Why a Minor Car Accident Doesn’t Mean Avoiding the Doctor
You got into an accident a few days ago, and you’re still shaken up. Fortunately, you didn’t sustain any major injuries, and you’re still able to carry out your daily routine. But what if you have a slight pain in your neck or shoulder, or a recurring headache? Such aches and pains may indicate that you acquired an injury while the accident took place. If this is happening to you right now, it’s essential for you to speak to your doctor immediately.
Seemingly minor car accident injuries caused by collisions can be very deceptive, and the more serious effects associated with them may not appear until weeks or months later. When stressed or stranded (imagine living in Toronto, but being stuck in Kapuskasing or Welland!) your mind is quick to make use of collision or towing services offered by car loan or insurance companies as incentives. But you might neglect your health and wellness if you feel fine. Don’t assume that if an ambulance wasn’t involved, that you haven’t been hurt.
Why You Can’t Wait
The human body is a marvelous machine. However, when stretched to its limits, its healing power starts to diminish. At the very least, the recuperation of an injury takes considerably longer if you wait too long to get it treated. You may remember a time in your childhood when you got a cut or bruise, perhaps leaving it alone until your mother saw it and tended to it. Being young, it probably healed fast (although it could have healed faster). Likewise, a seemingly minor pain may not disappear – it may bloom into a more serious problem down the road.
Mild blunt traumas and head injuries, might not cause immediate issues, so it’s easy to brush them off as minor. But they’re not. The damage caused by an impact can damage internal organs, blood vessels and muscles. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of others by claiming they’re suffering from pain (even when they’re not) because of this (as it may lead to money compensation).
Dangers of ignoring an injury
- Chronic pain (at the site of injury)
- Prolonged inflammation
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
- Long-term sensory problems (tinnitus, dizziness)
- Infection (especially if there are cuts involved)
- Muscle weakness
- Migratory pain (headaches, backaches)
- Difficulty concentrating and confusion
Make the Visit
The fact that you’re not in a hospital means that any injury you have sustained, is most likely treatable. With that said, you should follow the advice listed above to get your pain addressed sooner, rather than later.
Take note of your symptoms
The more you can identify what’s causing you pain, it will be easier for a medical professional to help you. This shouldn’t be a problem since most injuries that cause pain will be obvious. However, other disturbances such as confusion and dizziness can be harder to distinguish. There are several reasons why this is the case. For example, a lack of sleep or pre-existing health condition can cause such symptoms. In fact, something as simple as missing a meal may lead to such signs (ie. low blood sugar). If you are confused, however, you can follow this one rule of thumb – see your doctor right after having an accident, regardless of how you feel! That leads us to our next point.
Visit your family doctor
You might hate the waiting room, but getting into a car accident is a good reason for scheduling an appointment with your family physician. They will examine you, and refer you to the professionals who can treat the injuries directly. Generally speaking, their recommendation comes from the nature of your injury, as well as its location. Your doctor may even find that your complaint isn’t too serious, and can be treated with at-home remedies.
Take care of your health
Treatment of an injury after a car accident comes in two ways: 1) Through medical attention, which we mentioned above, and 2) Avoidance of strenuous activity that could aggravate or worsen the injury. Most people don’t have a problem with the first piece of advice since the need for relief is strong. It’s the second point that’s hard to follow. For example, if you’re an athlete, fitness buff or an on-the-run type of individual, having to take it easy may not be what you want to hear. But it may be what you need. Ultimately, your family physician (or other medical professional) is the one who’ll give you pointers on what to do.
After the Doctor’s
The doctor will be the first medical expert you see after a car accident, but likely not the least. Hopefully, you won’t need too much treatment but if you do, take comfort knowing that there are several options to help you recover in the quickest and safest way possible. If you do have an injury, your doctor may refer you to one of the following professionals.
Contrary to popular belief, chiropractors don’t crack your back. Rather, they work with the spine, vertebrae and nerves, through the use of special machines and gentle manual adjustments. The goal of chiropractic care is to keep your spine aligned so that messages from your brain can reach other vital organs without interruption. The belief is that a steady flow of messages allows the body to heal itself faster and more efficiently, and improve overall performance.
While chiropractors work primarily with the spine and other bones/joints, physiotherapists work with muscles, ligaments and tendons. In the event of an accident, there’s a strong likelihood that these bodily tissues will be stretched beyond their normal capacity. That`s why sprains and strains are common after accidents. If you are experiencing muscle pains or have bruising, a doctor will most likely refer you to a physiotherapist. Your recovery program may consist of stretching, gentle weight training, home exercises and even water therapy in some cases.
When it comes to massages, many people think of an exotic locale with tropical beverages. However, your standard massage therapist is there to provide a lot more than pure comfort. Massages provide many benefits for accident victims, such as improved range of motion, better circulation, along with reduced stress and pain. In addition to chiropractic and physiotherapy, massage therapy can bolster your body’s ability to heal itself.
If you’ve recently been involved with an accident, hopefully you haven’t sustained any serious injury. However, you shouldn’t wait too long if you are experiencing even the slightest of pain. You don’t want to risk suffering more pain or some sort of complications. That’s why visiting your doctor is a must. Even if you don’t suspect you’ve acquired an injury, still make it a goal to visit your family physician. Taking this initiative will allow you to heal faster, without being sidetracked too long.