When people hear the term carpal tunnel syndrome, many generally think of typists, factory workers, and other people who have to perform repetitive tasks with their hands. And while it is often classified as a “repetitive use” injury, it can also be caused by sudden trauma, such as in a car accident. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) from a car accident is referred to as acute CTS or traumatic CTS.

CTS can range from mild to debilitating and can cause significant adverse ramifications for accident victims. Insurers often argue claims of this nature, so claimants will need substantial medical documentation to support their case. If you have developed acute CTS after a car accident in Oregon or Washington state, schedule an appointment at Accident Care Chiropractic and Massage to discuss your treatment options.

What exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is the small space along the wrist that houses the median nerve, blood vessels, and several flexor tendons that run from the forearm to the palm of the hand. CTS is a condition that arises out of damage to and pressure around the carpal tunnel.

In a car accident, if the structures in the forearm, wrist, and hands such as the nerves, tendons, and muscles sustain damage and become inflamed, the wrist can swell and compress the median nerve, causing CTS. The damage commonly occurs when people brace themselves or tense up and grip the steering wheel just before impact. The impact with the steering wheel and excess force and tension on the wrist area winds up causing damage to the soft tissues.

Symptoms of CTS can include the following:

Aching pain
Tingling
Burning
Itching
Numbness
Weakness in the hands
Reduced grip strength and a tendency to drop things

You may not feel the symptoms of CTS right away; damage to the carpal tunnel can take a while to manifest. On the other hand, you may also notice symptoms straightaway. It is important to seek chiropractic attention immediately after an accident, and thereafter as you experience additional pain, discomfort, and/or limited mobility in your back, neck, or extremities.

What are the effects of CTS?
The symptoms of CTS may come and go, and worsen over time if not treated. Many people find their condition worsens at night, waking them up and causing restlessness, which in turn can contribute to sleep deprivation and persistent grogginess. With numbness and reduced grip strength, it can make daily tasks difficult to perform. It can be impossible to work if your hands are not functioning correctly. Even brushing your hair or teeth can become difficult.

If you suspect that you are developing CTS, you will want to address your concerns with your chiropractic doctor. Your doctor will give you an exam, review your history, and likely order several types of diagnostic tests to see what types of internal damage your wrist may have, as well as to rule out any other conditions.

Depending upon the severity and persistence of your injuries, the following are conservative or invasive treatments for CTS:

Avoiding excess strain to the area and any activities that aggravate your symptoms
Cold packs
Wrist splinting
Kinesio Taping
Physical Therapy

Some patients find relief with additional measures, such as acupuncture and ultrasound therapy.

If you can walk away from an accident – whether it was a car crash or other incident – it’s possible to “think” you’re not injured. Medical science has proven that over 50% of injuries are not easily seen and some are not immediately felt. Some common reasons a person immediately thinks they are okay after an accident is due to a rush of adrenaline, fear, and – sometimes – anger. It will take hours, if not days later, for that person to start feeling the pain as a result of the accident.

If you refuse or do not get medical attention at the scene of the accident, you may not know about internal injuries you suffered that could cause you great pain in the days to come. Even if it has been a week or two, do not wait any longer to get medically examined. You never know if something major is disguising itself as something that feels minor.

Untreated Whiplash
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that can occur after a car accident, blow to the head, and falling. The sudden jerking of the head forward and then backward can quickly injure the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in and around the neck. This results in causing neck pain, stiffness, and tightness.

Untreated whiplash can lead to chronic pain and headaches, caused by the damaged inner workings of the neck. This chronic pain is something that can live with you for the remainder of your lifetime.

A person may not realize they have whiplash until symptoms begin showing up hours later. By getting proper chiropractic treatment, massage and physical therapy, you can strengthen the area around the neck and increase mobility.

Untreated Back Injuries
Back injuries are all too common after a car accident. Unless you are properly examined by a chiropractor, and/or get x-rays, you will not really know how much damage was caused. A proper examination can help diagnose back sprains and strains, herniated discs, and other spinal injuries. This then allows the chiropractor to assess your injuries and start a treatment plan for your recovery.

Failing to get treatment for back injuries can lead to chronic back pain, bad posture, muscle spasms, and – in some cases – the increased risk of pinched nerves.

Untreated Brain Trauma
Brain injuries can range from mild to severe. The signs of a brain injury are not always apparent, and it’s a common misconception that a person must lose consciousness if they had a concussion. Although mild brain injuries can heal within a few weeks, if left untreated, it can lead to severe problems down the road.

Mood changes, irritability, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and depression may all stem from an untreated brain injury.

Why You Should Always Get Treatment
After any type of accident, your health should be your number one priority, even if you think you’re “fine.” Treatment will help speed up the recovery process and give you the tools needed to make any necessary lifestyle changes. It’s important you heal properly and lesson the pain and discomfort from these injuries. Depending on your injuries, you can anticipate seeing your chiropractor 3-5 days a week at first. Over the course of several weeks, that number will begin to drop down.

It is very important to have your car accident injuries and treatments documented. You may be unable to obtain the insurance benefits that will cover your medical expenses if you fail to document your injuries. If you’re the recipient of a car accident, speaking with an attorney is a great way to understand all of your options.

If you have been in an accident, don’t wait any longer! Contact an Accident Care Chiropractic & Massage clinic near you and get the treatment and care you deserve.

Chiropractors know that adjustments are good for your general health. Millions of satisfied patients cannot be wrong. But what do chiropractors know that the rest of us do not?

They know the nervous system is the one system in the body that directly affects every other system. This is because nerves conduct sensory information from every part of the body and then delivers this information to the brain. Once there, the brain analyzes the information to determine what the body needs to maintain a healthy state. So the health of this system is paramount to the good health of the rest of the body.

Chiropractors recognize that misalignment in the spine can interfere with proper nervous system function. More specifically, chiropractors study the effects of vertebral subluxations – conditions of the spine where alignment and/or movement patterns of the vertebrae are abnormal. When this occurs, imbalances cause irritation and inflammation. In turn, this can cause interference with information that is transmitted along nerves and spinal cord. Chiropractors are the only health care professionals specifically trained to locate and correct spinal subluxations.

This is the principal reason why chiropractors should be called wellness doctors. Every time a chiropractor corrects a vertebral subluxation, the positive effects are felt in multiple systems simultaneously. Chiropractic Care Promotes Overall Wellness

Where’s the Proof?

For decades, scientific research has focused on the use of chiropractic adjustments for low back pain, neck pain and headaches.(1-3) In fact, there is now clear evidence to recommend chiropractors as the go-to professionals for spinal pain syndromes. However, with the rising popularity of wellness-based philosophies focused on non-traditional approaches to health, chiropractors are being asked to justify their role.

The traditional medical model of symptom-based healthcare is rapidly waning. We no longer feel we have to be sick to call upon a health professional for advice. Instead, we are focusing more on the detrimental effects stress has on our bodies, and the therapies that address the mind-body connection are getting much more attention.

In a recent report from the Center for Disease Control, the four most popular forms of alternative and complementary medicine were listed as: natural products, deep breathing, meditation and chiropractic!(4)

People are casting their votes with their healthcare dollars and chiropractors are taking a leadership role in this new wellness model. As a profession whose core philosophy is about the optimization of the brain-body communication network, chiropractic can be viewed as a therapy with an emphasis on whole body health and wellness

Research is catching up to what chiropractors have known for years. In a recent study that reviewed all the available research to date, investigators found that “chiropractic adjustments, often for the purpose of correcting vertebral subluxation, confer measurable health benefits to people regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms.”(5) More people are seeking what chiropractic offers: optimization of health and an improved quality of life, with a spine free of vertebral subluxations!

In a multi-nation study involving hundreds of chiropractors and thousands of chiropractic patients, researchers sought to measure the incidence of non-musculoskeletal responses to chiropractic therapy. What they found was that a number of patients experienced systemic benefits from their chiropractic treatments whether or not they mentioned any symptoms in these areas at the onset of care. The most common benefits reported in this study were breathing (27%), digestion (26%) and circulation (21%).(6)

In yet another ground-breaking study, chiropractic adjustments were shown to actually decrease blood pressure, one of the leading causes for preventable death in North America (in relation to the incidence of heart-attacks and strokes). The study stood up to medical scrutiny and showed unequivocally that vertebral subluxations – of the upper cervical vertebra in this case – can be detrimental to the health of the individual, and not just a pain in the neck.(7)

From these research results, chiropractors clearly have a greater role in your health and wellness than just treating sore backs. Chiropractic care should be considered an invaluable tool for you to not only help you feel well, but to also help you be well.

References and sources:

1. Dagenais S, Gay RE, Tricco AC, Freeman MD & Mayer JM. NASS Contemporary Concepts in Spine Care: Spinal Manipulation Therapy for Acute Low Back Pain. Spine Journal 2010 (Oct.); 10(10): 918-940.

2. Bronfort G, Assendelft WJJ, Evans R, Haas M & Bouter L. Efficacy of Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Headache: A Systematic Review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001 (Sept.); 24(7): 457-466

3. Thiel HW & Bolton JE. Predic- tors For Immediate and Global Responses to Chiropractic Manipulation of the Cervical Spine. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2008 (Mar.); 31(3): 172-183.

4. Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin R. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007. CDC National Health Statistics Report #12. December 10, 2008.

5. Hannon SM. Objective Physiologic Changes and Associated Health Benefits of Chiro- practic Adjustments in Asymptom- atic Subjects: A Review of the Literature. J Vertebral Subluxation Research 2004 (Apr.): 1-9.

6. Leboeuf-Yde C, Pedersen EN, Bryner P, Cosman D, Hayek R, Meeker WC, Shaik J, Terrazas O, Tucker J & Walsh M. Self-reported Nonmusculoskeletal Responses to Chiropractic Intervention: A Multi- nation Survey. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Jun.); 28(5): 294-302.

7. Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, Avery E, Miller M, Brown J, Woodfield C & Bell B. Atlas Vertebra Realignment and Achievement of Arterial Pressure Goal in Hypertensive Patients: A Pilot Study. Journal of Human Hypertension 2007 (May); 21(5): 347-352.

 

Accident Care Chiropractic & Massage

Nearly 80% of US citizens say they have been plagued by lower back pain at some time in their lives. However, when considering bodily ailments caused after a car accident, lower back pain rarely springs to mind. When we think about car accidents, we consider injuries to the upper and middle back. Unfortunately, lower back pain after a car accident is an all-too-common occurrence. Even worse, it is often delayed, meaning the afflicted person may not notice it immediately following an accident. To help you recognize any ailments, here is a list explaining causes of lower back pain following a car accident.

  1. Whiplash

Many people fail to realize that whiplash has an effect on the entire spine, especially the lower back. Whiplash itself can be divided into four distinct phases. First, the middle of the back compresses against the seat, causing force to travel upwards as the head is forced backwards. Next, the torso moves forward while the head continues in a backwards movement. After this, the torso hits the seat while the head springs forward. Finally, the seatbelt stops the torso while the upper back, neck, and head still move forward; this is where brain injury and other traumatic injuries occur most often. Combined, the forced upward motion and erratic positioning of the lower back can result in lower back pain.

  1. Injured Discs

Disc injuries are an inherently broad category that usually involves direct damage to the disc or the intervertebral disc. If you experience a bulging disc, a herniation, or a slipping of the vertebrae located at the base of the spine (spondylolisthesis), odds are you will experience lower back pain.

  1. Spinal Fractures

If you are rear ended and experience lower back pain, especially when moving, the culprit could be a spinal fracture. If this pain occurs directly after an accident remain still and do not move, as doing so could result in further injury.

  1. Face Joints

Damage to the facet joints can impact the cervical and lumbar portions of the spine. Since your facet joints are responsible for preventing hyperextension, damaging them can result in sever middle and lower back pain.

If you or someone you know has been in an accident and you suspect that they may be experiencing lower back pain as a result, contact the professionals at Accident Care Chiropractic and Massage. Their holistic approach will put you on the path to recovery in no time.

Have you recently sustained injuries from a car accident? From fender benders to more severe crashes, the most common reasons patients seek chiropractic care is automobile accidents. Chiropractors are often able to successfully diagnose and alleviate current accident-related injuries and prevent any inevitable future aches and pains.

Common Injuries Associated with Auto Accidents

Even if you walk away feeling fine, chances are you may have sustained injuries that won’t show symptoms until many days later. The most common complaints related to car crashes are tight and sore muscles, neck and back pain, and headaches. Even worse, car accidents can cause or exacerbate preexisting conditions like herniated discs, pinched nerves, and sciatica in addition to broken bones or sprains.

When to Seek Treatment

It is best to contact a chiropractor as soon as possible after your accident to prevent anticipated pain and avoid compounding your symptoms. Whiplash is the most common injury sustained after a car accident. A debilitating neck pain, sometimes whiplash does not present symptoms until weeks after your accident.

Patients often hesitate to seek chiropractic care because of its holistic origins, but quickly restoring natural movement and reducing nerve compression can often accelerate the healing process before additional symptoms crop up. They will perform a musculoskeletal exam to identify any pain caused by inflammation, or the underlying cause of future swelling and pain.

What to Expect

A chiropractic exam may include x-rays, MRIs, or additional lab tests. In addition, the doctor will test your muscle tone and strength, range of motion, and neurological activity.

After a chiropractic consultation, a doctor will develop a personalized treatment plan that will include exercises, stretches, and lifestyle changes to help minimize issues and quicken your healing time. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may require a number of specialized treatments.

Types of Treatment

Patients who have found success with chiropractic care often choose it because of its simplicity and long-term outcomes. There are a number of ways to approach accident-related injuries and will depend greatly on your diagnosis. Successful treatments often include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Electrical Stimulation
  • Acupuncture

If you have recently experienced a car accident, or are ready to alleviate that old pain once and for all, get in touch with your nearest Accident Care Chiropractic & Massage office through our Contact page. We have six locations throughout the Portland Metro Area, allowing us to be here when you need us!

We all want to keep our kids as safe as possible, which is why we go to such great lengths to read labels and comparison shop to find the best products for our kids.  Unfortunately, we can’t always protect them from harm.  Even with a car that receives top safety ratings and a car seat designed to protect a child’s small body, a car accident can subject a child’s body to extreme forces, resulting in injury or even death.

The good news is, car seats are designed to provide extra protection thanks to 5-point harnesses, additional padding, and other safety precautions.  Even older kids can benefit from belt positioning booster seats until they are large enough to use the seat belt normally.  According to Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS), such precautions can reduce the risk of injury by 58% in side impact crashes, which tend to be the most harmful to child passengers.

Still, the majority of crashes are front or rear end collisions.  Any time you’re in an accident, you need to understand how your children could be affected.  Here’s what can happen to a child’s body in an accident.

Impact

When an impact occurs, it subjects the driver and passengers to incredible forces that generally cause the body to whip back and forth or side to side, depending on where impact occurs.  For safety reasons, children are often placed in the second row of seats.

This, paired with the use of appropriate car seats or boosters can help to minimize harm to children, but they’re still going to experience at least some impact force, which will cause them to be thrust away from the impact site and then whipped back toward it.  Accidents can also result in broken glass and debris inside the car that can harm child passengers.

Injury

While adults most frequently suffer from injuries like whiplash, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones as a result of car accidents, the injuries most common to children can be a bit different.  Head injuries and concussions also frequently occur with child passengers, but children may also be more susceptible than adults to chest and back injuries, as well as organ damage.

As with adults, the harm done to children is not always clear in the immediate aftermath of an accident, which is why children involved in auto collisions should always be thoroughly examined by medical professionals as soon as possible to diagnose potential injuries and begin necessary treatment.

Get help from Accident Care Chiropractic today. Contact Us.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 6 million car accidents occur each year.  Of that number, about 40% are classified as rear end collisions.  Thanks to advanced safety features, many people walk away from fender benders and even more serious accidents completely unharmed.  However, it’s not uncommon for injuries to result from traffic collisions.

If you are rear ended, any number of injuries could result, but some are much more common than others.  When an accident happens and adrenaline is high, you might not notice aches and pains immediately, but when you are aware of what could occur, you may be more inclined to take inventory and seek medical attention.  Here are some of the most common injuries resulting from being rear ended.

Whiplash

When your car is rear ended, it can cause your head to snap back and forth in a violent motion, damaging the soft tissue of your neck.  This could leave you with symptoms ranging from mild soreness to serious pain and associated side effects like migraines.

The worst thing about whiplash is that it could take days or weeks to realize the full extent of your injury.  Whiplash is the injury most often associated with rear end collisions because victims generally don’t see the accident coming and are unable to brace for impact.

Concussion

Traumatic brain injuries are also common following rear end collisions, and concussions are perhaps the most frequent type.  The sudden snapping motion of the neck and/or a blow to the head could cause your brain to bounce or twist inside your skull.

This trauma can lead to swelling around the brain and symptoms like dizziness, headache, confusion, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and even amnesia.  Some people who experience concussions pass out (although some do not).  You may not realize you have a concussion right away, so it’s best to get checked out by a medical professional.

Broken Bones

When your body is thrust forward during a rear end collision, you could end up with broken bones from hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, or other surface of the car.  It’s not uncommon for broken bones to occur in the hands, feet, ribcage, spine, and skull.

Paralysis

Any rear end collision could result in injury, but at high rates of speed, the outcomes could be much worse.  When serious spinal injury occurs, the result could be some form of paralysis, either temporary or permanent.  It all depends on where and how the spine is injured and the severity of the trauma.

Get help from Accident Care Chiropractic today. Contact Us.

Spinal injuries are common with car accidents because the body absorbs part of the impact and is not strong enough to withstand it. The spine is usually abruptly jerked, resulting in spinal injury. Read more

Many car accident victims complain of back pain even days after the incident. If their injuries are non-fatal and nothing serious comes up in x-rays, doctors may give them pain medication and advise rest. Car accident back pain, however, whether it’s debilitating or simply uncomfortable, can affect the quality of your life as well as your school or work performance. Back pain interrupts your ability to move with ease and affects concentration. Suffering from back pain can make you feel irritable and unhappy. Read more

One of the most frightening and devastating experiences that you might go through is being in a car accident. Your whole world can flash before you during a serious collision. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional damages from the incident, but you must also deal with the physical injuries–and it can be a very difficult process to go through. No one wants to be in an automobile accident, but you need to know how to proceed in treating your injuries for the best possible outcome. Read more

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