Have you recently been in a car accident and are now struggling with a lot of neck pain? It is very possible that you may have a whiplash injury from the accident. Whether you were rear-ended while stopped at a red light or driving at a high speed, the force of any accident can lead to whiplash. A pinched nerve from a whiplash injury can cause a lot of pain and discomfort in your neck and other areas of your body. Talk to a whiplash chiropractor about the best course of action for identifying a pinched nerve and how you can experience true pain relief from a pinched nerve.
What Is a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve is a more common name for what doctors may refer to as a compressed nerve. Basically, a pinched nerve refers to a nerve in your body where nearby bone or tissues are pressing on it. Pinched nerves are most common in your neck, back, and wrists, though they can also occur in other areas. Nerves send messages from your brain to the rest of your body, like pain signals, sensations, and motor functions. When a nerve is pinched or compressed, it can cause the nerve to send mixed signals to the body. The nerve’s ability to effectively communicate is compromised when it is under pressure from a nearby bone or soft tissue.
Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve After a Car Accident
If you have a pinched nerve after a car accident then you may notice discomfort and pain in your neck or back. A common symptom of a pinched nerve includes a stabbing pain or shooting pain that radiates into another part of your body. If you have a pinched nerve in your neck then it may send shooting pains through your shoulder and down your arm, while a pinched nerve in your back may send pain signals through your buttocks and into one of your legs. Other symptoms of a pinched nerve include a burning sensation, numbness, and the “pins and needles” sensation.
How Whiplash Causes a Pinched Nerve
One of the most common car accident injuries is whiplash, which can affect the spine and surrounding muscles and tissues in your neck, upper back, and arms. Your nervous system runs through your spine and any injury to the area can lead to issues with your nerves. Whiplash can also lead to a herniated disc, which is when the spongy tissue that separates two vertebrae is forced out of place. When this happens, the disc can put pressure on a nearby nerve, which is a pinched nerve. Muscle strains and sprains can happen with whiplash because your neck was jolted around so severely that the muscles were stretched out of their normal range of motion. Inflammation of these muscles may put pressure on nearby nerves, causing a pinched or compressed nerve.
Treating a Pinched Nerve After a Car Accident
When it comes to treating a pinched nerve after a car accident, your doctor will want to identify where the pinched nerve is located and what specifically is putting pressure on the nerve. In order to address the root cause of your pinched nerve symptoms, your doctor will assess whether you have sustained an injury like whiplash that may be causing the pinched nerve pain. Your doctor will explain to you why you need a CT scan or MRI after a car accident. These can all help your doctor get a clear picture of what nearby bones or soft tissues may be compressing the nerve. Once your doctor has a clear understanding of what is compressing the nerve, they will be able to identify what treatments are appropriate to help relieve your pain and the pressure on the nerve. While some pinched nerves can go away on their own, resting and limiting use of the area may not be enough to truly address the issue.
Chiropractic Care for Whiplash
A whiplash chiropractor can help address the root cause of your pinched nerve pain by identifying what is putting pressure on the nerve. If you have a herniated disc that is putting pressure on your neck, your whiplash chiropractor will use safe, gentle adjustment techniques to help restore the disc to its proper position, which takes the pressure off of the nearby nerve. Your chiropractor may also use similar techniques as well as massage and stretches if a muscle or other soft tissue is causing a pinched nerve. By treating inflamed muscles or tissues, your whiplash chiropractor will be able to relieve the pressure on the nerve so it is no longer causing you pain.
At AICA Orthopedics, our team of car accident doctors includes whiplash chiropractors who can help you experience true healing and recovery from a pinched nerve so you don’t have to live in pain. If you’ve been injured in a car accident then call or visit us online to learn more about how our multi-specialty team of doctors can help you experience lasting pain relief.