Neck Pain from a Car Accident
Did you know that nerve damage and pain can be caused by car accidents? There is ample scientific data that correlates onset of new back and neck pain to motor vehicles accidents. Many of these improve spontaneously over time but if the symptoms do not improve within three months, it is likely that they can become chronic.
Diagnosing Car Accident Injuries
It is best to obtain MRI soon after the accident specially in patients with more than just a mild back pain. During the accident and the traumatic event, the whole body is thrown forward violently and snapped back in the seat forcefully. This can damage the joints in the back of the spine called facets, the disc between the vertebrae, and it can also traumatize the nerves close to the facets, bone and disc resulting in numbness, tingling and pain, and essentially nerve damage. These symptoms may respond well to epidural steroid injections and radiofrequency ablation to help with back and neck pain.
Depending on what happens in the car accident the approach to pain treatment can differ. You’d have to talk to your doctor to see what kind of options are available and suitable to you.
Herniated Disc from a Car Accident
The impact of a car accident can cause a disc herniation in your spine. The motion of your neck whipping forward and backward in one sudden movement puts a lot of pressure on your spinal discs. The vertebrae can compress your spinal discs to the point of one of them bulging and a portion of the disc pushing out through a tear in the wall. When the disc is herniating like this it puts pressure on nearby spinal cord nerves which can cause extreme pain in the back. If the pain doesn’t go away with time, or it’s an extreme pain, it may call for surgical intervention.
Herniated Disc Surgery
There are a few surgical options for a herniated disc from a car accident. Minimally invasive procedures are preferred because they require less incisions and have a faster recovery time, so you won’t have to have a lengthy hospital stay. One minimally invasive operation is the endoscopic discectomy, which utilizes an endoscope. An endoscope is a small tube-like device that surgical tools can be fed through for an accurate and safe procedure. The surgical tools remove the portion of the spinal disc that is herniating which gives you pain relief.
Another minimally invasive surgery to treat herniated discs is the laser spine surgery, it’s also known as Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression or PLDD. Laser surgery is the least invasive of all the herniated disc surgical options since the laser can be fed through a needle. The needle is inserted directly into the herniating spinal disc and uses heat from the laser to evaporate the portion that is causing pain. The heat also safeguards the disc from herniating again in the future. So if you have pain resulting from a car accident, the best approach will be consulting with a doctor and figuring out what kind of treatment plan will work best to resolve your pain.