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.

Acupuncture for Migraine and Headaches: Treatment and Prevention

Acupuncture for Migraine and Headaches: Treatment and Prevention

man having acupuncture done for a migraine

By Austin Davidson L.Ac

Can Acupuncture be the Solution to Solving Your Migraine Woes?

 

Migraines can put an enormous burden on a person’s quality of life; causing blurry vision, dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and not to mention the excruciating pain that they cause in the process. 

Everyone experiences migraines differently, some have them infrequently and others can have them up 2-3 times a week or more.  

The causes of migraines and headaches are still a subject of research; causes can range from traumatic brain injury, stress, cardiovascular, and hormonal issues to genetic predisposition.

 

Migraines and Headaches can present as:

  • Frontal
  • Temporal (side of head)
  • Occipital (back bottom of the head)
  • Vertex (top of head)
  • Headaches that feel like a vice around the head
  • RED FLAG – Headaches or migraines that present as “thunder” or the “clapping of thunder” which happen suddenly and intensely within an hour’s time frame should be sought out by a medical professional and are usually a sign of a life-threatening condition.

Many over-the-counter and prescription medications can be effective in relieving these pains but are only short term solutions as well as secondary causes of other issues such as liver damage (Tylenol) and stomach issues (Ibuprofen is known to cause ulcers when taken regularly).  

Acupuncture is a great alternative to headache and migraine relief without the negative side-effects.  Not only can it help get rid of those pesky head pains but prevent future episodes.     

How does acupuncture help with headaches and migraines?

How exactly does acupuncture work with relieving migraines and headaches?  Well, acupuncture needles are placed in strategic locations on the body to produce a physiological change in the body that decreases pain and inflammation. Certain acupuncture points specifically target what is causing the headache, as opposed to OTC medications that dull the symptoms but do not address the root cause.  

 

An example of this is a patient I had, let’s call her Ms. Blue. She suffered from long-term headaches in the occipital region of their head and neck. Usually, these come from muscle stiffness of the neck muscles which causes a decrease of circulation from the neck to the head. If these neck muscles are in a constantly contracted state they can push on the blood vessels flowing to and from the head causing these head pains. So with Ms. Blue, the acupuncture treatment plan we did involved releasing the muscles to create a free flow of circulation and a decrease in inflammation. Over the course of treatment with Ms. Blue, we were able to drastically decrease the frequency and intensity of her headaches. 

 

Well what if your headaches aren’t being caused by muscle strain, what if they are neurological?  

 

Studies have shown that when acupuncture is performed during an MRI scan it can activate certain parts of the brain, one of them being the hypothalamus.  The hypothalamus has been found to be the source of migraine episodes.  Acupuncture has been shown to be able to decrease the signaling of the hypothalamus pain responses through the peripheral nervous system.

So yes, even if the source of your headaches is neurological, Acupuncture can help.

Food Triggers and Diet.

Even though headaches and migraines can be caused by a neurological or physiological reason, certain foods may be the reason why you’re experiencing an increase in symptoms.

 

Some of these foods include but are not limited to:

  • Dairy products – Milk, cheese
  • Gluten
  • Chocolate
  • Soy Products
  • Foods that include nitrates and Aspartame
  • Tomatoes – Monosodium Glutamate seems to be the culprit

The best way to know if a certain food is affecting how frequent you get headaches is to make a food journal detailing all the things that you put into your body.  You may start to see a trend with when you get headaches and which foods you were eating around that time, the results may surprise you.

 

Where To Start?

The first step is to find out the cause of your headaches or migraines. Is it neurologic? Caused by muscle tightness? Is your diet triggering it? At the Natural Health Center, we can help determine the exact cause of your pain and put together the correct treatment plan to help fix it. For more information on acupuncture for migraines and headaches, or to schedule an appointment, contact Natural Health Center of Clifton today.