After a rear collision car accident, one of the most common outcomes is a passenger or driver that experiences
whiplash and resulting severe neck pain or spine pain. Those involved in a car crash where the vehicle is stationary may be thrown forward, causing the head and neck to extend in an unnatural manner and then snap back quickly. This results in symptoms associated with whiplash that can range from moderate to severe, most commonly neck pain. The most common symptoms include stiffness of the neck and shoulders as well as constant pain. Headaches may also be a symptom of whiplash, as well as spine pain that radiates throughout the back. Although whiplash that takes place during a car accident is not a life threatening injury, it is typically necessary to see a spine specialist after the whiplash neck injury occurs to ensure major issues are not present and that neck pain from a car accident is remedied.
More Severe Symptoms of Whiplash
In some cases, individuals who have been involved in a car crash will not experience symptoms of whiplash immediately. Instead, days or weeks can go by before there are any signs that whiplash occurred or neck pain that presents some cause for concern. In addition to neck pain and spine pain, car accident victims can experience symptoms of whiplash neck injury that are far more severe, including fatigue, dizziness, jaw and arm pain as well as visual disturbances. Because these symptoms can mean a greater issue is at play than whiplash alone, it is important for car crash victims experiencing these symptoms in addition to neck pain to visit a spine specialist shortly after the car accident takes place. When whiplash is not treated correctly, individuals can develop more chronic symptoms including depression and anxiety, stress, sleep disturbance and the potential drug dependency.
In order to reduce the potential for more severe whiplash symptoms and chronic neck pain, car accident victims can visit Silver State Spine Care to discuss diagnosis and non-invasive treatment options with a spine specialist who is well versed in whiplash neck injury. For most patients, treatment can be as simple as a combination of pain medication and the use of a firm, supporting pillow. For others, neck pain from a car accident may be reduced through physiotherapy treatments including traction or manipulation, as well as heat regimens. Victims of car accidents should speak with a spine specialist to ensure whiplash is the correct diagnosis and the right treatment plan is set in motion to avoid more severe symptoms.
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Lower Back Pain is More Common than you Think
The majority of adults will experience some degree of lower back pain during their lifetime, most without fully understanding its cause. While most minor back pain will subside after six to eight weeks, those who struggle with lower back pain discomfort for an extended period of time may need to seek the help of a professional in order to receive treatment and long-term spine care. It is becoming more common for individuals struggling with lower back pain to find a professional such as a chiropractor or medical doctor focused on providing non-surgical spine care as a less invasive way to manage back pain. Before deciding on a spine care treatment program, it is important for patients to understand the differences that exist between various spine care providers and the options for surgical and non-invasive treatments.
Most individuals trying to manage back pain will visit a chiropractor prior to seeking out diagnosis and subsequent treatment from other medical professionals. A chiropractor focuses on manipulation of the spine to reduce the discomfort of lower back pain, based on the relationship that exists between the spine and the nervous system. Through continuous, usually long-term chiropractic appointments, patients are assisted in establishing normal spine function and mobility through repetitive adjustment. This treatment regimen may work to temporarily ease back pain for some, but chiropractors will often refer patients to a medical doctor for holistic treatment.
A Specialized Approach
Professionals working in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation, or physiatry, diagnose and treat patients suffering from back pain in a different manner than chiropractors. PMR specialists are medical doctors with extensive training who focus more on whole body health and spine care through physical therapy and other non-surgical spine care options. Specifically, PMR doctors take ample time to diagnose the underlying cause of lower back pain through analysis of a patient’s medical record, a complete physical exam and diagnostic testing such as X-rays or MRI scans when necessary. Once the cause is determined, PMR specialists as medical doctors can prescribe medicine to ease back pain, may recommend spine care exercises or physical therapy regimens, or may suggest icing or heat therapy at home. Additionally, PMR doctors may also provide patients suffering from intense pain injections for treatment into ligaments, joints and muscles, including epidural or facet joint injections. Each of these treatment options are in an effort to rehabilitate a patient and promote spine care health without the need for invasive surgery.
Both chiropractors and PMR doctors are focused on bringing patients back to a place of comfort through non-surgical spine care. While chiropractors offer patients temporary pain relief through spinal manipulation, PMR doctors are more focused on holistic healing and long-term spine care. Each can be a viable alternative to invasive surgery, however, and may be the next step in your return to spinal health.