No one wants to get into a car accident. However, you aren't the only person on the road. Despite your careful driving, all it takes is one distracted or careless driver to produce a collision. If you're in a car accident, don't panic. Your first priority should always be your health. Here are four things you should do to safeguard your health after a car accident:
1. Visit your doctor immediately.
After a car accident, you may feel perfectly fine, if a bit shaken up. However, it's still important that you go to the doctor immediately. Some health problems may go undetected for a time, especially when your body is still flooded with adrenaline from your collision. Your doctor can perform tests that can identify invisible problems such as internal hemorrhages. It's important to have these things documented so the at-fault party's insurance will cover your auto accident treatment.
2. Seek chiropractic care.
Car accidents can cause whiplash and other spinal injuries. When left untreated, these injuries can lead to chronic pain and reduced range of motion. A chiropractor is a medical practitioner who specializes in spinal alignment. They will evaluate the health of your neck and spine after your accident and provide treatment to correct it if necessary. Proper chiropractic care can reduce your pain so you won't have to rely on addictive and potentially dangerous painkillers.
3. Perform any prescribed self-care.
Your chiropractor may send you home with a list of stretches or exercises to do on your own. Many people are very busy in their day-to-day lives, so you may be tempted to skip these. However, they are an important part of your treatment. By complying with home exercises, you can regain strength in the muscles that support your neck and spine. These stretches can also prevent tight muscles that can push your spinal cord out of alignment once more.
4. Try natural pain-relieving methods.
Even if you weren't seriously injured in a car accident, the impact will likely leave you feeling sore for several days. Prescription painkillers are addictive and even over the counter pain pills can cause side effects when overused. If possible, try to manage your pain with natural techniques. An electric heating pad can penetrate sore muscles and soothe your ache. You may also find relief using topical analgesics. Unlike painkillers, analgesics provoke a slight pain response in the upper layers of your skin using menthol or another mild irritant; this in turn relieves any deeper aches.