Our Approach to Treating Neck Pain
Many patients report having neck pain following a car accident due the substantial amount of force that can be exerted on the spine. The most common neck pain issues following a car accident include:
Whiplash usually causes neck and upper back pain. It occurs when the head is jerked back-and-forth in a rapid movement. The muscles of the neck and upper back tense up to protect the head. This muscle tension is usually not enough to stop the force causing the head to move and muscle tearing to occur. Sometimes the whiplash can even be so severe as to affect the muscles all the way down the spine. This may occasionally also cause lower back pain.
Neck Strains and Sprains
A whiplash injury can cause strains and/or sprains in the neck and upper back muscles and joints. Motor vehicle accidents can also cause overstretching damage to occur in the tendons, muscles, and/or ligaments. If a person is not looking forward or is hit at a higher speed this damage can often cause pulled muscles in the neck and muscle strains in the back of the neck.
Facet joints can often be injured in a car accident and press on sensitive nerves causing pain in the neck and lower back. If the right nerve is being impinged an individual may also have pain radiate down the arms or legs. Occasionally this type of pain can result in a neck muscle injury, upper back injury, lower back injury, and/or hip pain.
Damage to Discs
Discs in the neck and upper back can be damaged or dislodged during a car accident. A damaged or dislodged disc often has the potential to cause inflammation and push on sensitive nerves. This can often result in pain anywhere along the spine from the neck all the way to the hips.
The providers at ESP Sports Medicine evaluate each individual involved in a motor vehicle accident for neck pain as it is a common symptom. They will suggest treatment that matches the severity of the neck muscle injury. Neck injury treatment may include:
- Activity Modification
- Hot/Cold Therapy
- Over-the-counter and/or Prescription Medications
- Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation
- Massage Therapy
- Manual Manipulation
- Therapeutic Exercises
- Mindfulness Therapy
- Acupuncture/Dry Needling
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
Our doctors generally begin neck muscle injury treatment conservatively, starting with exercise, massage, physical therapy, and short-term medications if necessary. If these neck muscle injury treatments do not help or are of limited help our providers consider injections, imaging, and if necessary, a surgical referral. Often neck muscle injury treatment is complicated and cannot be solved with just one treatment. ESP Sports Medicine uses all the treatments listed above in one location to save time and money for the patient.
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This practice has been the only one to truly help with the underlying symptoms and cause of my pain. Eric St. Pierre is highly intelligent, competent and updated on current research. More importantly, Eric has an uncanny ability to show deep compassion for each unique client situation. This is extremely helpful in the emotional and mental aspects of recovery. In addition, the suggested dry needling treatment, soft tissue work, and exercises Eric suggested have greatly helped my physical symptoms. I highly recommend ESP Sports Medicine to anyone who has been injured or is just in need of a body, muscle, or neural reset. They are fantastic.