The human spine is a complex structure consisting of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and other tissues. Spinal health is essential towards maintaining the body’s optimal performance as it functions to support an upright posture, provides flexibility to allow the body to bend and twist freely, and most importantly, it protects the spinal cord. While a healthy back can easily be taken for granted, a back injury or other type of complication may result in long-lasting consequences that could alter an individual’s aspect of daily life.
Unfortunately, back injuries are among the most common types of complications suffered after an automobile accident. Each day, thousands of individuals are involved in head-on, side-impact, and rear-end auto collisions, often leading to spinal injuries even during minor car crashes. Depending on the force of the impact, a single or multiple areas of the back may be affected. Automobile injuries can range from mild sprains and bruises to fractured vertebrae and spinal cord damage.
One type of back injury commonly diagnosed among individuals who suffered an auto accident is medically referred to as a herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc. Discs are small, sponge-like structures found within the spinal column which function as cushions to separate and protect the vertebrae from the others while providing the spine with smooth flexibility. The force from an auto accident impact can damage a disc, causing it to break or deform, affecting its ability to cushion the bones of the spine.
Furthermore, a damaged disc can also place unnecessary pressure directly on the nerves surrounding it, leading to symptoms of pain, numbness and weakness on the region of the body where the affected nerve travels to.
Disc injuries to the lower back frequently lead to a group of symptoms commonly referred to as sciatica, which is characterized by radiating pain, numbness and tingling sensations in the leg and/or buttock on either side, or occasionally, in both sides, depending on the type of injury. The symptoms associated with sciatica can be impairing and may worsen over time if left untreated.
Lower Back Pain after Auto Injury
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury occurs when the impact of an automobile accident causes a direct blow to the spine, damaging the fragile bundle of nerves within it. The spinal cord is the most important structure between the body and the brain. It is a vital link between the brain and the body, functioning to carry essential information back-and-forth from the brain to the central nervous system, facilitating motor control and sensory function. Spinal cord injuries impair the brain’s ability to communicate effectively with the rest of the body, resulting in paralysis and/or lack of sensation in all or part of the body. The more severe an injury to the spinal cord is, the more of the body will be affected.
Automobile accidents can also cause compression fractures, especially in older adults. Compression fractures are small cracks in the bones of the spine which may over time cause the vertebrae to collapse and deform, ultimately permanently altering the shape and structure of the spine.
Symptoms of a compression fracture include pain and postural changes as well as breathing difficulties. Due to the fact that compression fractures are common among older adults, many individuals mistake the symptoms for signs of aging or arthritis. An estimated two-thirds of compression fractures go undiagnosed.
While cars are built to withstand the great force of a collision, the human body is not. The complex structures of the body, especially the spine, are vulnerable even in low speed collisions, resulting in injuries or conditions more often than not. An individual who’s been injured in an accident should seek immediate medical attention in order to diagnose any possible injuries or conditions as early as possible to begin treatment. Chiropractic care can effectively treat a variety of spinal complications, including auto injuries. Through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, a chiropractor can gradually help restore the individual’s natural mobility and flexibility, as well as progressively strengthen the structures surrounding the spine to relieve the symptoms and restore the individual’s lifestyle.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.elpasochiropractorblog.com
After being involved in an automobile accident, injuries inflicted to the spine can be a common complication for many individuals. From herniated discs to compression fractions, the force of an auto collision can place great amounts of stress on the complex structures of the spine, often leading to damage, injuries and even aggravate an existing condition.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
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