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What to Expect After a Minor Auto Accident

Posted on 01 October 2016 by Jason

accidentIn 2011, there were nearly 4,000 auto accidents in Clark County, resulting in almost 2,000 minor injuries. Even the slightest tap on the bumper can cause problems for drivers and passengers.

From the impact, muscle tissue has been unexpectedly shifted; muscles have been overstretched causing micro tears, bringing inflammation and swelling. Symptoms can be made worse by knowing that we are about to be hit. We tighten our grip on the steering wheel, get heavy on the brake and brace for impact; the nervous system is activated and muscles tense up in anticipation.

When swelling and inflammation increase, the nerves surrounding the
muscles become irritated which signals the brain to protect the area. The nervous system takes over, causing the muscles to contract to further protect the damaged muscle tissue which then causes pain and discomfort.

Depending on placement, speed and position of the body at impact, most people will not feel the effects (pain, inflammation, swelling) for up to 2 to 24 hours afterwards or even, to some extent, days later.

The most common areas injured in minor accidents are the neck (whiplash), shoulders, back and hips. If an individual starts feeling sensitivity and pain, they should seek treatment as soon as possible. A medical massage therapist can provide rehabilitative services that are covered under one’s auto insurance PIP coverage. If injuries are not properly rehabilitated, the scar tissue that forms can cause problems in the future.

Medical massage can help reduce muscle tension/trigger points, inflammation, swelling and headaches. It can also help reduce anxiety, increase blood flow and circulation of affected areas, and increase pain-free range of motion throughout the entire body for long periods of time. Best of all, medical massage can strengthen weak, inhibited muscles while stretching tight, facilitated muscles.

It’s important to listen to one’s body and not delay in receiving treatment. Contact a doctor, whether a chiropractor or medical, and ask for a referral to receive medical massage to help with injuries incurred.

Source: Sue Stokman of Body in Motion Massage Therapy,
Vancouver, WA.

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