After a car accident, you can experience a variety of symptoms due to the force sustained from impact. Initially, you may not feel anything at all. However, as time goes on, you may notice an increase in stiffness, pain, range of motion, or even numbness and tingling. Herniated discs are also a common injury following a car accident. This makes it especially important to find a doctor who can determine if it’s a herniation.
Disc herniations from car accidents can occur from the forward and backward force that happens at impact. Referred to as whiplash, this injury can happen in any part of the spine. The force from the car accident can injure the disc, which acts as a cushion in between the vertebrae. Though it may not cause pain initially, pain can slowly increase and worsen.
Doctors diagnose disc herniations by physical examination and imaging. Since chiropractors specialize in treating injuries and pain, the physical exam and history often tells us that we may be dealing with a disc herniation. Common symptoms include:
– pain worsens with extended sitting or standing
– pain radiates into the arm or leg
– numbness or tingling is felt in the arms or hands
– weakness in the hand or foot
– pain is described as burning
Disc herniations are definitively diagnosed with MRI. However, detailed physical examination will typically indicate there is a herniation, and chiropractors can treat the injury appropriately. Conservative treatment is always a good first step for treatment. At Functional Health Unlimited, there are several methods that are used. These are:
– chiropractic adjustments, which can be tailored to the condition.
– ultrasound and electric muscle stimulation
– stretching and home exercise plan
– Graston technique
– anti-inflammatory supplements
In severe cases, you may be referred for a cortisone injection. Some herniations do require surgery, however, conservative care is always recommended before more drastic procedures. Herniations can and do resolve with conservative care. Chiropractic care is effective at managing the pain associated with herniated discs. If you have been in a car accident, don’t delay getting examined and treated.