Pain after a car accident is a very common experience. In fact, one of the most common car accident injuries can cause pain in a specific area as well as pain that radiates into other parts of your body. That car accident injury is called whiplash, and it is a prime example of why you might be experiencing radiating pain after an accident. Two areas where radiating pain is most common due to car accident injuries are the arms and legs. That’s because damage to the spine in the neck and lower back can cause pain symptoms that are more likely to send shooting, stabbing pain into your arms and legs. You may only experience this type of radiating pain with certain movements or positions that exacerbate your injury. A car accident doctor can help identify the source of the pain and treat your symptoms as well.
Why You May Have Radiating Pain After a Car Accident
Radiating pain after a car accident has to do with damage to the nerves along the spine that communicate with other parts of the body. You may not even realize you have an injury until you move or twist a certain way. As swelling and inflammation set in with damaged muscles and other soft tissues, they can put pressure on nerves and cause more pain and discomfort. Radiating pain is a sign of nerve damage after a car accident. Nerves can become damaged from being under too much pressure, getting over-extended, pinched, and even torn. Deeper cuts known as lacerations can also cause nerve pain, especially if nerve roots are damaged.
Whiplash and Radiating Pain
Whiplash is the most common car accident injury, especially in rear-end collisions. A fender-bender can end up causing significant damage to the muscles and tendons in your neck and even damage your spine. The force of impact can cause your head and neck to snap forward and backward in a rapid and violent motion, straining the muscles and causing misalignments in the spine. If the vertebrae in your neck are not in the proper positioning, they can put pressure on nearby nerves that control mobility and functioning in other parts of the body. That’s why you might experience a stabbing pain that moves into your arm when the primary injury site is in your neck. Nerve endings run along the spinal cord, and damage to the spine or swelling of soft tissues in the neck can compress nerves and affect their functioning.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Whiplash
In order to diagnose whiplash, your car accident doctor will want to know what type of symptoms you have been experiencing, for how long, and their severity. Your doctor will also perform a physical examination of your head, neck, and back and may even ask you to perform certain movements like turning your head from side to side. In some cases, a car accident doctor may also want to run diagnostic imaging tests like an X-ray or CT scan to rule out other potential injuries or reasons for your symptoms. If you are experiencing radiating pain, then it will help to pinpoint the area where the nerve damage has occurred. Diagnostic imaging tools provide greater detail of the affected area. When you receive treatment for whiplash and symptoms like radiating pain, your doctor will treat both your symptoms and the root cause of your pain. The sooner you see a car accident doctor after you’ve been in a wreck, the sooner you can start experiencing lasting pain relief.
Chiropractic Care for Whiplash
Chiropractic care is one option for treating whiplash after a car accident. Chiropractors use a non-invasive and holistic approach to reducing your pain and promoting healing in your body. A car accident chiropractor will want to see how the spine and nerves were affected by the accident and resolve any misalignments that may be compressing or pinching nearby nerves. They can also work with you to regain strength and mobility after you experience muscle strains or tears. Chiropractic care utilizes a drug-free approach that actually encourages the body’s natural healing responses to address your pain. To learn more about chiropractic care for radiating pain after a car accident, visit a car accident chiropractor at AICA Orthopedics in Tucker.