MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
LINKED TO NECK AND BACK PAIN YEARS LATER
With current legislation mandating the use of seat belts, an increased number
of neck and back injuries have been reported when seat belts are used. While
these injuries may be less significant than in unrestricted accidents, health
care providers must address these potentially lifelong problems and not dismiss
them as merely "Whiplash". Many cases of tension headache and Cervical Migraine
may be the result of a neck injury that may have been forgotten or simply dismissed
as trivial by the patient-according to a study published in Spine. In the article,
Dr. MacNab reviewed 266 cases and found at least 45% continued to have
symptoms 2 years following the settlement of court actions. Most people
that are involved in "minor" rear-end collisions do not realize the potential
for injury to the spine. If pain does not immediately ensue, the incident
may be forgotten.
The brain and spinal cord comprise the Central Nervous System which controls
and coordinates ALL functions in the body. A trauma to the neck/back will send
abnormal signals to the brain causing the Central Nervous System control to
become aberrant. This aberration will cause the pain, or problem condition,
to manifest itself either immediately, or down the road (depending on the extent
of the injury).
The greater the trauma, the greater the injury (i.e., surface brain hemorrhages,
Cerebral Concussion and Subdural Hematoma). The only answer is that the injured
party must be evaluated by a skilled physician who may ascertain, through the
use of X-Ray, Orthopedic and Neurological Examination and spinal/soft tissue
palpation, the extent of the injury.
There are many treatment modalities currently used for this type of injury.
These range from cervical collars to a multitude of medications to bed rest.
Ultimately, the treatment of choice is Chiropractic, often in combination
with physical therapy.
Through reestablishing the integrity and range of motion to be traumatized
spinal joints, Chiropractic manipulation CORRECTS the problem and does
not merely treat the symptoms of pain and stiffness.