An auto accident can harm your body in a surprising number of ways depending on how your body was slammed or jostled. While neck and back injuries are common, so are injuries to your ribs. Being thrown against the steering wheel can cause bruising and swelling. Violent twisting or jarring can cause a rib to move out of place or even fracture. You could suffer damage to the muscles in your rib cage, the joints, or bone. A chiropractor may be able to help you heal faster with back pain relief. Here's how.
Treatments That Help with Muscle Strain
The first step after an auto accident is to have a thorough examination that could include an x-ray to look for broken bones. Your chiropractor needs to know the nature of your injuries before starting treatment. You may have multiple problems to deal with. When a muscle strain is the problem, pain can often be relieved with hot and cold treatments. Heat improves blood flow to the area and it might relieve pain as well.
However, heat can also cause swelling since blood flow is enhanced. Soon after an accident, the application of ice may be better since ice slows down the swelling effect and this can reduce pain. An optimal treatment might be to alternate hot and cold therapies to get the best effects of both methods. You can have hot and cold treatments applied in the chiropractor's office and take them at home as well. Be sure to end your session with a cold treatment to control swelling unless your chiropractor recommends otherwise.
Treatment That Aligns the Spine & Ribs
If the accident was forceful enough, your spine and rib cage may have jarred out of place slightly. This can lead to problems with joint pain and nerve pain when a nerve is pinched. Gentle spinal manipulations may help realign your spine and the rib joints that attach to it so nerve pressure is relieved. This might be accomplished with manual thrusts to your back or by lying on a table that moves your body into a specific position that stretches your spine.
Seeing a chiropractor after an auto accident is a good practice because you might have an injury you are unaware of. When your body receives a jolt, the damage might not give you symptoms right away. While you may feel pain in your ribs in your back or chest, you might have additional injuries that require care, and prompt treatment could spare you from chronic pain later on.