Motor Vehicle Collisions: How to Assist Your Healing
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HOW TO MANAGE YOURSELF FOLLOWING A REAR END IMPACT OR MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION (MVC)
What can be the physical result of a motor vehicle collision?
Injury to the disc and facet joint.
The spine can undergo rapid acceleration / deceleration which places stress and strain on the disc and facet joints of your spine. This may result in injury to the disc and facet joint as well as the supporting muscles and ligaments.
Why do I feel pain following a motor vehicle collision?
Injury to the disc and/or facet joints as well as injury to the associated muscles and ligaments.
If left uncorrected the results can cause recurrent to chronic pain as well as increase your risk of future early degenerative changes (i.e. arthritis and disc degeneration). Acting early to reduce your risks is the best approach. Below are suggestions to aid in reducing your risk of damage to your joints.
What can a chiropractic adjustment do to assist me with my pain following a MVC?
Chiropractic adjustments aim to restore proper function to the disc and facet joints. Doing this reduces pain and inflammation, decreases spasms in muscles, increases range of motion and prevents degenerative changes to the bone and disc
How often should my chiropractor see me for adjustments?
It is best to be seen daily for 2 – 3 weeks following your MVC.
The goal is to assist the injured disc/facet so minimal scar tissue and adhesions are formed. The consequences of adhesions/inflammation increase your risk of future degenerative changes, chronic pain and headaches.
X-rays may be necessary. Typically they are taken 3 – 7 weeks following the MVC so your chiropractor can better determine if ligaments have been injured.
What do you do following a motor vehicle collision to decrease your pain and risk of disc and joint injury?
- Make an appointment with your chiropractor. Inform us that you have been in a MVC.
- Apply ice for 10-15 minutes to neck/spine. Reapply the ice frequently (six to ten times per day). In many cases it is best to follow this routine: 10 minutes of ice, 1 hour off, repeat, then follow with heat (either a hot shower or a hot water bottle). Then repeat the sequence of ice/ice/heat. The goal is to minimize any inflammation. Inflammation causes pain and future adhesions.
- a) The best natural anti-inflammatories are:
- Vitamin C.
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
Speak with your Doctor of Chiropractic or Pharmacist for the amounts.
b) Avoid the pro-inflammatory foods which are found in Omega 6 rich foods:
Foods containing high levels of omega 6 include: all grains (bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, pasta), soya oil, corn oil, canola oil safflower and sunflower oils.
- Purchase an Arnica homeopathic remedy to take orally. Arnica expedites the healing of injured connective tissue.
- Apply Traumeel ointment to your neck and injured spine or joints. The active ingredient in Traumeel is Arnica. Check out our PRODUCTS PAGE.
- Keep up a stretching program and a mild to moderate exercise regime. Movement aids the joint and spine in rehabilitating. Reduce or stop your exercise if your pain worsens. Avoid the use of cervical collars as the immobilization can result in more scar tissue formation.