In my previous article, I discussed how nutrition plays a role in helping a person heal from an automobile accident. Today, I want to discuss the importance of exercise after an automobile accident.
The following applies only to those who are not severely injured, but rather just stiff and sore. Make sure you speak with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
After an automobile accident, a person generally feels stiff and sore in some area of his/her body. He may experience neck pain, knee pain, hip pain, lower back pain, etc…. Sometimes a person may not feel any soreness until 48-72 hours after an accident. Although it is important to rest after an automobile accident, it is crucial not to stay imobile for long periods of time. The following are some guidelines:
1. Make sure that at least every hour you get up and move. Walk around the house, walk around the block, do some light neck, shoulder and hamstring stretches.
2. Do not go for a run or do anything strenuous.
3. When you are resting, ice the sore areas for 10 minute increments. leave the ice off for at least one hour before reapplying. Make sure you ice for 10 minutes before going to bed. Do not use a heating pad. After taking a hot bath or shower, ice for 10 minutes. This will help with the swelling.
4. If you can get into a pool, do it. However, do not get into a hot tub.
5. Make sure you drink a lot of water – see Part I of this series.
6. Do not do any deep tissue work, get only light massages such as cranial sacral work, swedish, etc… Chiropractic care (light work), Physical therapy (light work), & Accupuncture are ok to start immediately.
The earlier you start working the muscles, the faster you will heal after an automobile accident. Just take it slowly and if you feel an increase in pain – stop and rest.
Dr. Beth Scherer
Chiropractor, Back On Track Chiropractic