How To Treat Back Pain After A Car Accident
Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Car accidents often involve severe force or rapid deceleration, and this can take a significant toll on your body and more specifically, your spine. Your back is both a complex and delicate structure, and if one system becomes injured or unstable, the whole spine can suffer. Below, we explain why it’s so important to actively treat your spine after a car accident, and how you can best do this.
Back Injuries After A Car Accident
Back and neck injuries are some of the most common types of injuries after a car accident, and for good reason. There are a number of spinal nerves and soft tissues that provide vital functions and operate in narrow spaces, and if these areas are impacted by trauma, pain will follow. Some of the most common neck and spine injuries that we see and treat after automobile accidents include:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal fractures
- Pinched nerves
- Vertebral shifting
- Spinal stenosis
- Muscle strains
Left untreated, symptoms can linger and you may miss out on making the fullest recovery possible. Don’t be plagued with months or years of back pain because you didn’t put in the work when your spine was trying to recover. But how can you best treat these injuries?
Treating Back Injuries After A Car Accident
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for treating back pain that stems from a car accident because pain and injuries are unique to the individual. However, if you follow these steps, you’ll be in a good position to make a great recovery.
- See A Doctor – One of the best things you can do for your spine and whole body after a car accident is to be evaluated by a physician or a spine specialist. This can help you pinpoint exactly what’s going on in your body and allow for a treatment plan to be developed. This is especially important because your body’s adrenaline from the accident may be masking pain, which is why many car accident sufferers feel worse the day after the accident than the day of. See a doctor and get to the bottom of your pain.
- Commit To Your Active Rehab – Rest may be just what the doctor ordered in the short term, but odds are it’s not the best option in the long term. More than likely, your doctor will want you up and moving. Commit to your physical therapy and exercise routine, because this is what will help get your spine back to pre-injury levels of fitness. Inactivity can only provide so much healing after a car accident, the rest must be achieved through active rehabilitation.
- Medication Management – Pain medications should be taken to help calm the most problematic pain, which typically occurs the first few days after an accident, and they can help make doing your physical therapy more bearable. However, don’t rely on these painkillers for long-term relief. All they are doing is masking pain, they aren’t treating the underlying issue. Opioids can be a great addition to a pain care and treatment routine, but the sooner you can work towards weaning yourself off them, the better.
- Slowly Ramp Up Activity – Finally, as you progress through your rehab, make sure you are slowly increasing your activity. Don’t try to jump back to work too quickly or take on too much physical activity, because this can send you back to square one. If you’re concerned about your progress or want to take on more activity, run this by your spine specialist if it goes against your current recommendations.
For more information, or if you’re dealing with lingering back pain as a result of a car accident, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.