How to Manage Joint Pain After a Car Accident

Whatever the circumstances, car accidents are often traumatic for the body and soul. All too often, the trauma lingers in the form of chronic joint pain

You may have simply tweaked your joint in the accident, or you may have developed a condition called post-traumatic arthritis. 

Either way, Dr. David Wu and our team at CurePain are here with solutions to your pain. 

Your joints after a car accident

There are a few reasons you’re experiencing joint pain after a car accident. The blow from the accident may have resulted in acute damage to your joints, such as a fracture or dislocation. In many cases, you likely feel pain relief as soon as your injury heals. 

In other cases, the damage and injury to your joints trigger inflammation called post-traumatic arthritis. 

Unlike osteoarthritis, which develops after years of wear, post-traumatic arthritis develops quickly after your accident. Some experience symptoms only for a few months, and others have lingering pain long after their accident. 

Perhaps the worst news is that developing post-traumatic arthritis usually means you’re more likely to develop arthritis later on in life. 

That’s why it’s crucial to address your post-accident joint pain as quickly as possible. Here’s how. 

Take care at home

Mild joint pain after a car accident usually responds to home remedies — if you’re diligent. That means resting, wearing a brace or splint as Dr. Wu directs, and using hot and cold therapy to manage symptoms and swelling. 

Physical therapy

What your joints need most is support from the surrounding muscles. During physical therapy, you learn joint-specific stretches and strength-training exercises to bolster your joints, rehabilitate your body, and even protect it from future injury. 

Get moving

Sometimes, joint pain can push exercise to the bottom of your priority list, but if Dr. Wu says your body can handle it, you should get moving as much as possible as soon as possible. A sedentary lifestyle is a death sentence for your joints (even when they’re healthy). 

Exercise is the best way to strengthen your muscles and encourage circulation simultaneously. We recommend low-impact exercises like walking, bicycling, swimming, water aerobics, and yoga, especially if you’re still recovering from your accident. 

Cognitive strategies

There’s no denying the mind-body connection. That’s why we often recommend our patients with chronic pain engage in cognitive therapies to supplement their other treatments. Mental strategies for pain management aim to shift your perception and reaction to pain, allowing you to cope with your symptoms better and manage your pain more effectively on your own. 

Joint injections

One of our most powerful tools is joint injections. They may not “cure” you, but they can reduce inflammation and pain enough so you regain range of motion and can fully engage in physical therapy. 

Nerve therapies

Sometimes, the best path to pain relief is preventing your nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. To do that, we turn to spinal cord stimulation or radiofrequency ablation, two treatments that neutralize your nerves and keep them from telling your brain you’re in pain. 

Whether your accident happened days or years ago, we want to help you overcome your pain. Call our friendly staff or use our online booking tool to schedule a consultation at our Torrance, California, office today.

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