Recent car accident

by Andrea

The uncinates are often injured in a whiplash injury

The uncinates are often injured in a whiplash injury

Recent car accident

Five days ago I sustained back injury after being involved in a car accident. I was stopped in traffic on the highway and the car behind me slammed into the back end of my vehicle. I was told by the other driver, that she hit me at 50-60kph.

I have since been experiencing a burning aching feeling in my upper-mid back and an ache in my lower lumbar. Pain seems much worse on the right side. I've also noticed other symptoms like calf twitching (right side only), extreme fatigue, urinary frequency, a foggy-like mental status, cracking in various bones in my back, neck and shoulders with movement; grinding is felt in my hips when laying flat on my back and lifting both legs and lowering them to the flat position.

I cannot walk too far without feeling completely pooped out, and I cannot sit for too long without too much pressure felt in my lumbar.

I do get some relief from the lumbar pain when laying flat with my knees bent up. I do not get any relief from the burning ache felt in my mid back. Neck feels strained with movement to the right/left.

In addition, the day I had the accident I received 40 botox injections around my head/neck for chronic migraines, which continue to be a daily issue since my accident. I had a physical exam the following day and the physician told me I had strained my neck, thoracic, and lumbar back. Based on the above symptoms should I be asking for further tests? Should I be concerned that the botox I received is masking pain that should be felt from a classic whiplash injury?

These are all difficult questions to answer, Andrea.

A good motor repair specialist will be able to give you an idea of just how fast the other motorist was traveling from the damage to your car. I'd get it in writing, perhaps from two or three different specialist repair shops. She may have been traveling at twice that speed. Don't sign any documents off until you've seen your attorney.

The fact of the matter is that accidents like this sometimes leave their mark on you for the rest of your life. I'm not being negative, but let's face the honest facts. This could end up costing you a fortune in health care costs. The insurance companies of course will always play it down.

Keep a diary, and update it every day.

Incidentally a double leg raise is a plain bad exercise; don't do it. And migraines often come from the jaw joint; any clicking, popping or tenderness just in front of the ear?

If you had immediate severe pain, and suspect a fracture, xrays right now are important.

More likely, your physician is right and you've had quite severe sprained ligaments, and strained muscles.

If you start having pain radiating down a limb, or towards your breastbone along a rib, then I'd see a chiropractor right away.

Otherwise, be kind to yourself for a week; do some gentle exercises, take some walks, and avoid housework. Sit less if it's painful.

And then make an honest evaluation; have you been injured, are you getting better, and do you need treatment?

Don't sign anything off for at least six months; you will be pressured to sign sooner.

Good luck, I feel for you when you are minding your own business and are injured because someone was stupid.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

» Recent car accident

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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