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Post Car accident pain and numbness
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Post Car accident pain and numbness

I had an accident on 02/25/2010. I was driving at 30 miles/hr and wearing safety belt. At the moment of the accident, I was mainly holding the steering wheel with my left hand and putting my right hand on the steering wheel. A car hit me from the passenger side (right side, not sure how fast he was driving). My airbag popped up and front-right side of the car pretty much damaged. I felt numbness on my right hand in the first few minutes after the accident and then started to feel pain all over my right hand, right arm and right shoulder.

The next morning, I felt headache. Now 3 days have passed, every time I move my right arm, I feel pain, sometimes on my fingers, sometimes on my wrist, sometimes on the arm itself, sometimes on the shoulder. When I turn around my neck, I feel pain as well. Headache is on and off.

I thought all my pains are mostly located on my right side and only when right side is affected, I would feel pain. Then yesterday, something weird happened. When a nurse was trying to check my blood pressure on my left arm, when the pressure kicked in on my left arm, I felt extremely painful on my right arm (but I was not moving my right arm at all!!). Now I am very worried. Originally, I was thinking this is only for the muscle or joint damage, now I am feeling like it's related to nerve damage.

Now I am taking Carisoprodol and Ibuprofen (my PCP doctor prescribed them for me yesterday).

I did right arm X-rays at ER room but ER doctor says it looked ok.
I also did neck X-rays at PCP doctor’s office yesterday and still waiting for the result.

Shall I visit a Neurologist right away and get a thorough examination (like MRI and EMG (electromyography) now? Or I should wait for a few days and see how it goes?

By the way, can anyone help to recommend any good Neurologists around Houston/Dallas area?

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Wait for the pictures of your neck before you go to a neurologist.  Could be you wrenched something in there, and the docs will refer you to a specialist if any nerve, blood vessel, tendon and ligament, or muscle damage is serious.  But anytime you're in a car wreck, the impact alone, plus any injury by the airbag, it's going to bruise you up, wrench up muscles, and you're gonna hurt for a while.  The Carisoprodol is to relax your muscles, so that's good.  I don't know why tightening the BP cuff made your other arm hurt, don't know enough about circulation to comment, but obviously when you get your X-ray results back and talk to your doc, he can explain it for you.

While you wait for the results, you can put heat to your arm and neck, like a hot water bottle or heating pad, or very warm tub baths, and it'll give temporary relief.  If you become quite concerned about your neck, you can buy a soft neck collar at the pharmacy to wear for a while when you're up and about, it will keep your head from moving around too much.  You can also put your right arm in a home-made sling with an old shirt when you go out, to keep your arm from tugging on your neck.  Also, ask a friend or relative to gently massage your shoulders, really helps when you have injured your upper extremities and neck.  Try to rest as much as you can, until you speak to the doc about your neck pictures.
There can be several reasons of your symptoms, although without being able to examine you I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that you need, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about your health concern.

Most likely, your symptoms may be due to nerve irritation in the cervical (neck) spine because of injury/prolapse where contact between the edges of the vertebrae can cause neck pain. In few people, this pain may be referred and perceived as occurring in the back of head, shoulders, arms or chest, rather than just the neck. Other symptoms may include vertigo, nausea (dizziness) that you felt. Additionally, symptoms are like neck pain (electric like sensations) and stiffness can be intermittent. It will be best that you consult a neurologist who would like to prescribe Pain killers, steroid and muscle relaxants. Other treatments could be cervical orthosis such as a soft cervical collar/stiffer neck brace to restrict neck movement. In addition, cervical traction may also be suggested by the doctor, if condition is severe. Hope this helps.

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