Muscle Ache and Pain Treatment after a Car Accident
Muscle aches and pains are one of the first symptoms to appear after a car accident. The pain can start immediately after an accident, or even a occur a few days later.
Why do muscles ache after a car accident?
There are two main reasons why you have muscle pain after a car accident.
The first reason is because the muscle fibers have been overstretched and inflammation and swelling develop. This is just like what happens when you twist an ankle. The ligaments become stretched and swelling occurs.
When the inflammation and swelling builds up, it begins to irritate the nerves that surround the muscle. Sometimes the swelling takes a few days to build up, which is why symptoms sometimes take several days to appear.
Once the nerves become irritated, this sends a signal to the brain to protect the area around the damaged muscle. The way the body protects the damaged area is to have the muscles contract and immobilize the area. So not only are the muscle tissues damaged themselves, the constant inflammation and irritation causes them to continually tighten up and spasm.
The second way that muscle aches and pain can start after a car accident is when the muscle is damaged by a counterforce. This is seen when you see the accident about to happen and brace the muscles in your body.
This is similar to if you were holding out your arm and someone tried to push down on it. If you do not resist, the muscles relax and your arm comes down pain free. However, if you resisted and your arm was pulled down, the contracted muscles become damaged by the heavier counterforce.
This type of muscle injury is commonly seen in the neck, shoulders and arms of the driver in a car accident that braces the steering wheel.
Treatment for Muscle Aches and Pain After a Car Accident
Advanced Deep Tissue Laser Therapy - The laser therapy used at Art of Health Chiropractic is the most powerful in any Nashville Chiropractic office.
Laser therapy works to reduce swelling and inflammation (which will reduce pain and muscle spasms) and to help the damaged muscle heal more quickly.
By healing the muscle quickly, there is less chance of improper scar tissue formation on the damaged tissues - which means significantly less chance of re-injuring the area later in life.
Therapeutic Exercises - Rehabilitation of the damaged muscles is managed by treating in three phases - restoring motion, restoring endurance, and restoring strength.
Even though muscle pain is something that seems like will "just go away" a muscle that is not correctly rehabilitated can cause more problems in the future.
When muscle begins to start healing, scar tissue is laid down in the areas that were damaged. The scar tissue that fills in the areas is just like the scar tissue on the outside of your body. If you have an old scar on your body, you can see that it does not line up the same way the skin does and can have an irregular shape. If the scar tissue does this in the muscles, it sets those areas in the muscle up for failure down the road.
Restoring motion in damaged muscles consists of very simple range of motion exercises that you will perform with the doctor. As you move in a pain free area, the newly forming scar tissue begins to line up along the same lines of stress as your muscles.
Increasing the endurance of the damaged muscle is accomplished by adding repetitions to your movements and training the muscle groups in the ways that they will be used by you in your day to day life.
Increasing strength in the damaged muscle helps to solidify the properly formed scar tissue and allows your muscle groups to function better as a unit - giving you a better prognosis for the future.
Dr. Michael Buczynski at Art of Health Chiropractic in Nashville, TN has treated over 1100 auto accident patients over the past two years. He has worked with patients exhibiting symptoms such as whiplash, headaches, wrist and shoulder sprains, disk bulges, hip and knee pain, numbness, tingling, back pain, and more.
Call the office at (615)953-7544 to schedule your appointment today.