Have you been injured in a motor vehicle crash?
Injuries from accidents are not rare. In fact, they’re pretty common and they are some of the most complex and difficult injures to help people with. How come?
Well, there are a lot of factors involved besides the obvious. From a chiropractic perspective we generally treat people for the neuromusculoskeltal aspects of their injury – what are often referred to as “soft tissue injuries.” Often the term “soft tissue” is used by treating practitioners and insurance workers to make the injury sound less serious. The problem is though, that all the tissues in your body EXCEPT your bones are soft tissues! Bones usually heal well – they have good nerve and blood supplies, essential for optimum repair. “Soft tissues” on the other hand, don’t.
The soft tissues injured in car accidents are nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs and other holding elements of the spine. These very specialized tissues heal with fibrotic scar tissue. It holds things together, but it can’t function like the original tissue. As the tissues heal, nerve fibers grow into the new fibrotic tissue, but it is specialized nerve tissue that carries nociceptive receptors and fibres. These fibres and receptors are sensitive to positional changes and when stimulated carry pain sensation. Normally, these fibres are not found in great numbers in areas like joints, discs, tendons and ligaments, but after an injury, normal movement causes pain in these “healed” but damaged tissues .
As a treating practitioner the challenge is what to do to help the patient? The damaged tissue has repaired, there’s no more bleeding, and the inflammation has resolved, but the patient feels pain and isn’t able to do things the same as before the injury. They are not malingering and the pain is not imaginary. Medications don’t work well on this kind of pain and chiropractic and other manual types of treatment bring only temporary relief.
The good news is that because your nervous system is “plastic” – that is teachable, you can often learn to manage your discomfort. Sometimes the biggest hurdle to overcome is the realization that you may have issues related to this injury for life – from time to time you’ll get pain and dysfunction. So the real solution is not a “cure” but knowing what to do when these long term symptoms occur.
What can you do to teach your “plastic” nervous system to stop creating pain? One of the most important things is to make sure that your body is healthy and working at optimum. Regular chiropractic care helps because it ensures optimum joint, nerve and muscular function. Your body has less stress from aberrant movement and better balance, so you have less pain and are able to do the things you need to do to live.
Exercise is one of the very best ways to “educate” your plastic nervous system and goes hand in hand with your chiropractic care. Your body needs to move and your joints aren’t healthy without moving through their complete ranges of motion every day. Walking is a really good start – and not just for people who have had a car accident. Weights help keep muscles and bones strong. Exercise helps your cardiovascular system, digestion, and just about every other aspect of your health, so get up and get moving!
Good nutrition is essential. It’s really important to provide the nutrients your body needs to build and repair itself on an ongoing basis. It’s like the story about the Three Little Pigs. If you build your house out of substandard, shoddy materials, you can’t expect it to withstand the Big Bad Wolf of Life, Stress and Modern Living. This is especially important when you’ve had an injury – help your body’s natural ability to repair itself work at its best – eat real food!
Part of repair and maintenance of your body is also making sure that you keep it as detoxified as possible – so careful with the pop, beer, smoking and junk food. These things can be a “treat”, but they will destroy your health if you use them all the time. Toxic stuff builds up in your tissues, blocking the absorption of the good stuff so your body is always at a disadvantage for achieving optimum healing.
Need help getting better? Come in and see Dr. McCallum. Chiropractors have specialized training in neuromusculoskeltal health and injury. Nobody understands the kind of damage done during a motor vehicle accident better than a chiropractor. We can help you achieve optimum healing through appropriate adjustments, exercise and advice about many other aspects of healing.
Dr. McCallum’s office is located upstairs in the Bay SevenOaks,32900 South Fraser Way,Abbotsford,BC. Call 604-864-8232 to book an appointment. We love helping people regain and maintain their good health.
In the Abbotsford chiropractic office of Dr. Dorothea McCallum, you’ll enjoy expert care that goes beyond sore backs and headaches.
Our office (inside the Bay) can be viewed on our CanPages site: www.canpages.ca/page/BC/abbotsford/mccallum-chiropractic-at-the-bay/4270514.html