How to Take Care of Yourself After a Car Accident

How to Take Care of Yourself After a Car Accident

car accident image

Car accidents are unexpected and shocking. It is hard to know what to do after experiencing a car crash, and sometimes people are unaware they have been injured for weeks or even months after their accident.

It’s critical to give yourself enough time to recover after an auto accident. When you allow yourself to heal and process what happened, you will be better prepared to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of an accident.

Here’s our guide to taking care of yourself after a car accident to help you get back to normal life as quickly as possible

Visit an auto injury doctor.

Not all car accident injuries are immediately visible.

Concussion, whiplash, and spine damage can cause pain and symptoms to appear hours, days, or even weeks later.

The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the more likely your injuries will worsen and necessitate a longer recovery period.

Accident injuries such as whiplash and herniated spinal discs, if left untreated, can lead to chronic pain in the future. Untreated concussions or internal bleeding can be fatal or result in permanent brain damage.

Even if you are not in pain following a car accident, you should see a doctor for a checkup. Imaging tests can be performed to look for internal bleeding, swelling, fractures, and soft tissue damage.

After a car accident, your primary care physician is not the best doctor to see. Primary care physicians are trained to treat internal injuries; however, many lack the necessary training and qualifications to recognize, diagnose, and treat common accident injuries such as whiplash, concussions, soft tissue injuries, and fractures. Instead, seek treatment from a specialist who has treated similar injuries in the past.

Listen to and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.

The treatment process may be long and slow. The most effective way you can ensure complete recovery in as short a time span as possible is to follow the prescribed treatment plan created by your doctor.

This could include:

  • Taking time off work and limiting normal activities to allow your body time to heal
  • Participating in physical therapy
  • Performing therapist-recommended exercises at home
  • Setting and attending follow-up appointments with your physician
    If you feel like some parts of your treatment plan aren’t effective, don’t just stop following the plan. Instead, talk to your doctor.

    Together, you can discuss alternative treatment options that will be more effective for you.

Practice self-care at home.

Sleep and rest are essential components of the healing process. When you sleep, your body increases blood flow to your muscles and repairs and grows tissue and muscles.

Following a major injury from an accident, it’s critical to slow down and frequently rest so your body can heal. A good night’s sleep will also improve your energy, alertness, and mood during the day.

Know your limits and avoid pushing yourself too far or too soon. You risk injuring yourself further if you try to “power through” serious car accident injuries.

Pain can make you angry, hopeless, frustrated, and less motivated to participate in physical therapy and other recovery activities. It is critical that you find ways to manage your pain; suffering in silence will only impede your progress.

Pain management may include taking frequent breaks during the day and applying hot or cold compresses. Massage may also be beneficial for sore muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Exercise and stretching are essential for regaining full range of motion, flexibility, balance, and endurance.

Regular movement will help keep your muscles and joints from stiffening and weakening and reduce the pain and inflammation from your injuries. Gentle stretching such as yoga is an excellent way to incorporate movement into your day.

Follow your doctor’s recommendations for the amount and type of exercise you can do safely.

Eating a nutritious diet can help you stay on track with your recovery. Your body requires good fuel to function properly, and eating well will make you feel stronger and more energetic. Your body requires adequate fluids to repair muscle and tissue damage, so don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Get better.

Continue to move forward by adhering to your treatment plan and taking care of your body.

Everyone’s healing process is unique and takes place on a different timetable. However, by following the steps outlined above, you will give yourself the best chance of fully recovering and returning to your favorite activities.

If you’ve been in an auto accident, contact the Natural Health Center in Clifton, NJ. Our board-certified doctors have treated common car accident injuries such as whiplash, concussions, soft tissue damage, and spine damage. To schedule an appointment, call us at 973-370-9155 or fill out our online contact form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The Truth About Back Pain

The Truth About Back Pain

Woman experiencing back pain

Back pain affects people in various ways. The physical discomfort that erupts from back pain can occur anywhere on the spine or back and can range from mild to disabling. Back pain can be caused by an underlying disease or from simple day-to-day activity. It is important to distinguish the exact cause so that it can be treated properly, thereby eliminating the pain.


What are the causes of back pain?


Although anyone can experience back pain, the following factors could put you at greater risk: 

  • Diseases – Back pain can be attributed to arthritis, cancers, infections, spine tumors, and other diseases. 

  • Age – Back pain becomes more common as someone advances in age. Muscle elasticity and tone decrease, and intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility as someone ages. Commonly, people will begin to experience back pain around age 30-40. Left untreated it could progress.
  • Excess Weight – When someone is overweight or gains a significant amount of weight quickly, they could be putting stress on their back. 
  • Improper Lifting – People will make the mistake of lifting with their back rather than their legs and end up with back pain. It is vital to have the proper form while lifting weights. 
  • Lack of Exercise – When a person’s muscles in their back and abdomen are weak and unused, they are more likely to experience back pain.
  • Mental Health – Back pain and mental health can happen collectively. Stress from anxiety and depression can cause muscle tension, as well as influence how a person perceives their back pain. Chronic back pain can also contribute to the development of mental health issues.
  • Job-Related Factors – Jobs that require heavy lifting, or anything involving the twisting and bending of the spine, can lead to back pain. Even jobs that require sitting at a desk for long periods of time can also lead to back pain. There are ergonomic solutions to preventing this.
  • Backpack Overload – Muscle fatigue and straining of the back can occur when carrying heavy backpacks overloaded with books and other supplies. We find this in a lot of children.
  • Smoking – The discs in a person’s back will degenerate faster if there is a restricted amount of blood flow and oxygen going to them. This is likely to occur if someone smokes.
  • Genetics – Genetics can play a role in back pain, such as in lumbar disc disease and sciatica caused by degenerated and/or herniated discs.

What are the two types of back pain?


Acute Back Pain

Acute pain is typically sudden and temporary. This pain tends to come about as a consequence of an injury, whether identifiable or not. 


Chronic Back Pain  

Chronic pain generally develops more gradually over time and may get worse over time.


How can back pain be prevented?


There are ways to help keep your back healthy and strong, such as building muscle strength and flexibility, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking. It is crucial to be mindful of posture while sitting and standing, as well as lifting weights and objects with the proper form.


What is the treatment for back pain?

Back pain can be treated in several different ways including pain management, chiropractic, acupuncture, and therapeutic exercise.


The Natural Health Center is experienced in treating back pain and other types of pain. By visiting our office for treatment, we can reduce and prevent back pain. For more information on how we can help, contact the Natural Health Center of Clifton today.