How to Treat Back Pain from a Car Accident
It’s very common for car accidents to result in back pain and back injuries, regardless of where the victim was seated inside the vehicle. Some common examples of back injuries that can be caused or aggravated by auto accidents include herniated or bulging discs, vertebral fractures, and spinal cord injuries, which a Salt Lake City spinal cord injury lawyer may be able to help you get compensation for. You should always seek prompt medical attention following a crash, but this article will give you some tips for keeping your recovery process as smooth as possible.
How Long After an Auto Accident Should You See a Doctor?
The importance of seeing a medical doctor immediately after a car accident cannot be emphasized strongly enough. There are two reasons you must see a physician as soon as possible after a crash.
The first and most important reason is, of course, your health and safety. It is common for victims to feel fine after a crash, because their pain has been masked by the adrenaline that was released during the accident. Hours or days later, they begin to realize that something is wrong after pain begins to set in. By then, the injury may have worsened, making it more difficult, painful, and expensive to treat effectively.
It’s also critical to see a doctor immediately in order to rule out the possibility of other serious, sometimes invisible injuries. For example, you may have fractured a bone, suffered a whiplash injury, or be bleeding internally, and not even be aware of it. The bottom line is that, even if you think you are alright, it’s simply too great of a risk to take any chances. You should get to a doctor as soon as possible after you have been in an auto accident of any kind, whether it is a truck accident, a motorcycle accident, a passenger van accident, or any other type of crash or collision.
The second reason it is important to see a doctor right away relates to insurance and injury compensation. Insurance companies expect accident victims to seek medical treatment within a reasonable timeframe, and if you fail to do this, it will be much more difficult for you to get the compensation you deserve. The insurance adjuster will perceive your failure to seek medical care as an indicator that you couldn’t have been that badly injured – after all, the adjuster may argue, you didn’t bother to see a doctor.
4 Tips for Recovering from a Back Injury at Home
You should absolutely never ignore or attempt to treat a back injury by yourself. However, there are still some basic “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to your recovery at home after you have left the hospital or doctor’s office. By steering clear of the don’ts and following the do’s – after, of course, consulting with your physician – you will minimize the risk of aggravating your injury and prolonging your recovery period.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity until directed otherwise. After a certain period of time has passed, your doctor may determine that physical therapy, stretches, Yoga, or other activities will help rebuild muscle strength. However, until that time, you should avoid putting any excessive strain on muscles or other tissue that is already damaged. Avoid heavy lifting, for example. At the same time, you should also…
- Stay lightly active. Lying in bed for prolonged periods of time can actually make a back injury worse. While you shouldn’t try to lift weights or heavy furniture, or participate in activities that involve twisting or rotating your back, you should try to engage in light activities when you feel able. Ask your doctor for advice about the optimal level of physical activity.
- Eat a healthy diet. Your body functions best when it has plenty of vitamins and minerals. It might take a little willpower, but make sure you’re getting the calories and nutrients you need while your body is working hard to repair itself. On a similar note, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. When your body is exhausted, it’s harder to recover from physical damage.
- Use ice and/or heat. During the first 48 to 72 hours following your injury, you may find that applying ice or heat to your injury provides relief and alleviates swelling. Ice packs may be applied for up to 20 minutes three or four times per day during the first few days after the injury. Make sure to keep something between the ice and your skin, like a washcloth, so that you don’t accidentally get frostbite. Be extremely careful not to fall asleep while you are using ice or any product that heats up, as this could potentially lead to a burn injury.
Once again, the tremendous importance of consulting with a doctor throughout your recovery process cannot be overstated. Every patient has different needs, and only a physician can provide personalized guidance to optimize healing from your specific injury.
Talk to a Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyer About Injury Compensation
If you were recently involved in a Utah auto accident, and you are experiencing back pain or any other type of discomfort, you should talk to an experienced Salt Lake City car accident injury lawyer, like Darwin Overson of Overson Law. Depending on how and why your crash occurred, compensation may be available for your medical bills, lost earnings, and other losses.
With over 33 years of experience handling personal injury claims in Utah, Darwin Overson is here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. To set up a free legal consultation with Darwin, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 as soon as possible.