Making Decisions About Home Care

Adopt These Strategies To Lessen Your Risk Of A Neck Or Back Injury In A Car Accident

by Mae Ferguson

Being in a car accident puts you at a serious risk of injuring your neck or back. While your local chiropractor should be able to eliminate your pain and restore your mobility, it can often be a challenging period in the weeks and months following an accident. Safe-driving techniques are integral to staying out of trouble on the road, but you'll occasionally encounter an instant in which an accident is unavoidable — perhaps you lose control of your vehicle due to a flat tire or you see a motorist run a red light. Here are some strategies that can help you lessen your risk of sustaining a neck or back injury during the impact.

Adjust Your Headrest

Many people drive with their vehicle's headrest in an improper position, which can dramatically increase the risk of suffering a serious neck injury during a car accident. Before the next time you pull out of your driveway, take a moment to adjust the headrest properly. Position the headrest so that its top is between the tops of your ears and the top of your head. The headrest should also be positioned so that it's no more than four inches away from the rear of your head. If you can't adjust the headrest to meet the latter criteria, consider changing your posture and seeing if that helps.

Press Your Head Against The Headrest

In an accident, your seat's headrest is designed to minimize the whiplash effect that can cause considerable neck pain. For this reason, it's a good idea to sit upright while you drive and avoid slouching forward; in a slouched-forward position, your head will travel a considerable distance if you're impacted from behind, for example. If you are able to quickly notice that you're going to be in a rear-end collision, press your head against the headrest. This will reduce the amount of travel that your head will experience and, ideally, limit the injury.

Sit As Squarely As Possible

It can be difficult to remain calm when it's clear that you'll be in an accident, but contorting your body in a panicked manner can greatly exacerbate the injury you experience. Try to quickly move so that you're sitting as squarely as possible. This can reduce the complications of a twisting injury; for example, if your body is twisted to the side when you're hit from behind, you can dramatically strain the muscles and ligaments in one side of your body, leading to an imbalance. While it's never ideal to be in an accident, some quick thinking on your behalf can lessen the injury.

For help with recovery after an accident, contact a professional such as SpineCare Chiropractic Daniel S. Wright, D.C.