Treating Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident

May 4, 2021

Treating Lower Back Pain After a Car AccidentNo matter how cautious of a driver you are, there is always the potential for a car accident to happen. If you’re lucky, they are often minor and don’t cause anything worse than some stress and a small ding on your car. However, many accidents can be damaging to the body, particularly the spine. The complex nature of the spine means a wide range of injuries are possible, even in a very minor accident or one where you are not even moving. The lower back is particularly susceptible to certain damage that will require a skilled Marietta chiropractor to resolve. There are a number of ways to relieve pain at home, but addressing the root cause should be done by a professional. Combined, you can find relief from your lower back pain. Below are some of our top methods for pain relief in the lower back.

Use Anti-Inflammatory Medications

As you heal and undergo more effective treatment, you may need pain relief along the way. If it’s possible to avoid heavy medications like opioids, that is generally recommended. Over-the-counter medication like Motrin, Advil, or Aleve not only relieves pain, but can also reduce inflammation that may be exacerbating your symptoms. These NSAIDs are generally considered a better option than acetaminophen like Tylenol as they have the added benefit of addressing inflammation.

Alternate Ice and Heat

Temperature can be used to relieve pain when applied appropriately. In the early stages of your car accident injury, applying an ice pack (or even a bag of frozen peas) for 20 minutes can not only have a numbing effect that relieves pain, but can also ease swelling. Localized cooling shuts down capillaries and reduces blood flow to the area, easing swelling.

After the initial swelling is relieved, you can alternate the ice with heat therapy to soothe tension, increase circulation, and bring oxygen to the healing error.

Stretch Gently and Often

When you’ve been injured, it can be tempting to lay in bed all day to avoid the pain that comes with movement. Rest is extremely important, especially early on after an accident, but it can be overdone. In order for the back muscles to regain strength and heal properly, moving and stretching carefully is crucial. Small walks around the house and gentle stretches can help you get used to moving, strengthen your back, without placing extra strain like your regular physical activity might.

Try Physical Therapy

While stretching at home is effective, in order to fully recover, there are certain techniques that are needed. A physical therapist can help you manage pain while simultaneously training the body to correct imbalances and issues that may be causing the pain. Physical therapy is designed to help strengthen muscles, regain flexibility and range of motion, and return you to your previous levels of activity.

With a physical therapist, you will not only have a routine to follow during appointments, but you’ll also be given home exercises to complete on your own. Both pieces are critical to reaching full recovery.

Get a Massage

This may sound more like a treat than a treatment, but a massage can be genuinely helpful. Some massages are good for general relaxation, which can help loosen tight muscles and promote healing. A Marietta chiropractor may also offer massages that are less relaxing but are designed to target injuries in the lower back structurally. Both types of massage can be helpful and bring pain relief, depending on where you are in the healing process.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Here’s what to do after an accident: it is important to be seen by a Marietta chiropractor who can evaluate your entire spine for injuries. Many lower back injuries do not cause pain for days or even weeks after a car accident occurs, so early identification of the damage can allow you to begin treatment early and avoid much of the pain. At this initial evaluation, a chiropractor will be able to identify any misalignments in the spine that may cause pain or other symptoms.

The main form of treatment a chiropractor will use is spinal manipulation, or chiropractic adjustments. These return the spine to its natural and aligned state, with the goal of improving mobility, reducing stiffness, and stopping discomfort. Adjustments usually work over a period of time, so visiting the chiropractor regularly is important.

If you have recently been in a car accident and are experiencing lower back pain, AICA Marietta can help. Our chiropractors and physical therapists will design personalized treatment plans designed to meet your specific needs and relieve your pain. Call us today to get started!