Two months ago I sustained an injury to work in a road traffic accident on the Motorway where an incoming vehicle shunted me from behind. I have to drive 1hr to get to work.
I’m now suffering from whiplash injury; I have pain in my lower back and right leg. I also have restricted movement to my neck. I have constant headaches everyday and at night I sometimes have spasm attacks which are painful.
I’m also suffering from post traumatic stress disorder due to the accident for which I am receiving counselling. I am too scared to get in to a car as I panic.
I am undergoing Physio-therapy I have had 4 sessions but it’s not helping with my neck movement I any way. It’s very painful to move my neck in any direction. I have to walk with a limp and I reliant on a crutch for support to keep my balance. I use pain medication which is causing me drowsiness.
1) Its now been two months since the accident, How long is this pain going to last?
2) Will the doctor think I’m making this up as there is nothing showing on MRI/XRAY?
3) If I sit in a car my lower back starts to hurt very painfully after five minutes, is this going to cause a problem in the long term when I do eventually start to drive esp. long distance to work?
Unfortunately, the prognosis for such injuries is not good. Many patients end up with a lifetime of chronic pain and discomfort.
You have two distinct problems.
There is the lower back pain secondary to compression of the sciatic nerve.
The drill is to obtain a 3T MRI L1-L5 (not a 1.5 T) to find out who's on first and what's on second. I donno, if you remember, is on third. X-rays are a complete waste of time.
Then there are specific exercises you have to be taught and practice, along with anti-inflammatory drugs. These must be taught to you by an experienced rehabilitation specialist. You will need a half-dozen sessions. This will be money well spent. There are other treatment protocols involving injection of ozone (in europe) and papain derivatives. Finally there is the option of a laminectomy. This subject has been driven into the ground. Do a google search.
Insofar as the cervical subluxation, a collar is contraindicated, as are muscle relaxants, which cause loss of muscle tone.
Vibratory treatment with an ultrasonic roller are also plan stupid. It mashes up the nerve bundles.
There is a mislignment of the spine and treatment is controversal and counter-intuitive.
Under the supervision of a physician who did not get his degree with boxtops and an internet course of medical instruction, the head is forcefully manipulated through the limits of pain. (Ouch!) The patient then uses an axial traction device for short periods several times a day (not continuously) together with anti-inflammatories (oral prednisone to start, sixty mg, then weaned down to ungotz) and practices "range of motion" exercises.
Because there is pain, a typical patient believes the pain is a means of informing him/her not to move the head as to not cause damage. This results in the motion of the head becoming more and more restricted until the patient has a so-called "frozen shoulder", a paralyzed hand and is using a walker. This will get worse until eventually the patient thinks about shooting themselves to ease the pain.
Now there is a caveat regarding this protocol. The MRI must demonstrate that there are no fractures that could result in transection of the spinal cord with movement. This is why you should not begin this method of treatment without consulting a competent physician.
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