Published on April 17, 2013
Vehicle Accident Recovery Advice
If you have suffered an auto accident injury, it is advised to consult with a health provider (ie. family physician, chiropractor, physiotherapist). However uncommon, it is important to rule out more significant physical injuries. The majority of car accident injuries are not serious in nature. That being said, it is often the case that various physical treatments, exercises, and education are necessary in order to help facilitate recovery from commonly seen soft tissue/joint dysfunction injuries.
Car Accident Injury Recovery Checklist
The following list comprises relevant information in terms of expediting recovery from these commonly auto accident injuries:
- Discuss the possibility of conservative management/treatment with a health provider (ie. family physician, chiropractor, physiotherapist)
- Continuing/resuming daily activities is considered to be a key component to recovery. It should be noted that resumption of activities of daily living, in itself, is considered to be a form of physical exercise/activity. It is common for some patients to discontinue participation in certain activities during the first few days directly post-accident. However, one should attempt to return to these activities shortly thereafter.
- If it is difficult to return to an activity as in exactly the same manner as prior to the accident, it is recommended to modify resumption of that activity with the ultimate goal of remaining functional. For example, if carrying groceries results in pain, you can try splitting up the groceries into more bags (so that each bag is lighter in weight), making more trips when carrying, and carrying equal loads in each hand.
- For extremely acute pain, apply ice over the symptomatic region for 10 minutes 3-4 times per day. If the ice pack is too cold, wrap it in a paper towel or a t-shirt. If symptoms increase, discontinue use. Heat is not recommended for extremely acute cases.
- For symptoms that are not extremely acute, you can try applications of either ice or heat for 10 minutes each. Another strategy is to try ice for 10 minutes, and then the heat pack for 10 minutes directly following. Do whatever you believe yields the most relief. The success of these strategies can vary patient to patient. If symptoms increase with any of the above strategies, discontinue use.
- Once neck soft tissue/joint dysfunction has been diagnosed by your health provider (the neck region is the most commonly injured region following a car accident), one should try neck rotation exercises. Turn your head as far to the right as you can but not past the point of mild discomfort while maintaining proper spinal posture. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat the same exercise on the opposite side. Do these exercises multiple times each day.