How Chiropractic Care Can Help Back Pain After an Auto Accident in Chicago
Back pain is a very common condition in the United States. According to the American Chiropractic Association, around 31 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. Many cases of back pain are the result of common, everyday movements that affect the different components of the back. Other times, back pain can be the result of more traumatic events, such as a car accident.
In 2018 alone, there were more than 6.7 million reported vehicle accidents in the US Accidents are extremely common and can happen to even the most careful drivers. The sudden force experienced by vehicle passengers during an accident can cause injuries ranging from minor to serious. The back, as a result of the sudden and violent forces generated in an accident, is one of the most likely impacted areas of the body in an accident. Back pain after an accident can be immediate and obvious. It may also not be immediately apparent and can sometimes even take weeks to materialize.
It is important to understand that back pain, particularly back pain that develops after a car accident, can lead to serious and permanent injury. Back pain can also be temporary and can be relieved with conservative treatment such as physical therapy. If you experience back pain after a car accident, you should have a physical exam with a medical professional to determine the cause of your pain and receive appropriate treatment.
Common Car Accident Injuries That Cause Back Pain
The force that a car accident places on the body can cause a number of potential back injuries depending on factors such as:
- The severity of the impact
- Where the victim was sitting in the vehicle
- The position in which the victim was sitting
- The amount of time he had to prepare for impact
Back pain after a car accident can be indicative of many different types of injuries, some of the most common include:
Sprains/Strains in the Back
A back sprain is an injury to a ligament and a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. Sprains and strains occur when excessive stress is placed on a muscle by forces such as falls, twists, or blows to the body, injuring muscles or causing ligaments to stretch beyond their normal range of motion. Symptoms of these injuries include decreased range of motion, pain that worsens with movement, and muscle cramps.
Whiplash is a very common car accident injury that occurs when the violent motion of a collision, most commonly a rear-end collision, causes your head to jerk back and forth, resulting in a sprained/strained neck.
The neck, shoulders, and upper back have a combination of 32 muscles with a relatively wide range of motion that works together to support both the upper back and the head, which weigh about 8 pounds on average. This wide flexibility and general lack of stability make the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the cervical spine prone to injury in car accidents. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, neck pain that worsens with movement, decreased range of motion, headaches, and dizziness.
Between the vertebrae of the spine are discs made of a hard exterior and a soft interior that act as shock absorbers for the spine. A strong force, such as a vehicle collision, applied to the back can cause the outer layer of a disc to rupture, allowing the soft interior to push out of the disc and into the spinal canal; this is called a herniated disc.
Back pain occurs when the contents of a herniated disc press on and agitate the nerves in the spinal canal. It can take time for symptoms of a herniated disc to develop in accident victims. Symptoms include back pain that radiates to other areas of the body, burning sensations, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness.
If you have questions or would like to meet with one of our doctors, please contact our chiropractors in Chicago to get the appropriate treatment for you. Call or contact us today to schedule an appointment.