The trauma sustained from the force of an impact during an automobile accident frequently results in damage and symptoms that can be debilitating and impairing. Various different types of injuries or conditions can occur from the aftermath of an auto collision, however, back injuries are among the most commonly reported complication among the affected individuals. In fact, auto accidents are the leading cause of spinal injuries, accountable for more than 40 percent of spinal complications every year.
The spine is a complex structure surrounded by muscles, tendons, ligaments and other types of tissues. Although it is designed to be strong enough to support the weight of the head and hold the upright posture of humans, the spine is not built to withstand the shock of an automobile accident. The impact strains the muscles and ligaments in the back and the facet joints frequently bear the brunt of the force. This can result in several types of injuries, including whiplash, fractures and disc herniation. Among all these injuries and conditions, sciatica is repeatedly diagnosed throughout many accident cases.
Sciatica Caused by Herniated Discs
Sciatica is best described as a set of symptoms rather than a single condition, characterized by radiating pain along the sciatic nerve, the largest single nerve in the human body.
One of the most common causes of sciatica after an auto accident is a herniated disc. The vertebral discs in the spine primarily function as a shock absorber between each vertebra. The tough yet soft jelly-like structure of the discs acts as a form of cartilaginous joint or cushion to provide smooth mobility to the spine, also acting as ligaments to hold the vertebrae of the spine together. Because the discs can absorb the majority of the shock from any direct trauma to the spine, it is possible for a disc to herniate during a car crash.
A herniated disc is identified when the structure ruptures or breaks open, causing its soft center to push through the small crack in the disc’s exterior, compressing and irritating the surrounding nerves. Some people may experience no symptoms while others will generally describe arm or leg pain, depending on the location of the herniated disc. Symptoms of sciatica, including weakness, numbness and tingling sensations are usually experienced in the individual’s affected area directly after the incident or several days, even weeks after the automobile accident.
Sciatica is only a group of symptoms for another type of injury or condition. The radiating pain associated with sciatica can interfere with an individual’s ability to work and/or enjoy hobbies that one would normally participate in. If a more severe injury or condition is causing sciatica, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention to properly diagnose the root of the pain and discomfort in order to avoid developing chronic symptoms in the future.
Chiropractic for Herniated Disc Symptoms & Sciatica
Chiropractic care is a non-surgical treatment option for a variety of injuries and conditions, including herniated discs and sciatica. Foremost, to treat sciatica, a chiropractor must first evaluate the cause of an individual’s symptoms. In the presence of herniated discs, a chiropractor will develop a treatment plan including spinal adjustments and manual manipulations as well as other chiropractic techniques to ease the pain and discomfort. Therapeutic exercises are often recommended together with chiropractic treatment to speed up the rehabilitation process.
The flexion-distraction technique used by chiropractors for herniated discs involves the use of a specialized table which gently stretches the spine. This technique can help move the disc away from the nerve, reducing inflammation of the nerve root, and eventually any symptoms or sciatica or associated pain and inflammation into the leg.
Surgery is another treatment option available for treating herniated discs, but as with any other type of injury or condition requiring surgery, it’s crucial to first seek other forms of treatments which may alleviate the symptoms and leave more invasive procedures like surgery as a last option. Chiropractic care is an alternative treatment option that can be just as effective as surgery, according to research.
Sciatica: Surgery or Chiropractic?
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Improving Overall Health with Fitness: A Client’s Story
Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, has helped many people with symptoms of sciatica and other types of injuries or conditions as well as aided individuals simply looking to improve their overall health by following a healthier lifestyle through his chiropractic care and Push-as-Rx ®™ system. Priscilla Sano arrived one day and that’s all it took for her to realize, Push as Rx was the place for her. Her exercise routines had not been consistent before but CrossFit for her was a different experience that changed her view completely. Push as Rx helped Priscilla Sano fall in love with her workouts. Priscilla can count on the knowledge and experience of the trainers to continue showing her the right path in fitness.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s clinic and PUSH-as-Rx ®™ system is leading the field with laser focus supporting our youth sport programs. The PUSH-as-Rx ®™ System is a sport specific athletic program designed by a strength-agility coach and physiology doctor with a combined 40 years of experience working with extreme athletes. At its core, the program is the multidisciplinary study of reactive agility, body mechanics and extreme motion dynamics. Through continuous and detailed assessments of the athletes in motion and while under direct supervised stress loads, a clear quantitative picture of body dynamics emerges. Exposure to the biomechanical vulnerabilities are presented to our team. Immediately, we adjust our methods for our athletes in order to optimize performance. This highly adaptive system with continual dynamic adjustments has helped many of our athletes come back faster, stronger, and ready post injury while safely minimizing recovery times. Results demonstrate clear improved agility, speed, decreased reaction time with greatly improved postural-torque mechanics. PUSH-as-Rx ®™ offers specialized extreme performance enhancements to our athletes no matter the age.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy Than Opioids
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