Car accidents are an unfortunate part of life that many of us have experienced. While the vast majority of these are not life threatening, even a simple parking lot fender-bender can produce lasting, negative effects. Back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain can linger and transform into chronic conditions that persist for years. In some cases, gone untreated or waiting too long for treatment, these small injuries can become life-long sources of pain. Follow these car accident tips to minimize the effects.
Prevention Is the Best Medicine
Naturally, avoiding car accidents altogether is the best way to ensure you remain injury-free. Not all car accidents can be avoided, but you can take measures to reduce the likelihood. These days, avoiding the distraction of cell phones is probably the most practical piece of advice. Put it down and leave it out of sight while you’re driving, keeping both hands on the wheel.
It’s also a bad idea to drive when you are tired, upset or angry. Experiencing strong emotions or struggling to stay awake while operating a motor vehicle is only asking for trouble. If you live in an area that experiences a wide range of weather that can impede driving conditions, do yourself a favor and stay a few miles below the speed limit when possible. Take the time to maintain your vehicles and keep your brakes and tires in good working order.
A Healthy Body Heals Faster
Keeping your body in good physical condition is another car accident tip that’s well worth following. If you maintain a good fitness level, and your body is strong and flexible, on average you’ll have a much easier time recovering from most car accidents and other injuries. Simply put, a healthy body is less likely to sustain injury and when it does, it generally heals more quickly. Any type of regular exercise that helps strengthen your muscles and improves flexibility and cardiovascular function is a great choice.
Get Checked Out, Quickly!
Whether you’re in great shape, poor shape, or somewhere in between, it’s important to have a doctor examine your injuries as soon as possible after a car accident. If you wait, scar tissue can become a permanent part of your muscles and tendons. This scar tissue can slow the healthy healing process by reducing your range of motion and causing pain. If you don’t feel that your injuries warrant a trip to the emergency room, at least schedule an appointment to ensure you don’t have injuries that may turn into chronic conditions in the future. The effects of whiplash may not manifest for days following an accident and the most prudent step is to schedule an evaluation as soon as possible, following an accident
Some of my first time patients have waited years. That kind of “toughing-it-out” is unnecessary. If you’re dealing with pain following a car accident, schedule an appointment with my office for a consultation at 585-321-3200.