Even a minor accident can have lasting effects when it comes to neck and spine injuries. The most common injury after an accident is whiplash. Whiplash causes the muscles around the spine to tighten as protection. Continual tension in this area can cause the muscles to shorten, which then leads to pain, loss of motion, and headaches. If uncorrected, whiplash can even have compromising effects on your posture.
Stretching is the best way to reduce and prevent pain. Levator scapula stretches help to lengthen this muscle where it attaches to your shoulder-blade (scapula), offering better range of motion and a more relaxed position. This, in turn, will help you to maintain proper posture by keeping your neck and shoulders neutral, relaxed, and the muscles elongated.
Practice Good Posture:
Consider your typical position when seated. Is your neck elongated? Are your shoulders tight and curved? Consider your standing position, as well. Do you round your shoulders there, too? Oftentimes we do so because correct posture is painful, since we have become stuck in a cycle of improper body mechanics. Instead, when seated, be conscious of your body. Think about your neck, shoulders, and spine. Our body’s optimal position is to have our spine aligned, top to bottom, and our neck in a neutral but straight position. We also do well to consider how much weight we are placing on our hips when we sit; if our back is not properly aligned, our hips will bear the brunt of this, too. The same principles apply to our standing posture, as well.
The mid back and the low back (lumbar spine) can also be aggravated after the incident, since an accident can shift the pelvis during impact. After such big changes, the entire top of your body is being supported by the lumbar spine in a seated position.
Enlisting the help of an experienced neck pain doctor Rockville MD relies on can be an important first step to recovery. They can evaluate your injury and develop a holistic approach to healing that can expedite your treatment and get you back on your feet sooner. They can also help educate you on the best stretches and posture exercises for your specific injury, so you can better treat yourself at home.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Pain & Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into neck injuries after an accident.