In an instant your whole life and body can change from a single mistake in a motor vehicle. Whether it is your fault or not, a car accident can take you from feeling pretty healthy to being in extreme, chronic pain. Many people involved in a wreck experience pain that will end up lasting a lifetime. Even a less serious accident can leave you with pain you have never experienced before.
Finding a Credible Doctor
Seeing your family medicine doctor is likely a place where many people start to seek treatment following a car accident. The thing to keep in mind is that not all doctors have access to the same medical tests and therapies. Finding a doctor who specializes in pain treatment will likely give you the best chance for a successful outcome. Pain doctors have access to the best healing therapies that are available.
Also, many credible pain doctors like Summa Pain Care Centers, focus on therapy beyond painkillers. Addiction to painkillers is a very rampant problem plaguing millions of Americans. When we are in pain, it is easy to throw painkillers at the problem and hope healing occurs while we don’t get addicted to the medication.
The reality is that opiate painkillers can be difficult to stop taking. Long term dependency can result in serious side effects, including death.
Make an appointment as quickly as possible
Following a car accident, your body releases a ton of adrenaline that can essentially mask any injury you may have. It is better to err on the side of caution and make an appointment after any automobile accident. Waiting days after the accident can make your injuries worse and harder to heal from.
What are my options following a car accident?
If your injuries are very serious, you obviously would not be reading this article and you will likely be laid up in a hospital bed. If you were able to walk away from the accident, you have many options for pain management before seeing your doctor.
If you are unable to see a doctor immediately, after a car accident you can do a few things for your body:
Ice: Icing an injury is key for reducing swelling in the painful muscle, ligament or join. Be sure to not place ice directly on your skin, but wrap it in a hand towel instead. Apply the ice for up to 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.
Neck/back brace: If you are worried about a neck or back injury, you may want to wear a temporary brace until your appointment.
OTC pain relief: Choosing an anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant or painkiller can help to alleviate the pain you may begin to experience.
What will a pain doctor treat?
There are several injuries people sustain after a car accident. Sometimes you may not even be sure what the pain is or how to fix it.
One of the most common injuries people deal with from a car accident is whiplash. The abrupt forward or backward jerking of the head and neck is what causes this type of neck strain. Typically, people report neck stiffness, headaches, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and dizziness when diagnosed with whiplash. Sometimes it takes an MRI or CT scan to diagnose this injury. The treatment can range from rest and ice to physical therapy and pain injections. If you suspect that you suffered from whiplash after a car accident, be sure to discuss your options for treatment with a pain doctor.
Pain in the neck and back are also very common injuries following a motor vehicle accident. Sometimes the pain is just a strain, while other times it is far more serious. Discs and vertebrae can slip or slide out of place. Nerve weakness, numbness, or even loss of bladder control can all stem from these injuries.
In the end, serious injuries are always a factor in any car accident. Taking care of your body afterwards is essential to healing and functioning. Sometimes the pain is not always apparent right away. You will not go wrong by seeking out a pain doctor to help diagnose and manage the pain.
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