Healing with Prolotherapy After an Auto Accident
A question that most people have about car accidents is: “What is the first thing that I am going to experience?” If you’re thinking “pain” or “fear”, you could not be further from the truth. The first thing you will experience is shock. You will likely feel dazed and confused. An inability to completely grasp and understand what exactly happened is to be expected. You will also not likely register any pain you might be feeling yet.
First Steps After a Car Accident
If you have been in a car accident, irrespective of its severity, the first thing you should do is to assess the situation and ensure the safety of everybody in the car. This is to prevent any further harm or injury. Make your way to the side of the road, out of the way of other cars and traffic. The next step is to get immediate medical attention. This may also require going to the emergency room. This is especially important if you are having any problems with headaches, nausea, dizziness, feeling dazed and confused. These are all signs of potential brain trauma, a very serious condition. Other serious injuries to look out for are those to the neck and back. Interestingly, however, whiplash and other sorts of injuries to the ligaments, tendons and muscles do not begin to manifest themselves for about a day or two. So going to the ER is mainly to assess for internal bleeding, whether it is into the brain or abdomen or into the chest wall. Most other injuries you will find out about in a day or two.
- Step 1: Assess your surroundings and move to a safe place, preferably on the side of the road.
- Step 2: Call 911, and inform them that you seek medical attention.
Common Car Accident Injuries
The most common types of car accident injuries usually include injuries to the neck and spine, injuries from the seat belt, concussions, traumatic brain injury and whiplash. Injuries may also be sustained to ligaments, tendons and muscles.
Common head on collision injuries: The type of injuries we see with a head-on collision are, as you can imagine, quite severe. There is considerable risk of serious neck and lower back injuries.
Common rear end accident injuries: The most common types of injuries people sustain in a rear-end collision are cervical spine injuries constituting injury to the vertebral disc on the left side. Thoracic spine injury and lumbar spine injury are also very common.
T-Bone accident injuries: Injuries that people sustain in a T-Bone accident are usually similar to those typical of a rear-end collision. Injuries to the C5 civic disc because of the rotational force, thoracic spine and lumbar spine L5-1 are common. However, in a T-bone collision there is an impact to the side of the car. This means that the frame of the car or glass can potentially hit you and cause fractures to your face.
Seatbelt injuries: The type of injuries that we see with seatbelts are called restraining injuries. As you can imagine, with the seatbelt strap across your chest, you will experience considerable injury to the sternum and to the chest wall. Interestingly, we rarely see fractures to the chest wall. Bruising and soreness may occur; these will take between 1-3 months to heal completely.
- Based on the kind of collision and the direction and force of the impact, individuals may sustain a whole range of injuries.
- Injuries to the neck, spine, chest and face are common. Traumatic brain injury and internal bleeding are the more serious injuries, and need immediate medical attention.
Long-Term Effects of Car Accident Injuries
Trauma to the spine accelerates aging. This is because an injury the body initiates an inflammatory response, which in turn induces scar tissue. This scar tissue then causes arthritis, thereby accelerating the aging process of your spine, and sometimes, your entire body.
Let me explain. Let us assume you sustain injuries in an automobile accident. Your ligaments are stretched. Your vertebrae – which are the bones that hold your spine together and help it move – will put excessive pressure on the other discs. This will consequently pull the gel out of the disc and backwards, which is where the disk is weakest. This typically results in a bulge, which eventually leads to herniation. Over a period of time, this herniation will put increased pressure on the nerves.
Gradually, the head of the disc will start decreasing; the spine and the ligaments will become lax. This translates to a more forward movement, thereby putting pressure on a forward disc, and then more pressure to the posterior disk. This is the beginning of a vicious cycle which will age the spine 5-10 times faster than is natural. Remember, the average person bends a thousand times of day. That’s over 36,000 times in one year alone! For each one of those 36,000 times that you put excessive pressure on the disc, that disc will push against the back portion of the disc.
It is impossible to accurately predict exactly how long an injury sustained in a car accident can persist. It depends on myriad factors. However, do not treat an automobile accident lightly. The injuries you sustain may persist for a lifetime. While the majority of injuries heal within 4-6 months without much residual deficit, about 10% of patients are haunted by their injuries that become a life altering event.
- Trauma to the spine accelerates aging of the spine.
- Some injuries can haunt patients for a lifetime.
Treating Auto Accident Injuries with Prolotherapy
If you were in a car accident, odds are that you are in considerable pain. I know that you are likely frantic to be rid of that pain. I strongly recommend you do not attempt to mask the pain with pain medications. The thing about pain medication is that it does not actually heal the injury. It offers temporary relief from it. However, that you are in pain implies you’re your injury has not healed yet. Pain medication does not help in the long run. Additionally, it also puts you at risk for potential addiction and dependency, not to mention the other complications that come with pumping chemicals into your body. Your focus should be on healing it, to cure it. Prolotherapy not only treats the pain, but it also heals the tissue.
- Pain medication offers symptomatic relief, whilst pumping your body with chemicals and creating dependency.
- Prolotherapy both manages the pain, and heals the injured tissue completely.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury caused by an auto accident, it is important to seek medical help. Contact RES Physical Medicine and Rehab and schedule a consultation to see if prolotherapy can help heal your injury. Dr. Cheryl Hart and Dr. Mikhail Strut are expert prolotherapy doctors in Buffalo NY and are ready to help stop your pain and tenderness.
This educational blog was brought to you by Dr. Cheryl Hart, an experienced Prolotherapy Doctor in Buffalo NY.