There is no traumatic experience quite like a car accident. Even if you walk away with minimal injuries, knowing how to process the accident and what care to seek can be a difficult and draining task.
You have probably heard rumors about massage therapy for auto-accident-related injuries but you are likely wondering if they are true. Can massage therapy actually help you?
This article will walk you through what massage therapy can do for you after a car wreck.
Read on to find out what types of massage to consider, when to schedule your post-accident appointment, and much more.
Table of Contents
- Is It Safe to See a Massage Therapist After a Car Accident?
- What Types of Massages Are Beneficial After a Car Accident?
- How Soon Should You Receive Massage Therapy After a Car Accident?
- 4 Benefits of Post-Car Accident Massage Therapy
- 4 Ways Massage Therapy Can Aid in Car Accident Recovery
- Post-Car Accident Chiropractic Care at Cascade Spine & Injury Center
Is It Safe to See a Massage Therapist After a Car Accident?
If you keep wondering, “Should I get a massage after a car accident?” Cascade Spine & Injury Center has the answer for you.
Yes, getting a massage after a car accident is not only safe, it is incredibly wise. For instance, one study showed that over 83% of people who sought massage treatment after an auto accident found their symptoms to be much improved. An additional 12% found that their symptoms were somewhat improved.
Sometimes, people are afraid to seek massage therapy after a car accident because they are unsure if the massage will simply make their injury worse. This is common for patients suffering from whiplash. But, massage therapy done right will not make your whiplash — or most any other injury — worse.
If you have been in a car accident lately, in most cases, you should seek massage as a viable treatment option. There are, however, different massages you should get at different times.
Read on to find out which massage you need and when you need it.
What Types of Massages Are Beneficial After a Car Accident?
Within the first 5 days after an accident, your therapist ought to stick with gentle lymphatic drainage massage.
After the first 5 days post-accident, you can gently start more orthopedic medical type massages.
With post-accident massage, your therapist will likely focus on both the muscle and the facia, a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds all of your muscles and helps hold them in place.
To address your muscle pain and spasms, your therapist might try several different types of massage such as:
- Swedish massage — a gentle, full-body massage that helps to restore relaxation and healing.
- Cranial sacral therapy massage — a gentle massage technique that focuses on the head and neck.
- Deep muscle therapy massage — a more intense form of massage that focuses on relieving deep and persistent muscle pain.
- Trigger point massage — a type of massage that focuses on the trigger point of the pain.
How Soon Should You Receive Massage Therapy After a Car Accident?
You can seek massage therapy for your post-accident injuries pretty quickly. In fact, the sooner you seek care, the better your recovery journey will be.
It is often recommended that you wait roughly two days before seeking a massage after a car accident. However, you should talk with your chiropractor to decide on what is best for your body.
4 Benefits of Post-Car Accident Massage Therapy
There are some immense benefits to seeking massage therapy after a car accident.
These benefits include:
- Looser muscles
- Decreased or eliminated muscle spasms
- Improved range of motion
- Restored fascia flexibility
Massage therapy is a great technique to help you heal from auto-related injuries.
#1: Focus on Muscle Loosening
When your body experiences a traumatic injury such as one related to an auto accident, your muscles are often the first to suffer. They get tight and lose a lot of flexibility, leading to pain and a decreased range of motion.
When you get injured, your muscles are the first ones on the scene, working to protect the injured part of your body. To do this, they contract. In order for your body to heal well, those muscles eventually have to loosen up and that is where massage therapy comes in.
Additionally, sometimes the muscles themselves become injured. Massage therapy can help accelerate healing for your injured muscles.
#2: Decreasing and Eliminating Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms are an unfortunate cousin of muscle tightness. A spasm occurs when a muscle involuntarily tightens and then won’t loosen up. The patient has no controle over when it happens and there is often little they can do to make it go away other than wait it out.
It is difficult, if not impossible, for your muscles to heal while spasms are taking place.
By seeking massage therapy, you can help to eliminate those spasms and help your body start moving the way it was designed to move.
#3: Improve Range of Motion
Another common side effect of muscle tightness is loss of your range of motion.
This means that your muscles do not have the same flexibility as before and it can be hard to move like you used to.
Your head might not turn as far as it did pre-injury or you might not be able to lift your arm above your head. A decreased range of motion can cause a lot of issues and pain.
Thankfully, massage helps to restore that range of motion by loosening the muscles and reducing spasms.
#4: Resolve Fascia Flexibility
Massage therapy can help restore flexibility and function to your facia. When your facia loses flexibility, it can lead to stiffness much like muscle stiffness.
When injured or experiencing stress, the layers of liquid that run between the fascia layers can dry up and the fascia may end up sticking to itself and losing its ability to perform its job.
Massage therapy helps to heal and restore the fascia.
4 Ways Massage Therapy Can Aid in Car Accident Recovery
Massage therapy is a great way to speed up your recovery post-auto injury.
From pain reduction to mental and emotional health benefits, massage really is an incredibly valuable treatment option.
#1: Helps Reduce Pain
Even if your accident seemed pretty minor, your muscles may have experienced more trauma than you realize. Whether through sheer impact or an injury like whiplash, your muscles often sustain injuries you might not know about immediately.
It is virtually impossible to sustain a car accident without some type of muscle injury.
Within a day or two, you are bound to notice pain and stiffness and, without massage treatment, this pain and stiffness might last for months.
Getting those muscles to relax is the key to healing and speeding up your recovery.
#2: Can Contribute to a Quicker Recovery
Massage therapy is a great way to reduce your healing time after a car accident. By restoring flexibility and manipulating the muscles and fascia, your therapist can accelerate your healing time and help reduce long-term effects.
Studies show that massage helps to heal muscles more quickly. Additionally, massage helps to relieve pain which leads to a more comfortable recovery.
#3: May Reduce Swelling
Because it works to eliminate the root of the problem, massage therapy may help reduce swelling for some patients.
Manipulating the area and helping regulate the blood flow often leads to better healing and, as the injury heals, the swelling will go down.
#4: Can Help Address Any Emotional Trauma
Car accidents can hurt more than just your body.
When our bodies go through traumatic experiences, our brains and emotions are often just as — if not more — injured. You might walk away from an accident without a single scar and yet still find yourself battling flashbacks, driving anxiety, and more.
Car wrecks are loud, jarring, high-stimulation experiences that often lead to sensory overload, shock, and incredibly high quantities of adrenalin. All of these things hitting your body can leave your brain and emotions frayed and fragile.
The mental and emotional effects of auto accidents often transcend the physical ones.
Luckily enough, the mind and body are connected in a way that allows one to play a massive role in healing the other.
Massage can help to reduce stress and relieve tension. As the body relaxes, the mind is able to rest as well, allowing it to process through what happened and find a safe way to relate to the event.
Massage offers relaxation and pain relief that allows your brain to quit focusing on the tension and pain that the body is experiencing. This helps to reduce the mental trauma of the accident and provides your mind with a safe space for recovering.
Even if your body emerges from the accident unharmed, seeking massage therapy can still be incredibly helpful for your mind.
Post-Car Accident Chiropractic Care at Cascade Spine & Injury Center
Cascade Spine & Injury Center is here to help you with your massage needs. Our therapists are certified and experienced in caring for post-accident injuries and needs.
With Cascade Spine & Injury Center, you don’t have to wonder if you are getting the right type of care. Helping patients heal from auto-related injuries is at the core of what we do.
Why not book an appointment with one of our caring therapists today?
We can help you get back on the right track for recovery.