Written by: Kiera Smith – Campbell Chiropractic Centre
You are likely in shock.
Try to take a breath and complete a mental scan to ensure that your body is uninjured.
If the accident is an emergency, call 911.
Follow the instructions given to you by the dispatcher. Use 911 for emergencies only – if you think you, your passengers, anyone in the other vehicle, or surrounding individuals need emergency assistance don’t hesitate to call for help.
According to London Police Services, if the collision does not require police to attend, you should take the following steps:
- If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle off of the road.
- Exchange information with the other driver, including name, address, phone number, vehicle description and insurance company name and policy number.
- Obtain the name and contact information of any witnesses.
- Record details of the accident. How, when and where it happened. Include time, date, location, speed of your vehicle, weather and road conditions. Take pictures and videos of the damage to both vehicles and the scene. Draw a sketch or take a picture of the accident scene indicating the position and direction of the vehicles and cross streets.
- If it is safe to drive your vehicle, bring your vehicle to the Police Reporting Centre as soon as possible. If it is not safe to drive, have it towed directly to the Police Reporting Centre between 7 am and 11 pm. If the centre is closed and your vehicle is not safe to drive, contact the non-emergency police line at 519-661-5670.
- Call your car insurance company. They will review the claim with you, finalize repair arrangements, and answer any of your questions. Even if you were a passenger you should be able to make a claim for your injuries.
- Call someone (this could be your partner, a friend, or a family member) and let them know that you were in an accident. If it’s a minor accident and they are able, arrange a ride with them. If they are not, arrange another way home. Even if they are unable to give you a ride, it is important that someone knows you have been in an accident and checks on you afterward.
For the few first hours of an accident, you are experiencing a shock.
If it was a major accident and injuries were sustained, the medical team working with you will be monitoring your health and communicating with you about your injuries. They will determine the best course of action for your care moving forward. Rest easy knowing that others are taking care of you. Sleep is required for your body to heal.
If you are a patient of Chiropractic care, share this information with your Chiropractor’s office when you are able. They will update your file on your current health and record your injuries.
Symptoms of shock after a minor car accident start with being confused, tired, and breathing fast. Your skin can get cold. You will often have trouble peeing. You will feel weak and your blood pressure might be low.
If you are not seriously injured and do not need to go to the hospital, the best thing to do is to go home and rest. Take stock of how you are feeling and continue to monitor any symptoms of pain, fatigue, temperature, dizziness, skin colour, nausea and vomiting. If you are experiencing any of the more serious symptoms make sure to consult your medical doctor as soon as possible.
Continue to prioritize rest until you feel you have fully recovered. Sleep helps with recovery by reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol breaks down tissues in the body for energy, which is the opposite of what growth hormones do. So, by lower cortisol levels, sleep allows growth hormones to rebuild injured tissues.
It can be really hard to take the rest you need. The average healing time for minor injuries is two weeks so make sure you are asking for help where you need it, take some time off work if you are able, and take time off of the gym. Try to focus on rest, recovery, and some easy stretching (check out our YouTube Channel for some inspiration).
Get treatment as soon as possible!
Your body has just been through a traumatic event even if you don’t feel “injured”. Unfortunately, many symptoms and signs associated with a collision surface in the days after the accident.
It is normal to experience muscle pain after an accident. The blunt force of the collision can cause a significant amount of damage, especially to soft tissues like muscles. Muscle stiffness, trouble sleeping, blurred vision, dizziness, or nausea are other common symptoms of delayed injuries.
It is likely that you sustained some bruising from the seatbelt or impact, a bit of whiplash, and any other impact injuries from the blunt force of the collision. Back, neck, or shoulder pain are all common after a car accident.
Dr. Michelle Campbell was recently in a car accident while taking an Uber (which inspired this blog article). She had a Chiropractic adjustment the day after the collision and recommends that you receive treatment as soon as possible after being in an accident as well. Dr. Michelle also suggests taking supplements, hot baths or hot tubs, getting a massage, and receiving Chiropractic care.
Benefits of Chiropractic Adjustments After a Collision
Chiropractic care has become increasingly important for treating injuries sustained from car accidents. At Campbell Chiropractic Centre, we are happy to work with your individual needs after a collision. We offer care to help you recover from various injuries and pain points including, but not limited to, back and neck pain, shoulder pain, and whiplash.
Chiropractors are specialists in realigning the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic care focuses on correcting the cause, the misalignments in the muscles, bones, and ligaments that are causing the pain. Besides providing immediate relief, they can also prevent long-term damage to your spinal vertebrae.
Often, after a car accident, its occupants suffer from sore muscles. This is because the vehicles collide with great force. That force pushes and pulls your body beyond its normal limits, resulting in stretched ligaments or tears in muscle tissue. Car accident victims may also suffer from neck and shoulder stiffness, recurring headaches, numbness, and pins-and-needle sensations in various parts of their bodies.
When the nervous system is damaged, it can also cause symptoms that are usually classified as psychological but are actually due to physical trauma. These symptoms may include tension, irritability, and anxiety. Chiropractors can help with a very wide range of these issues.
Car accidents are not only hard on the vehicles involved but they are also very hard on our bodies. It is just as important to take care of ourselves as it is to take care of the “business” that follows the accident. Remember to rest, tell your healthcare providers about your symptoms, and reach out to family and friends to inform them that you have been in an accident.
For minor accidents, consistently complete mental scans of your symptoms and assess how your body is feeling for the next few weeks after the accident. For major accidents, trust your healthcare providers and try a multidisciplinary approach to healing. Continue to monitor your symptoms and get help when you need it.