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Spinal ligament injuries common… and commonly undiagnosed

By Justin Pearce, D.C. | Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center

Spinal ligament injuries commonYear after year, more people go to the doctor for back pain than just about any other health problem. About 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time, according to the American Chiropractic
Association.

Back pain can be caused by any number of factors, including sports injuries, falls, poor posture,
arthritis, obesity, and muscle deconditioning. The most common cause of back pain by far, is the automobile crash. It’s estimated that about 40 percent of all back pain results from an injury sustained in a car crash.

Have you been in a car accident and are still
suffering from back or neck pain, months or years later? There’s a good chance your suffering is being caused by the stretching and strain to the soft tissues of the spine that occurred during the accident. Even low-speed car accidents, such as getting rear-ended at 7 mph, can damage the spine. If the damage isn’t diagnosed properly, and appropriate treatment given, the damage can be permanent.

If you’re still dealing with pain and inflammation from a car accident – even one that happened several years ago, it’s time to seek help. In fact, depending on your insurance policy, your treatment may still be covered!

Understanding the back and spine
Your back is a complex structure comprised of bones, joints, ligaments, muscle, cartilage, fluids, nerves, and blood vessels. Injury to any of these components can result in back pain, and left untreated, the injury could become permanent. The most common injury associated with car
accidents is spinal ligament strain.

Ligaments are thick, fibrous bands of tissue that help to hold joints in place. When the back is
subjected to a sudden motion – such as occurs in
a car crash – it’s very easy for one or more of the ligaments to become stretched or torn.

Symptoms of spinal ligament sprain
Because ligaments are comprised of soft tissue, sprains are not easily diagnosed with X-rays. However, an experienced practitioner can use X-ray technology, along with a medical history and patient symptoms, to diagnose spinal ligament strain.

Symptoms include:
• Pain that worsens with movement
• Muscle cramping or spasms
• Decreased function and or range of motion
• Swelling, pain or tenderness in the affected area
• Bruising

Many times, the pain can last for weeks or even months.

Treatment of spinal ligament injuries
Unfortunately, the default position for treating back pain has been to prescribe powerful pain medications, such as opioids. This has led to an addiction epidemic in Kentucky and throughout the nation. As a health professional who specializes in treating the whole patient, I believe in a more conservative and natural approach.

At Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center, we tailor treatment to each patient based on his or her needs. Treatment may consist of heat therapy, massage, spinal manipulation, physical therapy, at-home exercise, stretching and bracing. Proper posture, good nutrition, and safe lifting techniques are emphasized.

Ultimately, our goal is to facilitate the natural healing process, while managing symptoms and discomfort.

If you, or someone you love, is suffering from back pain resulting from an automobile crash, fall or other traumatic injury, give our office a call to schedule an appointment. The sooner we get started, the sooner you’ll feel better.

Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center is located at 3650 Boston Road, Suite 188, in
Lexington. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (859) 219-0617. www.millpondwellnesscenter.com

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