Back and Neck Pain from a Car Accident

Back and Neck Pain from a Car Accident
Back and Neck Pain from a Car Accident
July 14, 2016

Back and neck injuries can be a difficult problem to solve resulting from a car accident. There are a number of suggestions for treatment, and sometimes legal assistance will be needed. Injuries such as these are often not apparent immediately at the accident scene. Due to adrenaline and excitement at the accident scene, these problems can surface hours to days later. Generally, people who receive injuries of this type will recover over several months. Here are a number of steps to address these problems.

At first, rest is recommended

Immediately after the injury, rest is recommended. This is particularly true in the first twenty-four hours after the injury. However, after the first day, prolonged rest can do more harm than good. Too much rest can delay recovery.

Read also: Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida

Apply heat and cold

Apply a pack of heat or cold to the affected area. This should be applied for up to fifteen minutes for up to six times per day.  A cold pack can be made from using a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a light cloth so that the bag does not directly contact the skin.  For a hot pack, try a hot water bottle.

Try some over the counter pain relievers

Try using over the counter pain relief products containing ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Follow the directions on these products for the proper frequency and dosage. These may help reduce the pain from these injuries.

Perform light neck exercises

After talking to your medical care specialist for advice, you should try some basic neck muscle strengthening exercises. These exercises may include the following kinds of motions: rotating your neck in both directions, move and tilting your head side to side, bend your neck toward your chest, and rolling your shoulders. These exercises could be done to strengthen your muscles pre-injury as a preventative measure.

Read also: Whiplash Injury Resulting from an Accident

Wide foam collar limited use is effective

A wide foam collar was once the staple of neck injury treatment. However, more recent research shows that a foam collar can lead to delayed full recovery. The collar means your muscles do not get used as much and, therefore, they do not get exercised, healed, and strengthened. Current medical practice advises people only to use a collar, if needed, during the first week of recovery. Further, people should limit their use of the collar to three hours per day. The one exception to this is wearing a collar while sleeping if it helps you sleep.

Massage can be helpful

Regular massage during recovery can be helpful. The massage should focus on kneading the muscles of the neck and upper back. Be sure to advise the massage practitioner of your health and injuries before your massage begins.  Inappropriately done, massage could lead to more pain and further injury.

Acupuncture punctures pain

Many have had good results from acupuncture. In acupuncture, thin needles are inserted into the skin to lead to less pain and promote healing. Often the acupuncture professional will have knowledge of other areas of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and might recommend complementary treatments of herbs.

Read also: Eight Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Chiropractic treatment may help

Chiropractic services are manipulation of joints and muscles. Be sure to advise the chiropractor of your injuries and health before beginning treatment. Evidence suggests that the maximum benefit from chiropractic treatment is achieved when it is paired with light exercises and physical therapy.

Prescription drugs can help control pain

People with severe pain may benefit from the short term use of pain relievers or muscle relaxants. These may be administered as a pill or possibly an injection.  These might be used to help you sleep better so that your sleep is restful and healing.  Another purpose is to allow you to complete your exercises or physical therapy without undue pain.

Read also: Things to Remember after an Accident

Article highlights

  • Back and neck injuries and pain can come from car accidents.
  • Rest is recommended in the first twenty-four hours.
  • Apply a pack of hot or cold up to six times per day.
  • Over the counter pain relievers may help.
  • After consulting your doctor, try a program of basic neck muscle strengthening exercises.
  • A foam collar should only be used for a limited number of hours per day during the first week of recovery.
  • Consider neck and upper back massage.
  • Consider acupuncture and TCM to help speed recovery and reduce pain.
  • Manipulation of joints and muscles by a chiropractor may help.
  • Prescription pain relief may be necessary to allow restful sleep or performing of needed physical therapy.

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