It’s easy to judge our health based on the presence or absence of pain or symptoms. This can be misleading when it comes to the spine, but it also applies to many parts of your body. Think of going to the dentist to get a check-up only to find out there is a cavity (aka rotten bone in your mouth), meanwhile you were oblivious to it because there was no pain. How many of you have had blood tested and been told by the M.D. that you now have Type 2 Diabetes? It was found by a blood test and there were probably no symptoms to give you a warning. There are so many other examples from arthritis and back problems to cancer and digestive issues where feeling a symptom was not part of the underlying condition.
3 Keys to Avoid Chronic Neck or Back Pain After a Car Accident – Tips From Whiplash Expert Dr. Ryan Browning, D.C.
Having seen hundreds of patients after car crashes there are many mistakes that people make which cause longer lasting and sometimes permanent damage to the spine from a car accident or whiplash trauma. Many patients come in shortly after a motor vehicle accident and some come in a long time after once they are aware that their chronic neck or back pain is not going away. One of my jobs as their chiropractor is to educate them on how they can get better now and stay better in the future. Here are 3 tips of things to do after any car wreck.
#1- Seek immediate treatment or an opinion. If you are in an accident and there is immediate pain, it needs to be tended to immediately. This initial pain very well may worsen in the next day or two, so the sooner it is diagnosed and treated the better. High levels of pain should be checked in the emergency room to rule out bone fractures or other trauma to the body’s vital organs or the intervertebral discs. Whether or not trauma care in the E.R. is necessary, the next step should be a specialist in whiplash. This would be specific chiropractors. All chiropractors can see a car accident patient, but you want one who is expert in this area. You want one that has post-doctorate training and certification in whiplash and auto accident trauma to be the one to examine your injuries. The higher the level of training in this area, the higher the specificity in finding and helping to resolve your problems.
#2- Start with ICE to reduce inflammation, not heat! One of the most basic rules of treatment is that ice helps decrease inflammation because it pushes the blood away from the muscles, tendons, ligaments, all the soft tissues that are trying to heal after an injury. Heat will bring blood towards the area thus making it more difficult to repair the area. When in doubt, ice! I am continually amazed how often a patient comes in after an accident and they have been told by someone to put heat on it- even from the E.R. and urgent care centers!! Try to get extra amounts of water for hydration to the muscles and extra rest as your body is working in overdrive to repair itself and will feel fatigued and run down for a while.
#3- At a minimum, get spinal x-rays to check the alignment and curvatures of the spine as well as under the radar fractures that may occur. This is necessary before undergoing any form of treatment! Just a few months ago I examined a woman after her car accident. She inquired if her son should be checked as well since he had a little bit of pain. After I agreed, she brought him in and I started with an examination and x-rays. I found a large fracture at his fifth lumbar vertebrae! If he had begun many forms of treatment without knowing about this he would have been injured worse from treatment. This case was a surprise since his levels of pain were much lower than expected with this finding. As a rule, after a car accident, at least get spinal x-rays and a complete examination performed by a car accident chiropractor that is expert in this area.
Let’s talk back pain real quick and simple… The pain is the result of something, not the cause. It could be caused by a car accident, poor posture, lifting wrong, bad sleeping position or just the overall accumulation of wear and tear to the spine. These are all examples of activities or habits that can gradually or suddenly create misalignments in the spine. When the spine is misaligned it loses the ability to move smoothly and often pinches on nerves. It also creates more stress on the discs in between the vertebrae. As time goes on and they lose their proper position, good movement and tension on the nerves pain or symptoms of some sort are inevitable.
Taking care of your spine and body requires some work. But if you will be proactive you’ll save yourself a lot of grief and pain over the long haul. The 3 Keys are 1- Flexibility 2- Strength 3- Alignment
Flexibility affects your range of motion. If a joint cannot go through its full range of motion then it will lose the ability to move through the entire range. Stiffness then settles in and then your movements become altered. Imagine squatting down to lift a box with hips that can’t squat all the way or a stiffened low back- this changes where the lifting force is felt and makes you more likely for injuries. A simple stretching routine or yoga if done regularly are the first part of preventing back injuries.
Strength and stability of the spinal and core muscles are important to give support to the vertebrae and the discs to protect them against injury or herniation. Simple core exercises include plank position and variations of plank. Cross-crawl exercises and thera-band exercises for the spinal muscles. The average person will see big benefits in doing these for 15 minutes 3x a week.
Alignment affects everything from movement of the joints, protection of the discs and health of the nerves. Misalignment is inevitable as we go throughout life carrying kids, falling asleep on the couch, rigors of travel or driving, sports, accidents, etc, etc. Spinal alignment needs to be attended to on a regular basis to prevent pain and injury. This will assure pressure is staying off the nerves and protecting the discs by allowing them to stay hydrated so they don’t dry out, thus leading to decay and degeneration.
These are 3 Simple Tips that can help you stay more active and take better care of your body as the years go on. All 3 need to be part of your regular routine to ensure a health and wellness lifestyle so you’re not always reacting to the body’s pain signals, but preventing them instead!
Ryan Browning, DC
We see many people that are victims of car accidents and all too often they do not know the first steps to follow after a car wreck. This short blog post can give you the information needed to save you from unnecessary pain.
1- If you are in immediate pain after an accident, seek help at the emergency room. Sometimes neck pain, back pain or other car crash related symptoms manifest immediately afterwards. It could be whiplash, inflammation, herniated disc or even broken bones. It’s best to rule out the worst first. It is very common for the accident related pain to begin up to several days after the wreck.
2- Use ice! Ice is used to decrease swelling and inflammation. The force of two colliding vehicles creates a lot of pressure and stress on the joints, ligaments, discs and muscles. Ice is usually the first step. Many confuse this and use heat. Heat can make the inflammation worse in the initial critical stage.
3- Rest and Water. Your body is trying to heal from the side effects of a motor vehicle accident and you need to give it every opportunity to heal. Extra sleep will help with the repair process. Hydrating with lots of water is important too.
4- Get checked by a Chiropractor near you. Chiropractors are the experts of the musculoskeletal system and the connective tissues. They can detect problems in the joints of the spine, shoulders, hips and more. They can evaluate the health of the discs, tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones. They are qualified to perform or refer for imaging such as x-rays and MRIs or to medical specialties if needed. Chiropractors can evaluate and treat car accident related concussions. You might be dealing with a concussion if you are experiencing nausea, visual disturbance, heavy headedness, difficulty concentrating or focusing, difficulty reading, dizziness, trouble sleeping, etc. These are some of the symptoms that need to be addressed and watched.
Browning Family Chiropractic & Wellness is certified in personal injury for the treatment of patients in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, 18 wheeler accidents and more. We have years of experience treating all different injuries from car wrecks and others. If you are near the Kyle, Buda and San Marcos TX area and need help, call us at 512-405-0400 or click on the link: chiropractor near me
Dr. Ryan Browning, D.C.
Getting into a car accident can range from being an inconvenience and a pain in the neck to traumatic and life altering. Whiplash, bruises, ligament sprains, muscle strains, pain, herniated discs and broken bones are all possibilities that your body experiences after a motor vehicle accident. A totaled car, inability to work, and dealing with insurance adjusters can be major hassles at a time of vulnerability.
After a car accident, the main concern is for your physical health and getting any necessary medical treatment. When pain is immediate, a trip to the emergency room may be in order. Some patients refuse this due to financial concern, not knowing that it can be covered through auto insurance or attorney settlement. The next step should be to find a certified car accident chiropractor to assess the rest of the damage. Most injuries will not include a broken bone, rather they are connective tissue injuries such as herniated discs, ligament damage, muscle tearing and joint inflammation. These can be evaluated and corrected with the proper assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Make sure to find an accident doctor like a chiropractor that is used to seeing car wreck victims.
One major concern that patients ask me is about the cost of care following their car wreck. Treatment will need to address pain and symptoms, functional restoration and prevention of scar tissue formation. This can take some time. However, what most do not know is that their treatment can be covered either through the auto insurance or a personal injury attorney‘s representation. Every situation is different and we are able to help guide you in making the decision on which way is best in your situation. If a personal injury lawyer is needed, we are happy to refer you to the best. One of the worst things to see is when a car accident victim does not get the appropriate chiropractic care because they are afraid of cost or unaware of how the process works. We are used to helping patients to navigate this process.
Too often, auto insurance adjusters are worried with protecting their company and not with your physical well-being. Their focus is to close the case as soon as possible. Our focus is to make sure that your accident injuries are healed properly and completely, making sure you receive any and all necessary chiropractic and medical treatment along the way. We want you to get on with life and not be slowed down by effects of the motor vehicle accident.
We are here to help you with any situation. We see many car crash victims all throughout the Kyle, Buda and San Marcos area. Feel free to call our office and speak to me personally.
Dr. Ryan Browning, D.C.
Top 5 Underlying Causes to Your Back Pain- by a Chiropractic Doctor in Kyle TX
Did you know that back pain is the second most common reason that employees miss work? It ranks behind only the common cold. Studies show that most people will experience a substantial event of back or neck pain throughout their life. It’s something that most people will not act to prevent from happening, but will react and seek care after pain, numbness or other symptoms appear.
I hear it all the time…”Not sure what caused this pain, it just started” or “What do you think caused this kink in my neck?” The answer is usually an accumulation of events rather than one single event such as a car accident.
#1- Your Posture! When you’ve spent years sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day or you grow up looking straight down at your iphone or ipad, the result is inevitable that the curves in your spine will have problems. The neck curve will straighten out and sometimes start to curve in the reverse, the shoulders start rounding forward and the head hangs more forward in a forward head posture.
#2- Your Sleeping Position! Imagine walking around all day with your neck flopped over to the side for eight hours. Sure sounds like a pain in the neck, eh? Yet, every night you are going to sleep and doing the same thing night after night. On top of that, your hips are all twisted up all night, thus torqueing your lower back and twisting the spine. See where I’m going with this?
#3- Your Sedentary Lifestyle! Imagine a day like this…you wake up and sit down as you drive to work to sit down at your desk to go and sit down to eat lunch to go back to sit down at the desk to the sit down in the car to drive home to sit down for dinner to sit down and watch some TV. All the while, sitting puts more stress on your lower back than standing. Remember this, sitting is to your spine what sugar is to your teeth.
#4- Your Stress! Stress is the #1 contributing factor to health in America. It is the greatest contributor to heart disease, stroke, cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, musculoskeletal pain including neck pain, back pain, migraines and headaches.
#5- Your Old Car Accident! Research shows that more than half of car accident victims will have some lingering effects from a past motor vehicle accident. Whiplash is notorious for stretching out ligaments, damaging the muscles and changing the spinal curves. Too many pop a few Tylenols and get the pain to go away, but fail to get the proper treatment necessary. This often times requires chiropractic care, physical therapy or home exercise, x-rays, and a proper treatment plan
At Browning Family Chiropractic & Wellness we believe in getting you out of pain and into health! Call us today to ask about a free consultation.
Dr. Ryan Browning
Have you ever wondered if chiropractic can help you?
Many have had this question when they arrive for their new patient appointment. Sometimes they have already tried pain medication, Tylenol, muscle relaxers, stretching, massage, pain management injections, and the list goes on to different treatments out there. These may help to cover up symptoms and alleviate pain, but too often the cause is left undiagnosed and untreated.
Check this out….one week ago we had a teenage boy come into our chiropractic office with years of arm weakness, shoulder pain, numbness and tingling in the wrists, inability to use hands very much. In fact, it caused pain to write with a pencil during school and he was unable to carry his instrument during marching band performances. He had undergone all sorts of medication, seen the family doctor, neurologist, rheumatologist, and received multiple x-rays and MRIs. After a chiropractic examination and x-rays, some misalignment in the spine was apparent in the neck and upper back. These are the areas where the nerves going down the arms and to the hands are located. After 2 adjustments this young man already feels much better! He was able to hold his own instrument during band competition and all without pain pills or medication.
Many believe chiropractic care is just for back pain, neck pain, headaches, sciatica, muscle soreness and whiplash. Although these are very common conditions we see, chiropractic is really about treating the whole person and bringing balance to the spine and entire body. When this happens, the spinal cord and nerves can function optimally which often has side effects of better sleep, more energy, better digestion, reduced allergies and a stronger immune system. These are many of the things we get to see happen daily. In this young man’s case, it is a true pleasure to watch someone return to health!
Dr. Ryan Browning