Being involved in a car accident puts your body through the wringer. Your muscles are pulled and stretched in directions that they’re not meant to go to. Aside from your muscles, your spine might experience stress which could lead to painful injuries that you can feel for weeks, months or even years. While it’s still best to go to the doctor after an accident, what should you do in-between your check-ups and treatments?
Returning to your usual routine right after an accident could cause you further damage. Your doctor would probably recommend that you rest at home for a specified period. If you want to recover faster, you should try home remedies that will supplement the treatment that your doctor has prescribed. Here are some techniques that you can use at home to help your recovery:
1. Cold and hot compress. – Your muscles can swell or be inflamed right after an accident. One of the best home remedies to reduce swelling or inflammation is to use a cold compress, especially in the first 72 hours after the accident. Another benefit of cold compress is it numbs the pain receptors in the affected area. On the other hand, heat helps reduce muscle spasms and helps soothe the muscle. Try alternating between the two compresses every hour.
2. Hydrate. – Blood flow is necessary for your injured body part to heal and the best way to increase blood flow is by drinking lots of water. Plasma, the part of the blood that allows red blood cells to circulate, is made up of water. Without plasma, red blood cells won’t be able to carry oxygen to your muscles and organs or take away carbon dioxide and other wastes thus preventing your body from healing faster. It’s also recommended to take some vitamin C along with your water because it reduces inflammation and helps with tissue repair.
3. Sing! – As silly as it may sound, singing can help you recover faster. When your body experiences a sudden shock, it tends to tighten the diaphragm and compress your ribs to lessen the impact. When your diaphragm constricts, you don’t get enough oxygen into your lungs making it hard to breathe; deep breaths may even be painful. Singing is one of the best ways to relax your diaphragm and decompress your ribs.
4. Get a massage. – Aside from the tension relief that a massage provides your body, it can also help reduce inflammation or swelling since it can increase blood flow. Be sure to tell your masseuse to go with a light touch, especially if you’re getting a massage a few days after an accident.
5. Do a little exercise every day. – Your doctor may have told you to rest for a while. However, this doesn’t mean that you should lie in bed all day and watch TV. Avoid strenuous activities (do not attempt to do yoga or play basketball) and lifting heavy objects (the weight room in the gym is out); instead, you should take short walks around your neighborhood if your body can make it. You can walk around your living room if you feel like your body cannot handle the stress of walking outside.
6. Herbal or natural remedies. – These are by no means a replacement for medical treatments; however, some herbal and natural remedies may help your recovery time. Turmeric, ginger root, and pineapple are great natural products that can help reduce swelling and are readily available in the market.
These tips are easy to do and might even be readily available in your home, but make sure to ask your doctor about these before doing them.
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