Facet joint syndromes

 

In as many as 45% of people with lower back pain, facet joint syndrome is to blame. If you experience lower back pain combined with inflexibility, you may have facet joint syndrome. The good news is that facet joint syndrome responds incredibly well to chiropractic manipulation. The human spine is made up of 66 unique facet joints, which creates many opportunities for back pain. Facet joints are the joints between the vertebrae that allow the spine to bend and flex; there are two joints that connect each vertebrae, allowing extension and flexion and also providing stability to the spine.

Facet joints have a cartilage lining that supports smooth movement between the bones they connect. If a facet joint is injured, or if the cushion of cartilage is compromised, the other facet joints in the spine may need to overcompensate, eventually leading to inflammation, stiffness, and back pain. Facet joint syndrome is also referred to as spinal osteoarthritis and is classified by pain in the facet joints. A degenerative disease, facet joint syndrome gradually wears down the joints in the spine, inhibiting motion and potentially impacting the nerves within the spine.

Because facet joints are constantly moving, the joints and the cartilage that cushions and supports them undergo a significant amount of pressure on a daily basis and may degenerate with age. Facet joint syndrome may be caused by degeneration, sustained pressure on the facet joints, and injury, but the most common causes of facet joint syndrome are simply stress, age, and wear. Facet joint syndrome may be exacerbated by sudden trauma or injury, a sedentary lifestyle, physical labor, or unnatural movement in the discs or vertebrae. Some conditions and habits increase the risk of facet joint syndrome, such as obesity, smoking, genetics, problems with posture, and a weakened immune system.

The most common symptom of facet joint syndrome is pain or tenderness near the affected joint. Symptoms vary, however, depending on the location of the joint in the spinal column. When the affected facet joint is in the lumbar spine, or the lower back, people may experience discomfort while leaning back, and the pain may radiate from the lower back into the hips, groin, buttocks, and hamstrings. Because the lumbar vertebrae bear most of the pressures on the back, lumbar facet joint syndrome is the most common type of facet joint syndrome.

In the thoracic spine, or the middle part of the back, facet joint syndrome is less common, as this part of the back undergoes less wear and tear on a daily basis. Rigidity of the thoracic spine is usually the primary cause of facet joint syndrome in this part of the back. Symptoms of thoracic facet joint pain include pain in the center of the spine, and pain that radiates out from the center of the spine to the shoulders. Cervical facet joint syndrome affects the upper back. The facet joints in the upper back are also extremely prone to injury and wear, particularly the facet joints that are located at the base of the skull. You may have cervical facet joint syndrome if you have pain or tenderness in the neck, or pain that radiates from the neck outward and downward, to the shoulders and back.

Facet joint syndrome is typically diagnosed with a thorough review of medical history as well as a physical examination. Depending on the symptoms, a diagnostic test, like an MRI or x-ray, may be ordered. Once diagnosed, facet joint syndrome can be effectively treated by chiropractic care and other non-invasive treatments. Your chiropractor will first help reduce the pain and inflammation at the location of the joint, allowing treatment to continue painlessly. In addition to spinal manipulation, treatment may include heat therapy or cold therapy, massage, physical therapy, postural correction, and ergonomic or lifestyle advice. In many cases, once the initial pain of facet joint syndrome is addressed, patients can find relief from syndromes by increasing gentle exercise and focusing on proper posture and healthy habits. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of facet joint syndrome, chiropractic treatment can help reduce pain and discomfort for many types of spinal issues, including facet joint syndrome.

Chronic pain in Gen Z

According to a survey conducted by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a nonprofit educational organization that informs the public about the benefits of chiropractic care, many young adults — specifically those in Generation Z — experienced chronic pain in their necks, shoulders, and backs before the age of 16. Surveyed members of Generation Z, which includes people born between 1996 and 2010, reported that in some cases, chronic pain began under the age of 10, and in most cases was largely connected to sleep posture, sports, and the weight distribution of heavy bookbags, as well as posture while using technology. Nearly half of the surveyed young adults indicated a preference for drug-free pain management, including chiropractic care, possibly complemented by other, more conventional types of medical treatment.

More than half of the 200 young adults surveyed expressed curiosity about and interest in chiropractic care and cited effectiveness as the most important factor in choosing a treatment plan for their chronic pain, prioritizing effectiveness over both cost and convenience. Representatives from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress noted that chronic pain in Generation Z is not a widely studied topic and were encouraged by the survey’s results, citing a lessened interest in pharmacological pain management as a beneficial characteristic within this generation. Survey respondents ranged in age from 18 to 24 and were nearly evenly split between genders.

Many parents or doctors may attribute early-onset pain in the neck, shoulders, and back to growth spurts. While growing pains may be at least partly responsible for discomfort in childhood, it is important to assess the situation to determine whether physical activity has damaged the ligaments, tendons, or joints. Chiropractic examinations and treatments can prevent early damage from developing into chronic pain later in life. Consultation with a doctor of chiropractic can determine the possible causes of childhood pain and develop a treatment plan to address the pain and protect the area from further injury. In many cases, with younger patients, chiropractic methods can treat musculoskeletal ailments and provide relief from pain while also helping patients establish habits that will allow them to participate in athletic activities more safely.

While most of the pain reported by Generation Z survey respondents was classified as medium-level pain, many people surveyed indicated that their pain was chronic and either staying the same or worsening. A small percentage of respondents had received chiropractic care and found it effective, while a larger percentage indicated interest in chiropractic care and other drug-free treatments. Generation Z survey respondents widely believe that chiropractic care should be covered by health insurance, and they also believe that other non-pharmaceutical modalities, like physical therapy, massage, reiki, and reflexology should be paid for by health insurance. Despite the fact that chronic pain is most commonly associated with older adults, the results of this survey indicate that healthcare providers should address possible sources of chronic pain in younger adults as well. With effective, drug-free treatment, these younger adults can establish healthy habits that will allow them to move into adulthood and enjoy their lives with less pain and more optimal health and well-being.

 

Back pain: Common and uncommon causes

Have you ever woken up with pain in your lower back and you have no idea why? If so, you’re not alone. Research shows that about 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their life, and lower back pain is a particularly pervasive complaint. Medical professionals commonly attribute the prevalence of lower back pain to evolution, noting that back pain can be attributed to the way we bear our weight while standing and walking on two legs. Lower back pain is often aggravated by the way we move, lift, and bend, and also by the amount of time we spend sitting and sleeping. The lumbar spine, which is the second-lowest segment of the spine, bears significant compression and flexion in supporting the mechanics of human movement, and it is easy for any small component of the spine to become misaligned or maladjusted. This can lead to numbness, discomfort, pain, or even immobility. Unfortunately, lower back pain can also be a symptom of a larger medical issue, and some lower back pain seems to appear and disappear with no rhyme or reason. It is important to consult a medical practitioner to rule out serious complications of lower back pain, though some pain can be readily attributed to one of a few common causes.

Common triggers for lower back pain

Living a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to many health concerns, including lower back pain. If your back pain diminishes when you stretch your legs or hips, or when you loosen your muscles through walking or other low-impact exercise, it is likely that your back pain is a result of your sedentary lifestyle. If you sit in the same position for work all day, try getting up to take periodic breaks to stretch out your hips and legs, and walk as much as you can throughout the day to loosen and relax the muscles around the spine.

Poor posture is also often a culprit when looking for the causes of lower back pain. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you slouch while standing or sitting; if you tuck one leg under you, or habitually jut one leg to the side, this repeated movement will contribute to pressure and misalignment in the spine and can lead to lower back pain or discomfort if sustained for a regular period of time. These habits can be difficult to break, but learning to do so can offer relief for pain that is due to postural issues.

If your back has lost muscle tone and strength, due to a lack of exercise, you may find yourself more susceptible to sudden strain of the muscles or ligaments while lifting something heavy or moving in a sudden or aggressive way. Conversely, lower back pain may also result from muscle fatigue, which may arise because of exercise or repetitive movement. Try to learn and adhere to proper form when lifting, moving, exercising, or other repetitive motions, to alleviate the possibility of pain in the lumbar spine.

Medical triggers for lower back pain

Sometimes, pain in the lower back arises because of injury or a medical condition. In between each of our vertebrae are cushioning discs that support the weight of the vertebrae. Over time, these discs can stiffen, bulge, or rupture, due to trauma, causing shooting pain down the legs and other painful symptoms in the lumbar spine. Disc abnormalities, like bulging or herniation, are relatively common and don’t necessarily cause pain, but when they do, medical treatment can provide relief.

Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, can also lead to pain or discomfort in the lower back, as can degenerative bone and joint issues like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Back pain may also be a symptom of autoimmune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, though these medical conditions are rare. Another rare cause of lower back pain is cancer, which may metastasize and form tumors in the organs in the lower back area.

What to do about your back pain

If you’re experiencing pain in your lower back, there’s a good chance it will resolve on its own within a relatively short amount of time. Rest, heat or ice, and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen may be sufficient methods to bring relief. Try to stay as active as you can, to keep the muscles of the lower back loose and flexible, but avoid any movements that aggravate the pain. You may also want to look into office ergonomics, to ensure that your workspace is arranged in a beneficial way for your spinal health and comfort.

If your back pain hasn’t resolved within 6 weeks, schedule an appointment with your general practitioner. You may be referred to a physical therapist, an orthopedist, or even a massage therapist, depending on the nature and cause of your pain. In many cases, it’s perfectly fine to wait to see if your back pain resolves; there are some situations, however, where you should seek prompt medical care. If you back pain is the result of an accident or other trauma; if you’re experiencing neurological symptoms like numbness or weakness in the legs or loss of sensation in the groin area; if you have a history of cancer; if you are constipated or cannot hold your urine or stool; or if you have a fever associated with your lower back pain, be sure to see your general practitioner as soon as you can.

Working from Home is Causing More Back Pain

Digital technology has impacted every industry through the last few decades. With communication abilities and opportunities driven by laptops and home computers, as late as 2016 43% of the workforce worked from home some of the time. As trends continue and goals are met that number will increase. 30% of the workforce will begin to work multiple days at home in a week.

With the current pandemic challenges forcing many office workers home those numbers are skyrocketing. With these work from home scenarios comes the introduction of unwanted back pain. Strain and pain from sitting on a computer for hours on end in a less than ergonomically encouraged position. As employers deal with new challenges every day thrown at them by the pandemic, they are seeing cost savings. This only suggests that working from home will impact many office workers post pandemic. One statistic claims that a typical employer can save about $11,000 a year for every employee that works remotely 50% of the time.

Picture someone sitting in the bathtub, lounging in a hammock, on the couch, in the recliner or on a barstool. Work from home ergonomics are being challenged as entire families are struggling to share space at home. Not every chair is designed and constructed the same. A table and chair may catch your eye because of a striking color but be terrible for your spine and your posture. Too often we find ourselves saving a dollar at a wholesaler to end up in the doctor’s office dealing with back pains.

Let’s identify ergonomics and the implications in setting up a correct workspace at home. Then we’ll go through and encourage some daily tips that will help your posture and ward off back pain issues.

  1. The desk or work surface. You’re at home desk, whatever it might be, needs to have your keyboard and mouse at the height of your elbows. If you can’t adjust the height of the desk, then adjust the height of your chair.
  2. Since laptops continue to be the popular option, they are not the best ergonomically. It is best to have the top of the monitor slightly below your eye level. If you are on a laptop, consider hooking up a second monitor for this reason. Or, if you use the laptop monitor than consider a remote keyboard.
  3. The placement of your mouse should be near the keyboard with overextending your arm.
  4. Sit Pretty! Sitting properly begins with your feet flat on the floor. Your thighs are then parallel to the floor. Keep your chest out pinching your shoulder blades together to relieve scapula pain.
  5. Consider a standing desk option. Alternating from sitting to standing is terrific and healthy option. You must also stand straight with a neutral spine to make this option beneficial.

While working from home create the habit of getting up once an hour and take a few minutes to perform these six stretches from the Mayo Clinic.

  1. A standing hamstring stretch for 30 seconds on each leg.
  2. A shoulder stretch for 30 seconds with each arm.
  3. A standing thigh stretch for 30 seconds for each leg.
  4. A lower back stretch for 30 seconds bringing up each leg.
  5. A neck stretch, turning your head each direction for 30 seconds.
  6. A calf stretch, 30 seconds on each leg as you press against a wall.

Working from home is here to stay. Exercise common sense in your workspace and take care of your body as you spend hours on your computer. By doing these simple things you can avoid unnecessary back pain.

Neck Pain as Related to Cell Phone Usage

Two major changes have occurred to our society and our workplace over the last few decades. The number of people sitting at desks has increased as well as the numbers for cell phone owners. With these increases comes the unnecessary and unwanted addition of neck and upper back pain.

Here are some alarming numbers that support those statements.

  1. First, the average amount of time spent on a cell phone today is 2 hours and 51 minutes.
  2. 58% of smartphone users cannot make it 1 hour without checking into their phone.
  3. 150 times a day. That is the average of how many times the phone is unlocked a day.
  4. 66% of smart phone users are addicted to their phone.
  5. 71% of users usually sleep with their phone.
  6. 40% check their phone in the middle of the night.
  7. 75% of Americans use their cell phones while using the toilet.
  8. During the current COVID-19 pandemic the smart phone usage has increased 57%.

Saving the best statistic for last; we laugh on the average of 15 times a day, but we average touching our phones over 2,600 times a day! So, the case has been proven we use our phones a lot causing a corresponding increase in neck pain.

Let’s look at some suggestions in how to look at your mobile device to relieve the strain on the neck muscles.

  1. Look Forward First– Try to bring the cell phone UP to your eye level. This small change will minimize the bend in your neck and improve your spine posture.
  2. Move your Eyes, not your Neck– If your smart phone is below your eye level do your absolute best to shift your eyes, to lower your gaze, to the screen rather than dropping your chin.
  3. Take Frequent Breaks– Many micro breaks to move and stretch your neck and back. Do NOT use your device over 20 minutes.
  4. Consider a Phone Call– If possible, dial the recipient of the text versus texting.
  5. Check your Posture– Make your best effort to maintain a curve in your lower back which sitting and using your cell phone. If possible, try to use a supportive chair with arms to rest your arms on. When on the phone, avoid cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder.
  6. Stretching– Try tucking your chin on a regular basis and hold there for several seconds and repeat several times. Then try pulling your shoulder blades together thrusting your chest out. This scapular retraction loosens the back as well.

When you bend your head to text or browse you are dramatically increasing the stress on the cervical spine. This position is not natural and will undoubtedly lead to irregular stresses on your spine and the surrounding soft tissues.

If you have neck pain it is self-induced. Consider your cell phone usage and your posture. Start today by introducing a new habit around your relationship with your phone. Consider this; SMART, make your change Specific, make it Measurable, there is a Reward in you sticking with it and your progress will be Trackable.

Chiropractic Care an Essential Service

During the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials in Illinois, and around the country, have been frantically trying to “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of infection by closing businesses deemed non-essential.  While the determination of whether a service or business is deemed essential varies by state, it is widely agreed upon around the country that specific recreational businesses, such as spas, gyms, sporting venues, and shopping malls, are not considered necessary.

When looking at the listing of businesses and services considered unnecessary, people may wonder why it is chiropractors are categorized as essential.  But given the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and the need to keep sufferers segregated from potential COVID-19 cases, it becomes clear that it is essential to have a designated facility specifically for chiropractic care.  According to Dr. Robert Kuyper, a Doctor of Chiropractic at Alternative Health Care Center of the Black Hills, chiropractic care is helping to flatten the curve against COVID-19 and is vital in the healthcare system.  “We don’t want people with musculoskeletal complaints going to urgent care centers or hospitals and mixing a healthy population with a sick one,” said Dr. Kuyper.  By having separate, stand alone facilities dedicated to chiropractic care for musculoskeletal complaints, urgent care centers and hospitals are better able to focus on treating COVID-19 patients.

Chiropractic facilities in Illinois, have been doing everything possible to keep their clinics safe and clean for patients by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Chiropractic Society, and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines and recommendations.  In addition to regularly cleaning and disinfecting facilities, chiropractic staff are wearing masks, washing hands after working on patients, and practicing social distancing by ensuring that seats in waiting rooms are spaced at least six feet apart.  Many chiropractic clinics are also checking the temperature of all incoming patients to monitor for fevers.  To prevent spread of the virus, any patient with an elevated temperature is either being sent home or to a facility for COVID-19 screening/testing.

Not only has the COVID-19 outbreak been a tremendous stress on people individually, it has overwhelmed many hospitals and healthcare facilities.  At the same time, the number of patients needing chiropractic services has not waned.  When considering the additional precautions undertaken by Illinois chiropractic facilities and the need for care, it becomes easy to see why chiropractors are considered essential.

Chiropractic Care for Migraine Relief

While people frequently joke about things being “a pain in the neck”, the reality is that few things can rival the discomfort associated with a persistent, throbbing headache.  Millions of people are affected by headaches each year so chances are you or someone you know, has been plagued by one.  One of the most severe forms of headaches are known as migraines.  Characterized by a severely painful headache that persists for hours or even days, migraines are also frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and tingling in the extremities.  In over 90% of cases, those suffering from a migraine are unable to work or function as they normally would.

There are several factors that contribute to migraines and most migraine sufferers have headaches and related symptoms on a regular basis.  Patients frequently describe the onset of a migraine as feeling as though their head is in a continually tightening vice.  Pressure continues to build from the base of the skull up to the back of the eyes making even the most basic tasks seem overwhelming.  Because migraine pain is so severe and persistent, life can be hopeless and agonizing for those that suffer from them.

Given the persistent and debilitating nature of migraines, those that suffer from the headaches often face difficult decisions regarding their long-term health and treatment.  The medical community commonly relies on administering powerful prescription drugs to combat the symptoms of migraines while ignoring long-term health issues, side effects, or treating the underlying source of the condition.  While the pharmaceutical drugs may temporarily relieve symptoms for a few hours, after a short reprieve, the pain is likely to return and be debilitating in nature.

Fortunately, there are non-pharmaceutical treatment options, such as chiropractic spinal adjustments, that can provide relief and hope to migraine suffers.  Because chiropractic adjustments can release tension, pressure, and stress from the spinal column and nervous system, people suffering from migraines should understand the benefits that can be achieved through manual spinal adjustments.  A 2015 study showed that patients who received manual cervical adjustments had an 80% reduction in drug consumption, 97% fewer days with a migraine per month, and a 100% decrease in pain and disability associated with migraines.

The extent and intensity of migraines are also dictated by factors such as stress, nutrition, hormones, and lifestyle factors.  The central nervous system is integral in connecting all of these factors as well as directing the control and functionality of the entire body.  Chiropractors address specific functional areas of the nervous system, help improve communication between the mind and body, and reduce stress throughout the central nervous system through appropriate spinal care and manual chiropractic adjustments.

Incorporating chiropractic adjustments into a person’s lifestyle can help address the cause of migraines but there are other lifestyle modifications that can help as well.  Staying well hydrated, getting more high-quality sleep, engaging in regular exercise, and removing dietary toxins, such as artificial colors, preservatives, and sweeteners, can also help mitigate the cause of the headaches.

 

Using CBD and Chiropractic to Treat Autism

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one out of every 59 children is diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The number of patients with this developmental disability has risen nearly three-fold in just 20 years and impacts boys at a rate of four times more than girls. Given the sharp rise in this disorder and the need to seek treatment as quickly as possible in order to reduce an individual’s difficulties while helping them acquire needed life skills, parents are left seeking new methods of treatment to combat their child’s condition.

Some of the most common treatments for ASD involve using prescription medications to mitigate the associated symptoms of anxiety, depression, aggression, self-abuse, irritability, and hyperactivity that many patients are challenged with. In other cases, children with ASD find benefit through therapies designed to teach communication skills, necessary life skills, and to help minimize the challenges they have as a result of the condition.

One of the more recent treatment options that research has shown to potentially help patients with ASD, combines the use of CBD (cannabidiol) and chiropractic procedures. CBD, a compound that is found naturally in the cannabis plant, is a safe, non-addictive substance that research shows may offer relief from anxiety, depression, inflammation, and chronic pain. While found in the cannabis plant, CBD does not have the psychoactive properties that produce the “high” that another compound in the plant, THC, provides. Coupled with chiropractic treatments designed to correct any existing subluxations and improve sensory processing in patients with ASD, CBD may offer benefits that traditional medicine cannot.

While research on the combination therapy is ongoing, early studies have shown that the treatments may offer improvement of autistic symptoms. One study from April 2018 showed that of the 60 children diagnosed with ASD that were treated with oral CBD, 61% said their behavioral outbreaks were “much improved” or “very much improved”. An additional benefit was that patients also reported lower stress or anxiety levels, improved sleep quality, and communication issues were reduced.

As mentioned previously, chiropractic care is often used in patients with ASD to improve sensory processing associated with any subluxations. Subluxations of the vertebrae, also known as misalignments or partial dislocations, are commonly corrected through chiropractic adjustments. By correcting these misalignments, ASD patients can achieve greater sensory processing which can help reduce some of the symptoms associated with the disorder. One study noted that patients receiving twice-weekly adjustments to their first or second cervical vertebrae reported behavioral improvements, a reduction in self-abuse, and improved language skills. Another study indicated that chiropractic treatments helped a 16-year-old male ASD patient eliminate frequent bowel accidents and think more clearly.

There is still much to learn regarding the effects of combining CBD and chiropractic for patients with ASD but the early data is promising. For patients that are seeking an alternative or supplement to traditional medication or therapies, the use of CBD and chiropractic treatments may offer them relief from the symptoms associated with the disorder. As with any treatment plan, patients should consult with their doctors to determine if the therapy is right for their situation.

Limiting Video Game Injuries

While going through childhood and adolescence, injuries from sports and physical activity are common. However, with the rising popularity of video games, children are now experiencing aches and pain more commonly associated with their adult counterparts who sit at desks all day. Parents can take an active role in ensuring their children stake steps to prevent pain and long-term damage associated with video gaming.

The primary health issue with video gaming that concerns chiropractors is the sedentary nature of sitting in front of a screen for hours at a time. While there are games that encourage movement (which can create injuries of their own), many games require minimal activity beyond clicking a mouse or button on a controller. Lack of movement can have damaging effects to the musculoskeletal system as joints essentially get much of their nutrition through movement. Gamers will often complain about strains of the eye, wrist, hand, arm, elbow, thumb, neck, back, and carpal tunnel syndrome after long gaming sessions. Poor posture during extended periods of gameplay can also physically alter the curvature of the spine leading to chronic, lifelong problems or pain.

Given that video gaming is only increasing in popularity, parents need to take steps to ensure their child does not suffer any ill effects. Fortunately, there are several options available to parents to combat any health-related issues from gaming. First, is moderation. Like most things in life, gaming in moderation is perfectly healthy and can be a healthy social outlet for children. Parents putting limitations on screen time will help establish good boundaries early on in childhood that will become understood once the child is a teenager. Gaming should be viewed a supplement to other activities, particularly physical, in order to offset the solitary, sedentary nature.

Another option to prevent video gaming related injury is to have the gaming environment as ergonomic as possible. Screens should be adjusted to eye-level so that necks are not strained up or down in order to see the picture. Chairs should be cushioned, have back support, and put the child in a neutral body position that does not place undue stress on muscles; strive to keep the body in alignment.

A third option is to encourage movement during gaming sessions. Simply taking periodic breaks to roll wrists, stretch legs, and rest eyes, are great ways to combat some of the sedentary effects of gaming. By encouraging frequent game breaks where the child takes their eyes off the screen, stands, stretches, moves around the room, etc. parents can help prevent injury. Movement can also be encouraged by incorporating games that require players to stand or actively move in order to play.

The final option for parents is to educate their child about the dangers of overdoing video gaming. Having an honest conversation with kids about the possible long-term effects of gaming can have a tremendous impact on helping them to adopt proper precautions. If possible, have this conversation and adopt these steps prior to introducing the game as it is much less likely that the child will moderate themselves.

Car Accidents, Injures & Chiropractic Care

Often times after a fender bender or being rear-ended folks jump out of the vehicle and shake off the fact that they don’t have any immediate injuries. Many people chose to walk away and do nothing after an auto accident because they don’t have any major damage or trauma to their bodies. There are a lot of other issues that can develop. Sometimes in hours, sometimes in days.

The First Adrenaline Rush

After having been involved in an accident your body reacts with an immediate adrenaline rush. This happens to all of us. The excitement of the event causes the heart to race which results in the body generating endorphins and adrenaline which can energize you and mask any pain. Once the accident victim has calmed down the pain might be more evident. Some people think the pain will just go away, others find the filing of a personal injury report intimidating and chose to avoid the process.

Different Types of Injuries

Car accidents generate a lot of force. Even slow rollers at low speeds. The driver and passengers can get thrown around, jerked back and forth, which is hard on the joints and all soft tissues. An umbrella term that covers most soft tissue injuries is that of whiplash. Most often this relates to damaged neck muscles resulting in pain and swelling. Whiplash symptoms can take days or even weeks to start showing and unfortunately soft tissue damage cannot be diagnosed by x-rays. You can consider seeing a chiropractor as a proactive or preventive measure in dealing with potential whiplash.

Concussions are another common injury from car accidents. The brain can strike the inside of the skull with a lot of force causing a concussion. Sometimes these are immediately evident and sometimes not so. The symptom can include dizziness, headaches, blurry vision, lack of energy, feeling sort of foggy, memory issues and unusual sleep patterns.

See a Doctor No Matter How You Feel

You only have one body and you should always make it your top priority. Having just experienced a life event like a car accident you should let a professional examine your body as soon as possible. Even if there are no immediate symptoms the examination is on record in the event that difficulties develop later. This will be advantageous in the event that the insurance company needs to become involved down the road.

Do Not Sign Anything without an Objective Review

The first call you might receive will be from the other driver’s insurance company. They will ask about your health and if you feel any pain. They will want you to legally disclose that you have no discomfort or injury so the liability will be shifted from them if any discomfort or pain appears at a later date. Even though this pain might be the result of this accident you have waived their responsibility by agreeing to sign the waiver. Wait on signing anything.

Seeing a chiropractor or a family physician will not only make common sense moving forward but the chiropractor might be able to do an adjustment or two to neutralize the stress you have just endured.

Reaves Chiropractic