Any person’s main goal after being in an automobile accident should be to heal, but our society’s “go, go, go” mentality as well as previous obligations and responsibilities often make giving the body time to recover much easier said than done. Here at LIFETIME Spines, an Austin office offering chiropractic care following auto accidents, we understand that you have a job to keep, children to raise, and a home to tend to, but keep the following recommendations in mind if you’re recovering from an automobile accident to promote the quickest healing time with the least amount of long term consequences. After all, your job, kids, and house can’t count on you if you never fully recover.
Recovering After an Auto Accident
Give Your Body Time to Recover
If you’ve just been in an auto accident, the last thing your body needs is to continue with the day per normal. Even a crash at slow speeds can leave the body in significant pain, so why add extra stress? Instead of going back to work, take a personal day, go home, and rest. Remember that your personal health should always come before career responsibilities; your coworkers will survive without you while you take the proper time to recover.
Give Your Mind Time to Recover
Just as it is important for you to give your body sufficient time to recover, it is equally vital to give your mind a break. Some people in auto accidents experience a significant amount of anxiety following the accident, which can manifest as irritability, insomnia, excessive worrying, and generally being on edge or can manifest as confusion, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. The mental impact of an accident ultimately depends on the person involved, but don’t push yourself too far too quickly. Have patience with yourself, and don’t be afraid to talk to someone if you think it may help.
Most of us underestimate the power of hydration, but being dehydrated means much more to your body than just “being thirsty.” Your body needs water, and even mild dehydration can cause a number of problems, such as headaches, constipation, and muscle cramps. If it can have these kinds of effects on a person who is otherwise healthy, imagine how it can significantly delay recovery if you’ve recently been in an auto accident.
Avoid Exerting Yourself…
If you have a sports practice or game later that day or even a week after your auto accident, we recommend that you don’t plan on participating. Exercise, including sports practice, sports competition, and daily/weekly workout regimens, should be avoided altogether for at least the first week after your accident. A rush of adrenaline may trick you into thinking a short run will be okay, but you will likely avoid adding to your injuries if you forgo that workout and wait for your body to recover first. This rule applies to every form of exercise, including yoga.
…But Keep Moving
On that note, it is also not a good idea to remain too stationary. Your body may be sore or stiff, but keeping it still will not expedite your recovery (unless a professional recommends otherwise due to your particular circumstances). Gentle movement as quickly as is comfortable following an accident has been shown to significantly help the healing of the neck, and going for a walk every day will keep your body from becoming overly stiff. The general rule of thumb for any activity following an auto accident is if it causes you pain, stop, but try your best to keep moving.
Following an auto accident, be sure to be honest with yourself and with others. If someone asks you to do something that you don’t believe you can, let that person know you were just in an accident and explain why you can’t complete the task. Similarly, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help with a task if you need it. Asking for help is not weakness, especially when you’re trying to give your body the best chance to regain all of its health and strength.
See Your Chiropractor
Chiropractic is one of the best ways to treat your auto accident pain. If you’ve never tried chiropractic care for yourself, after an accident is as good a time as any other. The experienced and trusted Austin chiropractors at LIFETIME Spines specialize in treating injuries, such as whiplash, following automobile accidents. Set an appointment today.