Good day and thanks for reading. I have been in practice as a Chiropractor for 20 years, 13 of those here in Everett. Every week I will have a few patients who come in about a week after an injury, they will be in a lot of pain and also not be able to move much. This can be a neck or low back injury. Most patients will say, "I hurt too much to come in and I wanted to rest." Or the patient will mention that they went to the walk in clinic and recieived Vicodin and muscle relaxants and instructions to rest. I will usually ask the patient if they feel better or worse now than right after the injury and do they have more or less range of motion. Almost 100% of the time the answer is that the patient hurts more now and have less range of motion now. Why?
After an injury, for the first 48 to 72 hours, the body will be in an inflammatory state and the inflammation will increase in the injured area. During this time pain will increase. Unfortunately most people will move less when the pain increases. This lack of movement will let the inflammation pool up in the region, creating more tissue damage and creating more pain. With the increased pain the less you move and the less you move the tighter the muscles and joints become. In a very short time this can lead to scar tissue and poor healing. Typically it takes a few extra weeks of care for the patients who wait for to begin treatment.
What to do? If you are not broken, MOVE. I recently had two women who fell down and injured their ribs. Both had x-rays and there were no fractures. One came in the day after the fall the other waited a week. The first young lady was stretching (with a lot of pain) the first day I saw her and she regained all ROM that day and had less pain with treatment here and ice. The second young lady had to have daily visits in the office to regain the ROM and had to do extra (and very painful) home stretches. Both of them recovered fully, but the second one took a lot longer with a lot more pain on recovery.
If you have neck pain, upper back or low back pain from an injury or if you have injured your shoulders in an injury and you are not broke, move. Come in for early treatment with chiropractic care and learn the correct types of movements for your injury.