Healing Time After A Car Accident

woman injured in car accident

Dr. Troy Dreiling explains the healing time and mechanism of repair your body needs after being injured in an auto accident or other serious accident.

We offer a free consultation, so you can make an informed decision about whether chiropractic care is appropriate for your auto accident injury. Located in Vancouver, Washington.



Video Transcription

Hey, it’s Dr. Troy.

I am here to talk to you about the healing time and the mechanism of repair. After a motor vehicle collision, slip, and fall or some type of trauma, a lot of people think the pain is gone so the issue must be as well.

Inflammatory Phase

The first stage after an acute injury is called the inflammatory phase, that usually lasts anywhere from 0-72 hrs. The soft tissue in the back or neck will get overstressed and strained, the capillaries will get damaged and they will bleed for up to 72 hours.

I ask the patient if they were sore 2-3 days after the accident, the resounding answer to that is absolutely, yes. Typically these people will either go to the emergency room or try to resolve these symptoms at home on their own with medication, heat or ice.  I always recommend icing within 72 hours of an acute accident.

Proliferative Stage

Then we move on to the proliferative stage. Now that the inflammatory state has calmed down we move on to the proliferative phase. Just like if you cut your arm, it’s going to bleed for 72 hours and now you are going to start to form a scab or a scar.

In the soft tissue of the neck and spine, the muscles, ligaments, tendons and even the disc will start depositing scar tissue. they will become weaker, you will become more sensitive and less flexible.

Chiropractic care is so important in this stage, so that the new tissue that is being laid down, the proliferative tissue is functioning to it’s max while it’s healing. This phase usually takes between 6-12 weeks.

Remodeling Phase

After that, we have the remodeling phase. Just like when you wear braces; you will wear them from 6-12, 18-24 months. Now we are starting to remodel everything to its proper lines of stress. This can take anywhere from 12 weeks up to 18 months depending on the severity of the injury and what it is.

So these are the phases of soft tissue repair, very important to get adjusted and massaged during this time. There are some specific rehab things that we do in our office to help maximize the correction of the spine and the injuries so you can fully recover from collisions.

That’s why we’re here, this is Dr. Troy the Vancouver chiropractor.