Massage after MVA (Motor Vehicle Accidents)

The moment your brain registers that a car accident (MVA) is either about to happen or is in progress, it sends a message, triggering the production of adrenalin, the fight or flight drug, and endorphins, to minimize pain. At the same moment, your muscles snap into survival mode, contracting tightly around your frame and internal organs (a process called splinting).

Later, once the endorphins have worn off, you’ll likely experience pain, and depending on the severity of the accident, it might be debilitating. Even if you don’t experience pain right away, many people start suffering days or even weeks after their accident. The last thing on your mind will be going to a masseuse to have your body kneaded and pulled, but it’s actually a very good idea. First off however, you should visit a medical professional, and once a doctor has cleared you of serious issues, definitely head to a massage clinic.

Massage therapy performed by a certified, experienced practitioner will minimize swelling, numbness, and pain, and will help to loosen and lengthen contracted muscles, restoring flexibility and range of motion. A massage therapist will also help eliminate stress and anxiety, both obvious symptoms of any accident.

In car crashes, the most regularly reported issue is neck hyperextension injury, more commonly known as whiplash, the result of your head snapping back and forth upon impact. In the case of a roll-over where the head is snapped side to side or front to back more than once, this injury can be particularly serious. Although the effects of whiplash normally present within a few minutes of an accident, it can sometimes take days or even weeks. If you have a stiff neck, feel dizzy, have problems swallowing or chewing, or are suffering arm, shoulder or back pain, you have likely suffered whiplash. A registered massage practitioner can apply techniques which can greatly improve your condition. The sooner you receive treatment, the sooner you’ll recover and be able to return to your pre-accident lifestyle.

Don’t hesitate. Untreated, trauma from a MVA can lead to chronic conditions requiring lifelong care. One of the best things you can do after a traumatic experience such as a MVA is get a message from a professional practitioner. Take the time to stop by a clinic after work or on the weekend and let them know you were in a car accident.

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