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Auto Accidents

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You are driving down the street, approaching a stop light, and WHAM! Your neck is thrown forward, your torso is jerked upward, and your arms are caught in the steering wheel. Sirens sound as an ambulance transports you to the nearest emergency room, where you get treated quickly, and then discharged with a sprain or a strain. You return home only to be suffering from severe headaches, nausea, back pain and stiffness. Next morning, you awake and your entire body is stiff. You can hardly get out of bed, but you slowly make your way into the shower, where the water pressure is painful to the skin.

Now what? Well, most of us wait four or five days until the pain subsides, and then return to our normal daily routine. Have you ever stopped to think about how your nervous system and musculoskeletal system responded to this “mechanical disruption”? Our bodies are systems that are programmed by our daily routine. Over the years, the body experiences micro-trauma (small amounts of trauma that occur over a period of time) that we essentially adapt to. If macro-trauma (in this case, an automobile accident) occurs, then a change in adaptation occurs. Over time, micro-trauma is known to cause degenerative changes within the joint structures. When macro-trauma occurs, degenerative changes occur at a quicker rate causing more severe and permanent problems.

At BenchMark Physical Therapy, our goal is to break the cycle of recurrent neck and back pain through exercise, therapy and lifestyle change. We offer instruction in correct sleeping, sitting, and standing posture training, as well as proper body mechanics training for correct lifting, carrying, and reaching during everyday activities. We couple that with flexibility and strengthening exercises for the neck, lower back, legs, and abdominal muscles. We also stress relaxation techniques to reduce emotional stress that can cause muscle tension, and modalities to reduce and manage acute pain.

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