Motor vehicle accidents can range from a minor bumper to bumper hit to a catastrophic accident. It is very important to know that a sudden stretch of your soft tissues that occurs in a minor whiplash injury during the accident can cause long standing and complicated musculoskeletal disorders. These painful conditions might not happen instantly after your accident. Sometimes it takes a while that you to start to feel an increasing ache in your lower back or neck or a headache that happens because of the trauma and microscopic strain in your ligaments during the accident. Therefore, be aware that minor injuries do not immediately show symptoms.
The first thing you should do after getting into an MVA is to have a police report. So, whenever you are at an accident call 911 and report the accident. This report is needed later for your claim process.
There are some red flags, called 5 D’s and 3 N’s that need emergency attention:
Diplopia, dizziness, drop attacks, dysarthria, dysphagia.
Nausea, Numbness, Nystagmus
- If your vision is affected, if you feel nauseous or dizzy or if you cannot concentrate or walk have headache. IF your hands or legs are tingling, or if you feel weakness in your upper or lower body you need to be taken to a hospital immediately.
- If you don’t have an emergency condition, you need to be assessed by a musculoskeletal physiotherapist one or two days after your accident. Your physiotherapist might refer you to your medical doctor if further medical attention is needed.
- If you have pain or ache in your body, you can use ice to reduce your inflammation. Your physiotherapist should teach you how to use ICE.
- Breathing exercises are helpful to relax your muscles and decrease your stress after the accident. Click here to learn more about the breathing exercises.
- Physiotherapy is the best treatment that helps to heal the strains and sprains that has happened during a car accident. Our MSK physiotherapists can conduct a comprehensive assessment and address your injuries accordingly. Our administration team will take care of your paper work and insurance claims.
There are various musculoskeletal disorders that can cause neck pain such as muscle related pain (myofascial pain), soft tissue strains arthritis, disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, and disc herniation. Neck pain might also travel to your head and jaw causing headaches. It might also give you a shooting pain in the hands or cause tingling, numbness, or weakness in your upper limbs.
If your neck feels stiff or stuck it means that your range of motion is affected. This usually happens when there is a dysfunction in the small joints in your cervical spine.
Poor posture that is a result of sitting at a desk or working with your tablet or laptop for long hours changes the biomechanics of your body and puts lots of pressure on your spine.
If you feel discomfort in your neck, take these steps to improve your discomfort:
- Maintain a good posture at work: Adjust the height of your chair and desk to be able to sit taller. Avoid working with your laptop for long hours. You can connect an external monitor, keyboard and a mouse to your laptop and convert it to a PC. This will help you to work with your computer with better posture.
- Don’t sit still: try to move every 20 minutes. You can set your alarm to give you reminders. This doesn’t mean that you need to exercise. Just standing up from your chair or turning your head to left and right for 2-3 times or bending your neck to right and left for 2-3 times every 20 minutes will make a huge difference.
- Have an exercise routine to strengthen your deep neck flexors: Your physiotherapist can help you to learn how to do specific exercises that strengthen the muscles which are responsible for maintaining your posture.
- Don’t use neck brace without prescription: these over-the-counter braces might make your muscles weak and make your condition worst.
- See an MSK physiotherapist to assess your whole spine and evaluate your posture. They can address the dysfunctions in your neck and back and then give you specific exercises to prevent future injuries.