Understanding and Treating the Most Common Thoracic Spine Injuries
If you’re experiencing middle back pain after a car accident, you may feel tempted to just wait out the pain. And while it’s true that some minor injuries can heal themselves with time and rest, it’s always best to visit a medical professional after a car accident, especially if your symptoms are affecting the middle back.
Many of the most common injuries associated with back pain have similar symptoms, so it’s nearly impossible to know the severity of your injury without a medical diagnosis. And middle back pain, which is more rare than lower back or neck pain, is often associated with more serious injuries, because it typically relates to an issue with the spine.
Fortunately, an experienced Pembroke Pines chiropractor like Dr. Rush can help you get to the root of the problem and find relief faster.
If you’ve never visited a chiropractor before and want to know more about the ways they can help you manage your middle back pain, here’s an overview of the most common middle back injuries and the methods a chiropractor may use to treat them.
What Makes Middle Back Pain Unique?
The middle section of your spine, also called the thoracic spine, is responsible for anchoring your rib cage to protect your vital organs. It also gives the body the stability it needs for activities like walking. This area is generally less mobile than the neck and lower back, so it’s not as susceptible to the minor injuries that may occur while performing everyday activities.
In a traumatic event like a car accident, however, the thoracic spine is vulnerable to a variety of injuries, including herniated discs, joint injuries, and strains and sprains. Additionally, middle back pain may stem from issues in other parts of the body, such as a pinched nerve or whiplash.
Because most middle back injuries are related to the spine itself, they tend to be more severe than lower back injuries, so it’s especially important to seek help immediately when you start experiencing pain.
Common Injuries Associated with Middle Back Pain
Many middle back injuries have similar symptoms, but a great chiropractor can help you diagnose the issue and develop a treatment plan that fits your needs.
A few of the most common injuries associated with middle back pain include:
Between each vertebra of the spine lies a disc that’s filled with a soft, jelly-like center. If that disc ruptures or slips out of place, it can push on nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness, and tingling. These injuries occur most often in the lower back, but they can also happen at any point along the spinal cord, including the middle back.
Herniated and bulging discs are often very painful, and when left untreated, they can also lead to other degenerative spinal conditions in the future.
- Facet Joint Injuries
Facet joints connect the spine’s vertebrae and help prevent the spine from moving too far in any one direction. When either a facet joint or the cartilage surrounding the joint is damaged, it can cause pain and spasms in the back. Over time, an untreated facet joint injury may also lead to the more severe and degenerative condition called facet joint syndrome.
Whiplash often occurs in car accidents, because it’s caused by a sudden extension (backward motion) of the head and neck, followed quickly by a flexion (forward motion). This can happen even in minor accidents at speeds as low as 5-10 miles per hour, and it’s especially common in rear-end collisions. Whiplash is most commonly associated with the neck and shoulders, but it can also affect the middle back.
Whiplash symptoms don’t always present themselves immediately after the accident, so many people struggle to connect their pain back to the accident that caused it. This is why it’s especially important to seek treatment after an accident, even if you’re not experiencing severe pain.
- Strains and Sprains
The same sudden motions associated with whiplash can also cause ligaments, tendons, or muscles in the back to stretch or tear. This can lead to soreness, swelling, and limited range of motion throughout the back.
Strains and sprains have similar symptoms, but strains affect muscles and tendons, and sprains affect ligaments. In some cases, a strain or sprain may heal on its own, but in more severe cases, a chiropractor can help you find relief.
How a Chiropractor Can Treat Middle Back Pain After a Car Accident
Whether your middle back pain is tied to a minor irritation or a more serious condition, a chiropractor can often help you find pain relief and restored mobility, without the use of surgery or medication.
When you visit Rush Chiropractic, Dr. Rush takes the time to assess and diagnose your injury and then work with you to develop a custom treatment plan.
For a herniated disc or joint injury, Dr. Rush often uses a treatment called spinal decompression therapy, which uses a traction table or other motorized device to gently stretch the spine. By increasing the space between the vertebrae, it promotes faster healing and can help the discs and joints to realign naturally.
Chiropractic adjustment can also help you find relief from a variety of joint and tissue related issues, as it helps restore joint mobility.
Dr. Rush is also skilled at treatments like massage therapy and electrical muscle stimulation, which can loosen tight muscles, offer pain relief, and help your body heal more quickly.
If you’ve been in a car accident and are experiencing any type of middle back pain, today is the day to get help. Give us a call at (954) 432-5006 to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Rush is a 1994 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and Wellness.
Dr. Rush earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in 2000 where he was honored with magna cum laude. Dr. Rush was born and raised in South Florida where he returned after graduation. He currently practices in Pembroke Pines, Florida where he owns and operates Rush Chiropractic and Rehab at Pembroke Pines FL.