In today’s society, it seems to be difficult to avoid getting into one or two car accidents, including those that involve light contact with cars. However, it is common to not be fully aware of the symptoms from accidents other than the general fact that they cause severe pain. It is important to first understand where in the body you feel pain in order to be fully treated. In this blog, we will discuss the aftermath of car accidents one by one.
The pain you can experience from the shock of being in car accidents can vary significantly. The most obvious type of pain is the pain in the neck and back. Our vertebrae are divided into the cervical vertebrae (neck), thoracic spine (back) and the lumbar spine (back). The thoracic spine and lumbar spine have support from the ribs and hips, but the cervical vertebrae does not have any particular support structure. Because of this lack of support, even an impact so minimal can easily cause significant pain and cause imbalance in the body. The resulting symptoms are strained muscles, restricted motion and tingling sensations from the nerves pressing on the muscles. Symptoms affecting the back can also cause one or both legs to fall asleep due to the compression in the sciatic nerve. A key characteristic of car accident pain is that the intensity tends to become much stronger during the night. During the day, the regular blood flow towards the muscles decreases the severity of pain, however the body sends the blood to the internal organs and there is generally less blood flow which causes the pain to worsen. Poor blood circulation in the muscles results in body stiffness, feelings of heaviness and can easily make you tired.
Next, abnormal symptoms of autonomic nerves such as headache, dizziness, ringing and nausea can occur, which could signify a minor concussion. Symptoms come from parts of the body where the brain’s nerves are directly connected such as the eyes, ears and stomach. Dizziness can occur as a result of a problem in the brain or be caused by tensions in the neck muscles. When you grab onto your neck, you can easily touch the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Tension in this specific muscle is one of the causes of dizziness. There are also cases where the body can swell and urine flow can be difficult. These symptoms result from problems in the lymphatic circulation that regulates the metabolism of water.
Last, anxiety and sleep-deprived neuropsychiatry symptoms can also appear. In fact, a lot of people who have had car accidents overlook this part, but it can be more serious than you think. After the car accident, many people experience increased heart rates, sweaty palms and frequent flashbacks of their car accident when the speed of the car they are in increases even slightly. Thus, many people begin experiencing insomnia due to such anxiety. This is what we call PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Now that we have the symptoms listed, how would we treat them with Eastern medicine?
There are a variety of possible treatments, but the most basic would be using herbal medicine to increase blood flow circulation. It is important to look at the condition of the stool but if constipation occurs after the car accident, treatment time can be delayed. In this case, using medication that increases blood flow and speeds up stool movements can be very beneficial. Luckily, acupuncture is an officially recognized treatment by ICBC for people suffering from car accidents. The sooner you start acupuncture after a car accident, the more effective it can be at treating your pain. The benefits of acupuncture extends beyond simply treating physical pain; it can also treat autonomic neurological disorders such as headaches, dizziness and anxiety. The advantages that patients receive from acupuncture are considerable so we can easily foresee that acupuncture will become a popular form of treatment for car accident injuries.