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The last three articles dealt with the nutritional, physical and emotional stress that one deals with after an automobile accident along with some tips on how to cope with them. Part IV deals with an area of stress that most people tend to ignore – their posture and nervous system. Most people are not aware that the master system (which includes the brain and the nervous system) are tied into posture, and that it is imperitive to keep both healthy in order you maximize your life’s potential.

In order for ANYTHING in your body to function, the brain needs to send the message down the spinal cord. The messages then go through a network of nerves to send the message to the body. The body then functions. If this message is interrupted (as in the case of a spinal cord injury), the brain cannot send the proper message to the body and the body cannot perform its function. The body then breaks down.

When people are involved in a trauma or injury, the spine can make shifts which can disrupt the nervous system flow to the body. When the spine shifts, not only will this irritate the nervous system, but the muscles will contract around that area, which leads to muscle spasms and pain. The joint locks up. If that joint is not motioned properly, then over time degeneration may occur. This is why it is so important to see a specialist such as a chiropractor to analyze the spine and see if the joints are moving properly. If not, then a person can not only impede their healing process, but he/she can suffer joint damage 10 years, 20 years down the road.

It is also imperitive to work on the muscles as well. Physical therapy, Exercise therapy, Massage therapy are also crucial because if the muscles are weak, they cannot support the spine. Proper posture is also important, because improper posture places unequal stress throughout different areas of the body, causing tension and nervous system irritation.

The following are some tips to follow. Of course, check with your physician first before beginning any regimin.

1. When standing, try to keep your shoulder and hips even. Keep your toes facing forward .

2. When sitting, try to keep your ear and shoulder even. Dont lean your neck forward, as this will cause shoulder tension and headaches. If you are working on the computer, adjust your keyboard so that you can align your ear with your shoulder.

3. When bending and lifting, concentrate on keeping your hips and shoulders level. Don’t bend and twist at the same time as that will lead to extra stress on your disc.

4. Try not to carry heavy things on one shoulder (eg ladies and their purses).

5. When driving, don’t sit on a wallet (for men). Try to have lower back support. roll up a hand towel if you have to. Get out every hour or so and walk around.

6. When lying down, put some pillows under your knees while laying on your back to flatten your lower back into the floor. If you are laying on your side, put a pillow in between your knees. Invest in a good neck pillow that will support your neck while you sleep.

It is my goal in writing these four articles that those involved in an automobile accident can heal faster by taking this advise. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 205-862-6776.

Beth Scherer,DC

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Jon Lewis

    Another great post Beth. These are things we don't often think about when injuries occur. Thank you for the information.

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