Every year, approximately 30% of all road collision injuries seen in emergency departments involve back strains and spinal injuries.
Even a small rear-end collision can result in back pain that causes trouble for years on end. Over 800,000 adults report whiplash symptoms every year after an accident, even from low-speed collisions under 10mph.
Back pain after a car accident should always be investigated by a doctor to make sure you haven’t suffered life-changing injuries.
However, if your pain is the result of whiplash or a minor back injury, there are things you can do to reduce pain while the injury heals.
4 Ways to Manage Back Pain After a Car Accident
There are plenty of things you can do to manage your back pain or whiplash after a collision.
After your doctor has given you the go-ahead, try these pain management tips to reduce your back pain after a car crash.
1. Rest, Ice, and Heat
Rest is vital for the healing of your back injury. Take time off work to make sure you’re not sitting at a desk or on your feet all day.
Ice and heat can help to reduce back pain. Some people prefer ice, others heat – you’ll need to test which one is best for you.
Immediately after your accident, ice packs applied for 15 minutes to the injured area will help to reduce swelling. Don’t apply heat to the area for a few days at first, as this can increase swelling and bruising.
Heat can, however, soothe tense muscles that tighten up as you struggle to manage your pain. You’ll naturally avoid moving the injured area, which leads to tense and rigid muscles. A hot water bottle can help to improve blood flow and reduce the tension, which will minimize your pain.
Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen will help to reduce inflammation. However, if you find that you need painkillers for more than a week, speak to your doctor.
Once your back injury has been medically assessed, you may be given stronger prescription painkillers.
If you are provided with prescription-strength painkillers, be aware that you may not be able to drive while you’re taking them.
3. Gentle Exercise
You may feel like you don’t want to move at all, but gentle exercise can help to reduce your back pain after a collision.
Exercise such as walking around the block a few times a day will help to retain your muscle strength and improve blood flow to knotted and tense muscles in the injured region.
It’s important to retain muscle strength, especially around back injuries, as strong muscles support your spine to reduce long-term back pain.
4. Massage Therapy
A massage therapist will show you simple exercises for you to complete at home on a daily basis. These stretches and exercises will help you to stay flexible and build your muscle strength to support the injured area.
Therapy treatments can also include manual therapy. This helps to reduce tension and stimulate circulation to tense areas.
If you have a back injury after a collision, make sure your therapist knows this before they treat you. They’ll be able to adapt their massage and exercises to accommodate your injury.
Find a Physician for Expert Back Pain Relief
The best way to treat back pain after a car accident is to visit a physician with expert knowledge about specific treatments for injuries sustained in automobile collisions.
From paraffin baths to manual manipulation of your back, there are many ways our team can help to reduce your back pain. We even understand how hard it can be to get to appointments when your pain means you can’t drive – that’s why we offer a free shuttle service to your appointment.
Contact us now to find out more about our specialized treatment programs for back injuries caused by road accidents.