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.
Ever wonder what your x-rays would look like after a car accident? I’m going to show you firsthand what they look like and why. The video below will show you two cases of average sized women in their mid 20’s with no prior history of back pain or spinal problems.
In case #1 on top you can see how this side-swipe auto accident has caused spinal alignment issues throughout the entire back. The caveat on this person is that this accident happened 5 years ago and was never evaluated and treated properly!! So we are now years later and this patient has sudden neck pain, low back pain, upper and mid back pain, headaches and an overall feeling of hurting all over the place- just all of a sudden, with no explanation or incident. As I was able to talk with her about underlying causes or past incidents, we spoke about her car wreck in the past and how she was in pain initially, but it seemed to go away on its own and she figured everything was fine. Now it’s not. This is a situation that I see all too often… accident happens, pain goes away by itself, cause has not been corrected properly, pain returns years later. This happens regularly!!!
Case #2 will show you x-rays of a patient that was in a motor vehicle accident two weeks prior to the x-ray being taken. She also came in feeling neck pain, shoulder pain, mid and lower back pain, headache and also some concussion symptoms. In her x-ray you can also see the alignment problem from top to bottom in a girl who previously had zero symptoms or history of back problems. These two cases are interesting to compare because of the similarities they share in the x-ray findings. It’s a good lesson that if the spine is not properly evaluated and treated after a car, motorcycle or 18 wheeler accident the underlying problem will remain even if the symptoms go away for a while. Research has shown that the sooner whiplash and trauma injuries are detected and fixed the better chance they have of not becoming problem that could turn into chronic pain.
For those in a recent motor vehicle accident, it’s always a good idea to use ice regularly at home to help decrease the inflammation and swelling. Heat is not advisable because it brings more blood flow to the area and makes it more difficult for the soft tissues to heal. Ice will push the blood flow away to help the repair process to begin in the connective tissues. For extreme pain after an accident, get checked in the emergency room to have any fractures or trauma detected. The next step in treatment is a trained chiropractor in whiplash and car accident injuries. Chiropractors certified in personal injury are trained to detect issues with spinal movement and alignment, proper curvature, ligament and muscular injuries, concussion symptoms, disc herniation, pinched nerves that can cause numbness, tingling and weakness.
Hope this is informative to you. If you have any specific questions, feel free to call me personally at our office- 512-405-0400. Most of our patients come from the Kyle, Buda, and San Marcos TX area,, but if you have a loved one in another part of the country needing help, I can help you find a chiropractor that has the necessary training to do so.
Dr. Ryan Browning
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.
You’ve probably at some time in your life driven by on the highway as there is a car accident on the side of the road and been backed up by traffic from the rubber-neckers driving by. Many people wonder if there were injuries or if they are ok. Some car accidents cause traumatic injuries requiring the ambulance and emergency care due to fractures, internal organ damage and more. Other visible signs of a motor vehicle accident include scrapes, bruises, swelling and burns.
In our office we see many types of whiplash from different types of wrecks. They can range from muscle strain to ligament sprain, joint inflammation, concussion, dizziness, pain, numbness, tingling, herniated disc, nerve compression, back pain, neck pain, shoulder and hip pain and many many more. Car accident injuries can be difficult to diagnose to the untrained eye since they are not all visible at the start and can take weeks to fully develop.
If you experience a car collision, you should at least receive an examination and x-rays from a chiropractor certified in personal injury. This can determine if chiropractic care is appropriate for you or if another specialist is best suited for your situation. It can also determine if more information is necessary in the form of MRI or other diagnostic imaging to determine the extent of injury. It’s important to find all of the associated injuries from the car crash for insurance purposes so that you receive proper coverage during the treatment process. If not, then it will be too late for the insurance to cover your treatment and you are left to deal with care for the injuries later on. We’ll treat you through auto insurance, personal injury attorney, letter of protection, worker’s compensation, etc.
Our office offers NO COST INJURY CARE to help you get evaluated ASAP after an accident and help you determine the best course of action. If chiropractic care and therapy done in our office is the best solution we will let you know. If it is not, we will let you know as well and get you to the best place for you.
My BEST advice after an accident is to have the chiropractic evaluation including x-rays after your motor vehicle accident to make sure. Find any underlying injuries. Just this week our office was treating a woman for her accident and she commented that her son was having some back pain and wondered if he should be checked out. We did and found a large fracture on his lowest vertebrae (L5). This was a great surprise since his pain levels were moderate, not what would be typical of a spinal fracture! Thankfully, this was caught or he would have been in great danger of spinal cord damage in the future.
If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, please consider being properly assessed (examination, x-rays at minimum) to make sure this does not become a long-term problem for you or a loved one. We are a chiropractor near San Marcos & Kyle & Buda.
Dr. Ryan Browning
So you’ve got a pinched nerve!? Many suffer from sciatica or similar nerve like symptoms and wonder what is going on. Nerve symptoms typically show as numbness, tingling, weakness and sensitivity to hot or cold. The pressure on the nerve can often be found from misalignment in the lower spine and require chiropractic adjustments to fix the cause of the symptom and relieve the pain. We have helped many people with this problem. Come find out if you are a candidate for a non-invasive, natural health solution at our chiropractic and wellness center! 512-405-0400 https://www.browningfamilychiropractic.com
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.