
Getting Back in the Game
Car accidents can cause severe physical pain and it’s important to know what to do following an accident. In cases of back pain, visiting a chiropractor is a smart first step in figuring out the best response to the pain. Over-the-counter remedies and a smart sleeping position can also help reduce the pain.
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