Chiropractors do more than just provide a diagnosis to a car accident victim. They also counsel these patients on specifically how to handle injuries, to prevent worsening conditions and to get the best chance of eventual full recovery. Here are some of the things that chiropractors and other doctors do to minimize the damage from a range of minor, moderate and severe car accident injuries that can cause all sorts of temporary or chronic health problems.
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Quick “First Aid” Care After an Auto Accident
For many of the most common car accident injuries, doctors will recommend rest for the patient in the first few hours after the accident occurs. In this time frame, many car accident victims experience a lot of swelling and inflammation, along with a lot of pain. Resting helps keep damaged muscles and body tissues from getting into worse shape. Doctors might also recommend a treatment called RICE that stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. This type of treatment helps prevent some kinds of internal bleeding and also helps to manage pain and discomfort. A doctor may also recommend a cervical collar that will keep the spine safer in hours after an accident.
Second Stage Care: Long Term Planning
A week or so after an accident is when many doctors use specific patient information and good judgment to change a treatment plan. Many experts say that after a couple of weeks, just resting the body is not a very good option, and then eventually, doctors will need to recommend exercise and rehabilitative physical therapy. When patients should start these regimens is up to the professional opinion of the doctor based on specific diagnosis and examination.
When the doctor feels that the patient is able to safely exercise, the doctor will provide plans for physical therapy, often collaborating with physical therapy or PT professionals, in order to help the body heal, while building muscles and internal systems back to appropriate strength.
Doctors will use some specific “principles” to adjust a physical therapy or exercise plan for a patient. One of these is called the “principle of use,” where using a range of motion prompts the body to adapt and build capability. Another is the “overload principle,” which also applies to weight training and other physical regimens. Scientists have figured out that in order to build muscle and some kinds of functionality, parts of the body must be “stressed” with progressive resistance, which means more weight or “load” or the body to handle. These principles will go into to a working exercise plan.
In addition, doctors may recommend what’s called cryo-therapy. This is also called hot and cold therapy. It involves putting ice packs on an area of the body that has sustained damage. This method can be used right after an accident in a kind of “first aid” approach to car accident injuries, but it can also be used later, along with physical therapy, to help develop function in areas of the body.
Medical professionals can provide additional tips to patients to help them get the best recovery through physical exercise. These include warm-up and cool-down instructions to help minimize the chances of re-injury and let the body work without overstretching limbs or other body parts. Doctors can also keep counseling patients on how much they should push themselves physically depending on how they feel and how continual examinations reveal signs of progress.
All of this is often part of treating serious back injuries and other damage to muscles and tissues in the body. It’s important to rely on qualified chiropractors and medical professionals who can show you what happened in an accident, how it impacts your body systems, and what you can do about it to improve your health for the future.