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Sciatica Flare-Ups After a Car Accident

Oct 20, 2021

When many people think of injuries sustained in a car accident, scrapes, bruises, and even broken bones may come to mind. Back and neck pain are also common if you were recently in an accident. But what about injuries or issues you already had before the accident? You might be surprised to learn that a car accident can aggravate old injuries or health conditions you thought you were over. Sciatica is a specific type of lower back pain that can get aggravated by a car accident. If you experience sciatica flare-ups after a car accident, then visit an auto accident chiropractor for comprehensive treatment and care.

How a Car Accident Can Cause Sciatica Flare-Ups

The force of impact when a vehicle hits your car can cause your body to get jolted and jostled around. This can cause your muscles to strain out of their typical range of motion and put a lot of pressure on your spine. Here are three reasons why you might experience sciatica flare-ups after a car accident:

Lower Back Pain

You may develop lower back pain after a car accident for a number of reasons. This can depend on how you were seated in the vehicle, where the vehicle was damaged, and whether you have experienced lower back pain in the past. Sciatica is a specific type of back pain that occurs when the sciatic nerve is aggravated by swelling and inflammation in the area. Misalignments in the spine and an injury may also contribute to your lower back pain.

Swelling & Inflammation

Swelling and inflammation are common with car accident injuries because of how soft tissues like muscles, tendons, and ligaments are negatively impacted by accident. Strains, sprains, and tears in these soft tissues can cause swelling and inflammation in your lower back and elsewhere in the body.

Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve refers to when a nerve, like the sciatic nerve, is put under a lot of pressure. This could be from a spinal injury or inflammation of nearby soft tissue. A herniated disc can also compress the sciatic nerve and cause pain and discomfort after a car accident. If you have already experienced sciatica in the past, then a car accident could cause flare-ups by re-aggravating that area of your back.

Diagnosing Sciatica After a Car Accident

You might experience sciatica flare-ups immediately after the accident, or it might take time for the pain to appear. Delayed symptoms are common with car accidents because the shock and adrenaline of such a traumatic event can actually prevent your body from recognizing pain and other symptoms right away. It is possible to start experiencing sciatica flare-ups hours or even days after the car accident occurred. No matter when you start experiencing sciatica pain, you want to visit an auto accident chiropractor as soon as possible.

Auto accident chiropractors diagnose and treat millions of car accident injuries every year. In order to diagnose the cause of your pain, an auto accident chiropractor will want to perform a physical examination, listen to a description of how the car accident occurred, and what symptoms you have experienced afterward. It may help if you can jot down when you first notice certain pain and other potential symptoms after a car accident, including the severity of the symptoms and whether they get better or worse with certain movements or positions. Your chiropractor may also want to run diagnostic imaging tests like an X-ray or a CT scan to get a more detailed picture of how your lower back has been affected by the accident. This can help to determine what is compressing the sciatic nerve so they can determine the best approach for your treatment and care.

Treating Sciatica After a Car Accident

Mild sciatica flare-ups after a car accident may go away on their own as the swelling goes down. However, this isn’t always the case, and it is best to get checked out by an auto accident doctor just in case. You can consult with a medical professional to determine the cause and severity of your issue and receive a treatment plan that both works to resolve your pain and the root cause. If you start to have sciatica flare-ups after a car accident, visit a metro Atlanta location of AICA Orthopedics near you and meet with one of our auto accident chiropractors for comprehensive treatment.


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