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Are You Still Suffering from an Auto Accident?

A car accident in Tokyo, Japan.

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More than six million Americans have auto accidents every year. Months and even years after an accident, a lot of people still have pain from it, usually from soft tissue injuries.

The problem

Even a low-force accident will strain your soft tissue. Unfortunately, your muscles and fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles and organs) are often more like dried out rubber bands than the pliable elastic they should be. When you were younger, your soft tissue was more resilient.  It’s not age, though, it’s all the stress you endure that causes your soft tissue to lose its elasticity, so that when it is forcibly stretched—such as in the force of a car accident—it doesn’t return to its original shape.

The first wave of pain is from the immediate trauma and its inflammation. You might even tear tissue. It hurts. Eventually, this pain subsides, but the second wave of pain occurs after the swelling leaves and the scarring begins. This pain can be in the same areas or completely different areas that you didn’t think were affected. The new injury built upon your old injuries (or just tightness from stress) compounds the intensity. The remedies used for the first wave don’t work for the second. Neither does exercise or drugs.

The Solution

You need to release the tightness permanently, not just continue to treat the symptoms. In other words, you need to release the chronic as well as the acute tension. If it’s been months since your accident, and you are still in pain, some of the old tension from before the accident is playing into the stubbornness of the pain. Any old acute injuries of the past—that were never fully released or healed—plus the chronic tension, are conspiring with your new injury to produce a condition that won’t leave.

Through my clients, I have discovered several therapies that can effectively treat car accident pain: acupuncture; deep, precise massage; Feldenkrais; and Rolfing. Once the chronic tension starts letting go, you start to feel better than you could imagine possible.

Over the years, I’ve had several clients tell me, “That accident was the best thing that ever happened to me! I was living with the chronic tension, not dealing with it, and now I feel better than before the accident.”

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advance Rolfer, www.align.org, 265.8440.

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