A car accident is one of the most traumatic incidents someone can experience in their day-to-day lives—and many people do experience them. In the U.S alone, there are an average of six million car accidents per year. Beyond just the immediate trauma of a crash, recovering from a car accident is a process that can take weeks, months, or even years, depending on the severity of the accident. Here at Bare Chiropractic, we know how difficult it can be to experience such an event and that it doesn’t end when the shrapnel is cleared. That’s why we want to show you what the recovery process may look like, inside and out.
One thing to keep in mind immediately after a car crash is that you may not be fine, even if you think you are. This is because you’ve just gone through a very sudden and life-threatening event. Your brain will have released adrenaline as a defense mechanism, causing your body to go into shock and temporarily block out any feelings of pain. As a general rule, if there is damage to the car, you should get checked out to make sure there is no damage to your body.
Beyond the physical damage, there’s also the mental stress of being in a car accident. PTSD rates are high amongst car accident survivors, so it’s important to know that it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling, even if your accident “could have been worse.”
Rest and Recovery
Once you get any immediately life-threatening injuries cared for, it’s best to create a recovery plan as soon as possible. Most car accident injuries are musculoskeletal in nature—whiplash, concussions, soft tissue injuries, and fractures, to name a few—so it’s best to find a doctor who is specialized in working with these injuries. Follow any recovery plans you may be given carefully, and make sure to take time off of work to fully recover from your injuries.
Beyond that, make sure you also get plenty of sleep. Your body increases blood flow to your muscles when you sleep, facilitating tissue and muscle repair and growth. Additionally, there is a strong connection between a good sleep schedule and a lack of inflammation. Your energy levels, alertness, and mood will also benefit from a good night’s sleep, which may halt the development of PTSD.
Wellness into the Future
Even after you fully recover from a car accident, your body and mind will never truly be the same as before. With that said, even after your symptoms dissipate entirely, contact Dr. Thomas Keogh and the rest of the team at Bare Chiropractic in Billings. We believe in lifelong maintenance care beyond the symptoms, and we’ll work with you to determine what care would be best suited to your injuries.
Bedaso, Asres, et al. “Prevalence and determinants of post-traumatic stress disorder among road traffic accident survivors: a prospective survey at selected hospitals in southern Ethiopia.” BMC emergency medicine 20.1 (2020): 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12873-020-00348-5
Irwin, Michael R. “Sleep and inflammation: partners in sickness and in health.” Nature Reviews Immunology 19.11 (2019): 702-715. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-019-0190-z