The body has a tendency to move during an auto accident, and although the seatbelt will generally restrict the body from moving, it does not restrict the internal body from moving. Essentially, the bones and organs in the body may become separated from their normal positions and develop into painful conditions. For example, when an auto accident occurs from the side (T-Bone accident), the body will be jerked from one side to the other, and this can lead to a separated or dislocated hip, broken or dislocated ribs, and/or herniated discs. The result from these injuries can lead to an abundance of pain for a certain period of time. In fact, many patients who have been in severe auto accidents have residual pain and are typically traumatized for a number of weeks after the auto accident.
Lower back pain may also originate from an injury to the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back through the buttocks and into one or both leg. A lumbar herniated disc, on the other hand, may also occur during an auto accident and may result in severe lower back pain. This happens when a disc in the lower back herniates and pinches the contiguous nerve root. This condition can cause people to experience severe lower back pain, lower extremity weakness, numbness in the upper thighs, and even loss of bladder or bowel control among other symptoms.
When a patient is suffering from lower back pain, a chiropractor will typically want to closely examine x-rays or MRI scans and perform a physical examination to make a proper assessment. Measuring the pain is actually one of most difficult things to do for doctors because it's about communication, and establishing a dialogue about pain between the patient and doctor can be challenging based on the amount of information to obtain in a short amount of time.
Doctors will assess the pain and determine if it is intermittent or constant, what type of pain is occurring (e.g., stabbing, burning, etc.), what triggers pain, when pain is more likely to occur during the day, and how much pain the patient is in on a scale of 0-10. After establishing a dialogue of the patient's situation and understanding the extent of the pain, doctors will inquire about previous treatments and any medications being taken.
Some doctors may ask the patient to keep a journal of the pain that demonstrates the level of pain that occurs. This will help them better understand the patterns of the condition. A good assessment will help doctors understand what type of treatment will best suit the patient and help relieve the amount of stress they have.
Don't let lower back pain prevent you from participating in life! Depending on your condition, a chiropractor can help. Schedule your free consultation today.