Here we will go over how to handle the pain from a recent accident.
The human body has many internal functions specifically designed to heal itself when an injury occurs.
Unbeknownst to us, after an injury, damaged cells replicate and are replaced with healthy ones, blood vessels tighten to stop bleeding, and inflammation occurs as a way to let the brain know that the immune system needs to go into overdrive.
Unfortunately, pain is another part of the body’s natural healing process as it uses our nerves to send more signals to the brain, letting it know where we need to heal.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to find pain relief after an accident, and we list them below, so keep reading to find out.
For more serious injuries, physical therapy may be required to ensure proper healing.
Your physical therapist will use a variety of exercises to treat your pain, build your strength, and boost your endurance, flexibility, and stability. These movements prompt your body to create and release its own natural pain-relieving chemicals.
For some, physical therapy can be difficult and cause temporary pain while completing the exercises. However, this pain will not last long, and you can expect to feel the benefits shortly after the session is complete.
Use Hot and Cold Therapy
Of course, you must visit a hospital after an accident, but once you are released, It is essential to apply ice to minor injuries as soon as possible. Minor injuries may be developing bruises, broken bones, and impact injuries.
Using cold therapy helps reduce inflammation, swelling, and bruising that can be painful. Additionally, cold therapy reduces pain by blocking blood flow to your injuries.
When applying ice, wrap the ice pack with a cloth to avoid burns and follow the twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off rule. Applying ice for longer than twenty minutes can lead to tissue damage.
After a few days of using cold therapy, you can start alternating between hot and cold. Heat therapy helps improve circulation and blood flow, which soothes discomfort and increases flexibility. Additionally, warmth can help heal damaged tissue.
Avoid applying extreme temperatures to open wounds and stitches as it will increase bleeding.
Compression is another great way to decrease inflammation and improve blood flow.
Consult your doctor before using compression on your injury. If your doctor approves the idea, you can try using compression garments or wrapping the area in bandages.
Ideally, compression should be used in the first 24-48 hours after an injury occurs. However, it can still be beneficial for relieving pain and inflammation if used infrequently.
Follow these rules when compressing injuries.
- Elevate the area if possible.
- Don’t wrap too tightly. The wrap is too tight if you feel numbness or the skin turns blue.
- Don’t apply ice or heat while compressing
- Remove the bandage twice per day and wait ten minutes before re-wrapping the area.
- Loosen bandages before going to bed.
- Wash reusable bandages often.
Since compression is best when used for two days following an injury, be sure to receive approval from your doctor before prolonged use.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, and although it is a necessary part of the healing process, it can be painful.
When inflammation and swelling begin causing too much pain, you can take anti-inflammatories to relieve the pain.
Anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin can be purchased at nearly any store but should be used sparingly since they can hinder the healing process.
Luckily, there are many anti-inflammatory medication alternatives such as:
- Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils
- Evening primrose oil
- White willow bark
- Cayenne pepper
- Chamomile oil
- Lavender oil
If you are not a fan of using natural remedies and want to stick to NSAIDs for reducing inflammation, talk to your doctor before taking these medications.
Take Pain Relievers
Some pain can not be relieved by taking over-the-counter medications, applying hot and cold therapies, and going to physical therapy. If this is the case, you should visit your primary care provider to discuss the option of taking prescribed pain relievers.
Pain relievers should always be a last resort since extended use can lead to addiction and organ damage. If you are looking for a safe pain reliever but are concerned about its potential benefits, consider using marijuana.
There are many ways to use marijuana for pain relief and not all forms are accompanied by psychoactive effects. You can smoke bud, consume edibles, use topicals, and more and all forms of the plant are safer than pain killer drugs.
Depending on where you live, a medical marijuana card may be required to obtain the medication. However, even in states like Colorado, where recreational use is legal, an MMJ card can be useful since cardholders receive stranger strains and discounts.