According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 35,000 people are killed each year in traffic accidents. This number is shocking, and it doesn’t even account for the thousands of others who survive and are left with life-altering injuries.
If you are one of these people, you know all too well how devastating an injury can be, especially if you’ve hurt your back. The pain from a back injury can range from a minor inconvenience to a debilitating experience.
No matter where your pain falls on the scale, though, getting treatment is imperative to your recovery. Read on to learn about six treatment options a back or neck pain doctor from a pain management clinic can provide.
One of the first treatment options most pain management doctors are likely to recommend is orthopedic intervention. Orthopedic treatment is focused on healing a patient’s musculoskeletal system, including your spine and back. Unfortunately, musculoskeletal injuries are one of the most common consequences of an auto accident — but fortunately, orthopedic treatments can help to combat the impact of these injuries.
An orthopedist can diagnose and treat damage to your bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments — all of which can be injured in the wake of an auto accident.
An orthopedist is a car accident doctor who must complete medical school, a residency, and licensure exams in order to practice in New York or New Jersey. An orthopedist is a highly skilled practitioner who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of many ailments, including back injuries.
An orthopedist will be able to pinpoint the exact source of your injury and the best course of treatment. Before beginning treatment, an orthopedist will need to diagnose your injury and determine the root of your pain.
There are many ways they may obtain a diagnosis, including the following:
- Ultrasound — an ultrasound is effective for showing tears in ligaments, muscles, and tendons
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — an MRI is often necessary to detect injuries to soft tissues as well as tendons, muscles, and blood vessels
- X-ray — this imaging technique can be used to identify broken bones and vertebra
Once your orthopedist has completed diagnostic imaging, they can identify the source of your pain, deliver a diagnosis, and recommend the best treatment options in order to recover from your injury.
Pain Management Doctor
Recent research has proven that some auto accident survivors are genetically predisposed to the development of chronic pain after an accident. Chronic pain — including chronic back pain — can occur as a result of nerve injuries, but studies conducted by a geneticist show that the body’s trauma response also causes a spike in cortisol, which is linked to chronic pain.
This is one reason why chronic back pain may be so common after an accident even when an injury appears to be minor. When trauma impacts your body, you can experience painful physical repercussions that are not necessarily linked to a specific injury.
The prevalence of chronic pain amongst car accident victims cannot be overlooked. According to another study, 63% of chronic lower back pain can be linked to a previous injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident. These figures illustrate a grim picture, but there is treatment available to alleviate the struggle of chronic pain.
A car accident doctor is one of the best health care providers you can consult with after you’ve survived a traumatic accident. Pain management doctors focus on developing treatment plans that mitigate a patient’s physical suffering.
Many pain specialists offer pain medicine to help patients manage their pain. The type of medication you are prescribed depends on the nature of your injury, but some examples include the following:
- Pain relievers such as duloxetine or venlafaxine
- Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol, tizanidine, or orphenadrine
These medications can offer a potent and effective solution to chronic back pain after a car accident. It’s best to consult with a pain management doctor to determine what medication or combination of medications is best suited to help you address your back pain. A back pain doctor is dedicated to offering the best solution for your needs.
Another option for addressing post-accident pain is investing in a physical therapist. Physical therapists are trained in the science of rehabilitation and help patients heal by guiding them through strategic exercises and other therapeutic treatments.
Physical therapy is particularly important after a car accident because of the trauma your body endures in a collision. This trauma often results in a loss of range of motion, meaning that your muscles and tissues lose that ability to move freely in the wake of an injury.
How can physical therapy help you heal? According to the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapy should be the first line of treatment for back pain because it offers a nondrug, self-managed path towards recovery for patients. These factors mean that physical therapy treatment is a relatively low risk while offering the potential of great recovery.
In addition to improving patients’ mobility, it has the power to minimize chronic pain after an accident, too, by strengthening your muscles, which encourages healing.
Some of the physical therapy exercises that may help mitigate back pain include the following:
- Bridges — lie on the floor with knees bent and feet on the ground. With your back in a straight line with shoulders and knees, lift your hips, and hold for six seconds.
- Press-up back extensions — lie on your stomach and put your elbows under your shoulders with hands on the ground. Lift your shoulders from the floor as your push down on your hands and hold for several seconds.
- Knee to chest—Put your feet on the ground and lift your right knee up to your chest. Hold for about 20 seconds while your left foot remains on the ground. Repeat while alternating knees.
- Bird dogs — Pose on hands and knees with your back straight and muscles tight. Lift each leg in alteration, extending it straight behind you and holding it for five seconds.
These exercises each work out a different part of your back and focus on restoring strength to tissue that’s been damaged in the trauma of a car accident.
Chiropractic treatment is one of the most common solutions for pain after you’ve been in a car accident. One report from consumers even revealed that chiropractic care ranked above all other forms of treatment as the most effective way to minimize back pain. If you’re unsure of where to start in your journey of recovery, then, a chiropractor may be the answer.
Chiropractors complete rigorous training in order to become qualified to practice. This training includes completion of a doctorate degree, years of guided practice, and passing of a licensure exam. This extensive training equips chiropractors with intensive knowledge about anatomy, physiology, and rehabilitation.
Chiropractic treatment typically focuses on a process called “adjustments.” For back pain, these adjustments are focused on the spine and surrounding tissues. A chiropractor performs an adjustment by manually manipulating the spine with his or her hands. The manipulation will consist of a sudden, controlled application of force to the individual joints in your back.
This results in the release of gas from your vertebra — a process known as join cavitation — which produces an audible sound. In addition to adjustments, some chiropractors incorporate therapeutic massage techniques into their treatments in order to facilitate the healing of soft tissue, too.
This type of treatment is particularly beneficial to car accident victims. The trauma of an accident can easily cause a misaligned spine, but many people are unaware that they’ve sustained this injury until they seek treatment from a chiropractor.
If left untreated, misplaced vertebrae can lead to pinched nerves, numbness, and other painful problems. Seeking chiropractic treatment as soon as possible after an accident can prevent an injury from worsening and potentially causing permanent damage.
The practice of acupuncture dates back to the 15th century, with a history rooted in ancient Chinese medicine. These roots tie the practice to philosophy rather than science, but many patients still report that it is an effective treatment for chronic pain.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the results of multiple studies suggest that acupuncture is particularly effective for the treatment of chronic back pain. This makes it a great option for anybody who’s recently been in an auto accident. If you’re looking for a non-drug solution to post-accident pain that requires a minimal time commitment, acupuncture may be your best bet.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles into the skin. Needles are inserted in strategic places — called “pressure points” — where the pain is thought to be concentrated in the body. Acupuncturists will typically treat pressure points across the back and torso to alleviate back pain.
Some modern practitioners believe that acupuncture is effective because of its ability to stimulate the nervous system, including a person’s muscles and soft tissues. This can be a particularly effective way to prompt healing and minimize the symptoms of chronic pain after you’ve been involved in an auto accident.
Acupuncture is also effective for pain in other parts of the body, too. It is often preferable to prescription pain relievers and other treatment options because there is very little risk involved, and it offers a holistic opportunity to heal. In addition to its pain relief benefits, acupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the whole body, making it a great investment for your overall health — not just recovery after an accident.
Enjoy the relaxation and rehabilitation that an acupuncture session can provide in the wake of a car collision injury.
In some cases, minor medical interventions are insufficient to address the scope of an injury that occurs in an auto accident. In such cases, surgery may be necessary in order to remedy the damage and restore your health. This is especially true if the injury has resulted in a broken bone or another medical emergency that can only be treated with surgery.
In addition to broken bones, examples of such injuries include damage to your spine, knee pain, traumatic brain injuries, and lacerations. If you have experienced any of these in an accident, you are likely to require surgical treatment
There is a range of different surgeries that can address trauma after a car accident. Surgery is typically required for back injuries such as the following:
- Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis is caused when the space between the vertebrae in your spine is compressed, placing pressure on your spinal cord
- Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is the slippage of one or more vertebrae out of the spine and towards the bone below
- Herniated disc: The discs in your spinal cord can rupture and leak, causing a hernia
- Spinal fracture: If the vertebrae in your spine are broken, this is a spinal fracture
In addition to orthopedic surgeries, some car accident survivors require neurosurgical treatment in order to address brain injuries. Such surgery may be necessary to treat any of the following neurological injuries that can result from a car accident:
- Fractured skull: A fractured skull can occur when the bone of your skull is broken
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A traumatic brain injury often happens as a result of severe impact to the head
- Head laceration: Head lacerations happen in accidents when the skin of the head is cut
A qualified car accident surgeon can provide the surgery you need and help you get started on the path towards recovery. For severe injuries, surgery is key to healing your body.
Effective Options for Back Pain Relief from Pain Management Specialists in New York, NY
Acute pain issues can be absolutely debilitating when left unaddressed. Car accident survivors often know this all too well. Luckily, though, there are an array of treatment options available to help you address your back pain and begin your recovery.
No-Fault Doctors offers over a dozen different specific options to treat pain, including orthopedic care, neurologists, surgery, chiropractic treatment, and acupuncture from the best pain management doctors. If you’re ready to overcome the trauma of your accident and address your chronic back pain, trust us to help you find the best solution for a pain-free life.
Our pain doctors serve clients throughout the New York and New Jersey areas. Doctors listed in our online directory accept no-fault insurance, PIP (personal injury protection), workers’ compensation, medical liens, and other insurance plans. Get started by calling (888) 970-5065 or reaching out online.