If you have back pain after being in a car accident, a chiropractor may be able to help your back heal, and in the process relieve some of your pain. While neck injuries are common in car accidents, you can strain muscles and tendons in other areas of your body as well. Your back is particularly vulnerable to injury. You might not undergo spinal manipulations when you are in pain right after the accident. Instead, your chiropractor might administer some of these gentle treatments until your back has started to heal.
Treatments That Increase Circulation
Increasing circulation to injured tissues is important for healing. Improved blood flow moves more oxygen and important nutrients to the tissues. One effective way to increase circulation is with heat treatments. This can be done with heat packs or a heating pad. Your chiropractor may even have you do the heat treatments at home. The heat can relax stiff muscles which helps reduce pain.
Your chiropractor may use an ultrasound device to deliver deep heat to your tissues. To do this, he or she moves a small device around the bare skin on your back. The sound waves that it emits delivers deep heat that helps with pain and stiffness. Heat treatments may be given alone, but sometimes they are alternated with cold therapy such as the use of ice packs. Adding the cold treatments helps reduce inflammation.
Stretching exercises might be necessary to help you maintain full range of motion. When your back hurts, you probably don't move normally. You may not stoop over or twist. Stretching exercises are done gently so they don't cause pain. They keep you flexible and they keep your muscles loose so you can move more easily and avoid becoming stiff. This also reduces strain on your other muscles and keeps them from hurting too.
Massage is important for healing after a car accident. A gentle massage is an easy treatment to endure. It is relaxing and it works the tension out of your muscles, which helps reduce pain. Massage also increases circulation, and once you can tolerate the treatments, more aggressive massage treatments can work knots out of muscles so the scar tissues break up and heal.
Your chiropractic treatments will change as your healing progresses. Initially, when the injury is acute, the focus will be on healing the injured tissues. If the injury leaves you with chronic back pain, more aggressive treatments, such as a spinal manipulation may be done to help your spine get back in its normal alignment. No matter what stage you are in your recovery, if you have back pain, consider seeing a chiropractor for help.