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I’ve worked with enough auto accident patients that I’ve seen, first-hand, what Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can do to a person. Now, a new study confirms what I’ve known for some time: that auto accidents are the leading cause of PTSD in Americans.

This new information comes to us from the American Psychological Association (APA)*. Anywhere between 10 and 45 percent of auto accident sufferers may experience PTSD, and there are over three million people involved in auto accidents each year. Those numbers are staggering when you think about them, particularly when you consider how debilitating and life-changing PTSD can be.

This severe anxiety disorder usually develops after a psychologically traumatic event—in many cases one in which the sufferer’s life was endangered (as with a serious auto accident). It can be experienced as a re-living of the negative experience through flashbacks, avoiding anything associated with the trauma, and/or sleep difficulties. These symptoms can significantly impact a person’s ability to cope with work, family, and other responsibilities, especially when PTSD means that a patient develops a driving phobia or is simply reluctant to get back on the road.

Virtually any person who has been in a violent, traumatic auto accident is vulnerable to PTSD. However, certain pre-existing issues may make some people more likely than others to experience the symptoms of the disorder. According to the APA, those most susceptible to suffering from PTSD after an auto accident are people who were dealing with depression or other mental health issues prior to the accident. Also, people who have previously been in an auto accident may be especially predisposed to PTSD.

At our Monmouth County office, pain management and rehabilitation for auto accident injuries begins the healing process—but the process doesn’t necessarily end there. First and foremost, our Medical Director is a pain management specialist who is trained to assist with each individual patient’s emotional and social needs during the process of rehabilitation. We have also incorporated acupuncture, an ancient practice that has been proven to improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Acupuncture for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Acupuncture is effective in alleviating pain, relaxing the muscles of the body, and lowering heart rate and blood pressure. It also prompts the release of certain feel-good chemicals—including endorphins and serotonin—in the brain. In this way, both mental and physical distress can be relieved with one therapy, thereby reducing the need for medications. In fact, one of the best aspects of acupuncture is that it is effective, painless, and drug-free.

Please feel free to call our Red Bank, NJ pain management office if you are suffering from PTSD or other symptoms after an auto accident. I have specifically gathered a team of specialists who are not only the best in their fields, but also the most compassionate.

*After the Crash: Assessment and Treatment of Motor Vehicle Accident Survivors by Edward B. Blanchard, Ph.D., University of Albany at SUNY and Edward J. Hickling, Psy.D., Russell Sage College and Albany Medical College.