Car accidents can throw your life into turmoil. Even a minor fender bender can result in expensive car repairs and painful injuries. If you were in a crash and now suffer from whiplash, you might benefit from treatments provided by pain management doctors. Whether your injury is mild, severe, or somewhere in-between, seeing pain management specialists can provide peace of mind and relief from pain. Accident Help Zone has resources that might help you find a doctor and advocates that can help you recover damages if your accident resulted from another person’s negligence.
More than 90,000 motor vehicle accidents resulted in personal injury in New York in 2020. Whiplash injuries may result in any type of accident but commonly occur in rear-end collisions. These accidents often happen due to a distracted driver and when a vehicle follows you too closely. In low-impact collisions, the lower cervical spine can sustain damage, often leading to a herniated disc. Minor leg injuries can also occur, leading to knee pain or other joint issues.
However, high-speed accidents typically involve the head and neck, snapping to the front and whipping back forcefully. The rapid motion often results in whiplash trauma.
The consequences of this trauma may encompass:
Swollen, irritated soft tissue and misaligned joints might result in muscle spasms and chronic neurological issues. Pain specialists in New York and New Jersey can help you through the healing process and get you back to a pain-free life.
The violent front-to-back motions of the head and neck that happen during a car crash can cause the ligaments in your neck to stretch too far.
You may not see signs of whiplash immediately, but it may develop in the days and weeks following the accident. Symptoms include:
Whiplash has a broad range of symptoms that can include pain or tenderness in the upper back, arms or shoulder, and tingling or numbness in the arms. Ringing in the ears, sleep disturbances, problems with remembering details, and difficulty concentrating could also be signs of whiplash. Several factors affect the degree of your injury, such as:
The term whiplash describes an injury but is not a formal medical condition. Disorders associated with the term range from fractured vertebrae and neck sprains to spinal cord contusions. The severity and precise location of the injury determine the best course of action for recovery and function restoration.
Going to a doctor right away is critical if you are in a rear-end crash or another type of car accident. Most pain management doctors will first conduct an examination to check for broken bones, sprains, and strains. Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the hands or arms might indicate several types of injuries, including spinal nerve damage. Healthcare providers often take X-rays or MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) of patients after a car crash. Although these tests cannot show whiplash injuries, they help pain doctors more thoroughly evaluate your condition.
Minor pain and discomfort after an accident are common. Your physician might recommend whiplash treatment that includes:
Taking it easy, avoiding rigorous activity, and taking anti-inflammatory medication in the days following your crash can help your injuries heal.
A pain management doctor often works in conjunction with a primary care physician. He focuses on pain as a symptom of the disease and managing pain disorders. If the pain of a whiplash injury increases or the injury does not heal within a few weeks, your doctor may refer you to a pain management specialist.
Neck pain after a collision can be persistent and debilitating. While medications and immobilization may help reduce the pain, you may need other interventional pain management to help strengthen your neck and shoulders. Whiplash describes how the injury happened, not how it presents. Recovering a full range of motion after soft-tissue-based injuries can take months.
Acute whiplash symptoms typically last two to three months. Healthcare professionals often consider it chronic if it lasts more than 12 weeks. Chronic pain is often a sign that an injury did not heal correctly rather than resulting from inflammation. Physical therapists may use active or passive treatments.
If you experience acute pain from whiplash, your physical therapist may begin with passive treatments. The goal is to help your muscles relax. Treatments frequently include:
A pain management doctor determines the type of treatments best meet your needs, whether you suffer from unexpected chronic headache, back pain or tingling and numbness in the arms and hands. As your body adjusts to the pain and begins healing, he may introduce active treatments to your PT.
A physical therapist assesses your condition and develops a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs.
Depending on the severity of your injury, your regimen may include exercises such as:
A pain management specialist may develop a plan that utilizes several treatment types to help you recover fully from the crash. Some treatments reduce pain while others help you manage it.
Physical therapy provides non-surgical treatments for a broad range of issues. It is a conservative approach to healing injuries, restoring movement, and preventing additional damage. A physical therapist can treat spine-related problems, including whiplash and degenerative disc disease.
A pain management specialist has skills and training specifically for rehabilitation. They understand the difference between injuries and work closely with your physician. Your body type, alignments, and habits all contribute to the best approach to the healing process. Whiplash affects different people in similar but different ways. What worked for your neighbor or sibling may not be the right program for you.
Healthcare professionals often use injections to treat pain for severe whiplash injuries. Your pain management doctor may combine them with neck exercises and physical therapy for best results. Injections provide pain relief so that you can focus on healing from the injury.
Your doctor may locate the spinal nerve root after administering a local anesthetic in the cervical spine. The goals might include healing injured nerves, improving blood flow and reducing neural system dysfunction.
Trigger points are tender muscles that, when touched, send pain radiating to other areas of the body. They often feel like bands or knots that you cannot work out. These points may remain localized in the neck or shoulders or occur throughout the body. A pain management specialist often injects anti-inflammatory medications into these trigger points for pain reduction.
An injection typically contains saline solution, dextrose, a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid.
Removing the pain allows you to focus on rehabilitation.
This is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. A cervical facet lies near blood vessels and nerves within the cervical spine. When inflamed, it can make moving your neck pain. A fluoroscope can confirm the location of the damaged facet joints. After offering mild sedation and a local anesthetic, the pain management doctor injects a steroid into the joint.
The medication may help relieve pain by reducing nerve inflammation. As a result, you may tolerate physical therapy sessions and routine movement more easily.
The greater and lesser occipital nerves supply sensation to the top of the head and back of the scalp. You may experience eye pain when these nerves become irritated. A pain management specialist uses an occipital nerve block for delivering pain-relieving medication near the nerve. The injection may combine an anesthetic and steroid for the most effective results.
The effects of injections vary from one patient to another; some may last for months, others for days or weeks.
By looking at your medical history and conducting an exam, a chiropractor may detect factors that determine if you are more susceptible to chronic pain from whiplash. If your persistent neck or symptoms last more than three months or if pain levels increase, aggressive preventative measures or surgery may be necessary. The type of surgery depends on the location of the cervical spine injury. Factors that indicate higher susceptibility to chronic whiplash pain include:
Recovering from whiplash surgery takes time. A pain management specialist may work with you from the days following the crash and throughout the recovery process.
It’s essential to realize that even collisions involving speeds as low as 10 miles per hour can result in whiplash injuries. The body releases a variety of stress hormones during a traumatic event. Norepinephrine, cortisol, and adrenaline help your mind and body deal with the pain and stress of the situation, and it takes time for the chemicals to return to resting levels. As a result, signs of whiplash may not become evident for days, weeks, or months after the crash.
A pain management doctor in New York and New Jersey can help identify the cause of your discomfort and develop a treatment plan for your recovery. Visit Accident Help Zone to learn more about whiplash treatments and find a doctor near you. If your crash resulted from someone else’s negligence, you might have grounds for a claim that can help you pay for hospital bills and related medical expenses. Doctors listed in our directory accept no-fault, PIP (Personal Injury Protection), workers’ compensation, and other insurance plans.
If you or your family member have been involved in an auto accident, injured at work, or suffered a slip & fall accident in New York or New Jersey, we invite you to explore our free comprehensive library.
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The content on this site is for informational purposes and should not be considered as legal advice, medical diagnosis or treatment recommendations for your accident injuries.
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