According to the World Health Organization (WHO), road traffic crashes result in as many as 50 million injuries globally every year. Of the estimated 6 million multiple-vehicle-accidents that happen just in the U.S. every year, the National Institute of Mental Health states that 39.2 percent of those involved in multiple-vehicle-accidents develop some kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
But when you’ve been involved in a car accident, that can become the center of your world.
You’re more than just a statistic; more than just one in a long list of people that add up to that 39.2 percent.
So when you’ve been involved in a traffic collision, how can you recover physically and emotionally?
Your Body’s Trauma Response
When something traumatic happens, like a car accident, our brains function differently. Our brains communicate with our bodies all day long, sending constant electrical and chemical impulses. These impulses tell our bodies what to do. Under normal circumstances, you’re able to process all of these signals, but when something major happens, like a car accident, all of this goes haywire.
During a traumatic situation, your “fight or flight” response goes into full effect—because that’s what it’s supposed to do. Your body senses danger and is doing what it can to protect you, sending out stress hormones, which fill your bloodstream with hormones telling you to protect yourself.
After an accident, if you’re still periodically dealing with some of these trauma responses, it’s your body’s way of trying to protect you; your body thinks you’re still in danger and is trying to shield you from harm.
This is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and when it happens, you might experience a racing heart or quickened breathing. Maybe your palms sweat. Your body shuts down other impulses like feeling hungry or needing to use the restroom; your body’s energy is focused on keeping you safe, even when there is no real external threat. Your body struggles to tell the difference between real and emotional threats.
This is all normal in the short term. But when you get stuck in this cycle, it can be hard to get out of it—especially when you are trying to mentally recover after you’ve been in an accident. You can work through some of this physical trauma by working with a chiropractor.
After Your Accident
After you’ve been in an accident, you might start to show signs of emotional distress. Besides PTSD, you may have other emotional and mental blocks surrounding the accident. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, those involved in traffic collisions may start to display the following signs of increased stress:
- Issues sleeping
- Recurring nightmares
- Aches and pains
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle tension and stiffness
All these intense experiences can result in avoidance to try to keep yourself from getting in another accident. You may also have emotions surrounding your physical injuries. When any of these symptoms get in the way of your day-to-day life, it’s time to take action.
Heal Trauma By Healing the Body and Mind Together
While your alignment and physical health is a large part of what chiropractors focus on, chiropractic care isn’t just about ensuring your spine is “in the right place.” Chiropractic care is a holistic, mind-body approach to your health, and many studies back up the effectiveness of relieving certain mental health and stress symptoms through chiropractic treatment.
Common impacts of anxiety and depression—especially following an accident—can impact your whole life. How can seeing a chiropractor help? Working with a chiropractor can help your accident-related mental and emotional trauma in the following ways:
- It can lower your blood pressure
- You can get all-natural care for your mental well-being without side effects
- It can help you sleep and encourage relaxation
- Chiropractic care can alleviate muscle tension, headaches, aches and pains, and body stiffness related to physical injuries and emotional stress
Additionally, your chiropractor can adjust your spine to trigger an increase in positive hormones like neurotensin, oxytocin, and cortisol, which together can neutralize your stress-induced pain, boost your neuro-communication, and block inflammation-related pain.
Generally speaking, when you work with a chiropractor, they help you find the right balance of care for your mind and body, looking at all aspects of your health, including adjustment therapy, exercise, diet, and supplements. When combined, making these small changes can help your physical and emotional wellbeing after an accident.
Here at the South Orange Chiropractic Center, our focus is on pain relief and pain prevention without medication—and this includes the emotional pain of the anxiety and depression that can surface following a car accident.
We’ll work closely with you to help you feel better from the inside out, and heal your emotional and physical injuries with a total holistic approach. We’d love to get you on the road to recovery. Schedule an appointment today.