Questions about car accident pain

Why do my neck and back hurt, and how do we make it stop?

Neck pain is the most common injury after a car accident. Back pain is not far behind.  While a full diagnosis is not possible without an examination, most people's pain can be explained in general.  Many car accidents involve a collision or sudden change in speed, which causes your head and neck to move quickly relative to the car.  Sometimes your head gets snapped back and forth, resulting in a move similar to cracking a whip, so it is referred to as whiplash.  It happens similarly in the back, where there is a wave of force that passes through your body and causes significant injury to the structures of your lower back as well.  Even when you car is not damaged, the collision and sudden change in speed can cause a lot of pain and injury.  Parts of the neck and back that can be hurt include the muscles, ligaments, joints and discs of the neck and back.

Why is my car fine, but my neck and back really hurt?

This confuses many people.  Cars are designed to crumple.  The crumple zones reduce and redistribute the force of the accident before it gets to the people inside.  Older cars that were built to stay rigid when hit tended to be more damaging to the people inside.  The area immediately around the passenger (safety cell) stays rigid, with airbags to absorb the shock as well.  Cars are safer then they've ever been, but injuries still happen. Sometimes, a car is hit at an odd angle that does not allow the car to crumple, so the force gets transferred to the person.  Also, in low speed collisions, sometimes the force is not enough to crumple a car, but it's enough to hurt you.  While 10 to 15 miles while driving seems incredibly slow.  It might It's actually about as fast as most people can run.  If I were running as fast as I could, and ran into the back of a stationary minivan, I would be unsurprised if I were injured.  

 

 People are often very surprised at how intense the pain can be, and how long it can last.  They're also surprised, as the pain feels often like they've just pulled a muscle, but does not improve as quickly as expected.  Many folks have told me that normally ibuprofen or tylenol takes away their regular pain, but it doesn't help much in a car accident.   The momentum in a car accident is much higher than the forces involved in "normal" events that hurt your neck or back (lifting a heavy object, twisting oddly, too much computer use and awkward positions), so the damage done is often more significant.

If you're not in a hospital bed reading this, then most likely you have a problem we can help you with.  The majority of pain and injury from a motor vehicle accident can be treated with conservative care from Advantage Chiropractic.

When will it stop hurting?
 

There is not an easy way to predict how long pain will last. Studies suggest that untreated pain can last for years.  Typically the longer you wait to start treatment, the longer it will hurt.

 With treatment, most patients under my care report improvement within two to six visits.  The majority of patients are largely symptom free after two to three months, but it depends on many factors, including how bad your injury was, any problems you had beforehand, and how long a delay there was before treatment.

I do everything in my power to get patients better as quickly as possible.

I went to the Emergency Room, and they said I was fine, but I still hurt.  Why does it still hurt?

How did I hurt my...

 

Can chiropractic and physical therapy help my pain?

Muscle and ligament Pain. 

 
 

Joint pain

Disc Pain

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