A car crash—even a "minor" one—can be a huge disruption in your life and can cause months of pain and disability. With proper treatment, however, you can be back to your normal activities much faster and reduce the chances of chronic problems.
One of the first things to remember after an auto injury is to stay active. When injured, the body tenses the muscles and creates inflammation around the injured area to "guard" the injury from further harm. Unfortunately, this protective mechanism can cause problems down the road. If left untreated, the "guarded" area will lose motion and flexibility. This can result in reduced function and premature degeneration of the discs in your neck and back.
The effects of early intervention are dramatic. A study1 conducted in Sweden compared patients who were treated within four days of their auto injury to those who waited two weeks. The authors found that patients who received prompt treatment that used gentle neck exercises early after the injury had much improved functioning three years after the collision.
There are many reasons why active, early care helps after whiplash:
- Staying mobile helps overcome your fear of motion or re-injury.
- Activity increases blood flow to the injury and improves healing.
- Movement prevents the formation of scar tissue at the injury site.
Chiropractic also serves the same function, by carefully targeting the injured segments of your spine and increasing mobility in those areas. By combining chiropractic with home exercises, we can get you back on the road to health!
If you have been in a car crash, call us for an appointment.
Rosenfeld M, Seferiadis A, Carlsson J, Gunnarsson R. Active intervention in patients with whiplash-associated disorders improves long-term prognosis. Spine 2003;28(22):2491-2498.