Managing Upper Back Pain After a Car Accident

If you are experiencing upper back pain after a car accident, it’s always best to seek treatment as quickly as possible, even if the pain seems mild. Upper back injuries can become more severe over time if left untreated, and in some cases, they can increase your risk for serious conditions like osteoarthritis.

This is also why it’s beneficial to visit a chiropractor instead of only seeing your primary care provider. A physician who lacks the training needed to diagnose and treat complex back injuries will likely prescribe you pain medication, which may provide relief for a time.

Medication doesn’t address the root problem

But the Medication doesn’t address the root problem that’s causing your pain so in cases where your back cannot heal on its own, your pain levels will continue to increase over time.

The Benefits of Receiving Immediate Treatment

An experienced Pembroke Pines chiropractor, on the other hand, can identify the source of your pain and develop a treatment plan that doesn’t just provide immediate relief, but also helps the body to heal more quickly and effectively.

Whether you were recently in a car accident or experience lingering pain from an incident that happened months or even years ago, here’s an overview of the most common upper back injuries and a guide to what you can expect if you visit Rush Chiropractic.

What Makes Upper Back Pain Unique?

Compared to the neck and lower back, the upper back has less mobility, because it connects to your ribs. This means that injuries to the upper back happen less often, but when they do occur, they tend to be more severe. 

traumatic injury like a car accident

The upper back also supports less of your body weight than the lower back, so If you’re experiencing upper back pain, it’s more likely to be tied to a traumatic injury like a car accident than to the daily wear and tear that often impacts the other parts of the back.

Keep in mind that this pain may begin immediately after a car accident, gradually increase over time, or suddenly begin weeks after the accident.

Common Upper Back Injuries After a Car Accident

An upper back injury could involve damage to the muscles, vertebrae, tendons and ligaments, nerves, or even the discs between the vertebrae. Depending on the source of your pain, it may present as stiffness, tingling, pain that radiates into other areas of the body, a sharp or stabbing pain, or an ache.

Some of the most common injuries that cause upper back pain

Some of the most common injuries that cause upper back pain include:

  1. Fractured Vertebra

A spinal fracture often seems especially frightening or severe, but in some cases, they’re actually quite minor. Not all spinal fractures result in a spinal cord injury, and minor fractures can sometimes even heal on their own. However, a chiropractor can help ensure the spine stays aligned so that it heals correctly.

Fractured vertebrae in the upper back typically result in pain that worsens with movement.

  1. Herniated Disc

Between each vertebra 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 can occur at any point along the spinal cord, and upper back herniations are typically caused by traumatic incidents like a car accident.

Herniated and bulging discs are often very painful, and when left untreated, they can also lead to other degenerative spinal conditions in the future.

  1. Whiplash 

Whiplash occurs when the head and neck experience a sudden extension (backward motion) followed 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 symptoms don’t always present themselves immediately after the accident, so many people struggle to connect their upper back pain back to the accident that caused it.

  1. Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain

When a muscle, ligament or tendon in the back stretches or even tears, it can cause soreness, swelling, and limited range of motion. In some cases, strains and sprains can heal on their own, but in more severe cases, they may require medical care. A chiropractor can help you find relief faster with treatments like chiropractic adjustment and massage therapy.

  1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects your bones wears down over time, causing the bones in a joint to rub against each other. When you fracture your spine, tear a ligament, or experience another acute injury in a car accident, this can cause post-traumatic arthritis, which may develop months or even years after the initial incident.

  1. Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve occurs when the nerve is compressed by surrounding tissues, and can cause pain that radiates to other parts of the body. A chiropractor can help you heal faster with a chiropractic adjustment that relieves the pressure on the nerve.

How a Chiropractor Treats Upper Back Pain

An experienced chiropractor like Dr. Rush has access to a variety of treatment methods that can help you experience pain relief and also create an optimal environment for your body to heal itself.

When you visit Dr. Rush for upper back pain, he will first take time to diagnose the problem and develop a treatment plan based on the nature of the injury.

For a herniated disc or other joint injury, Dr. Rush may use spinal decompression therapy to gently stretch the spine. This increases the space between the vertebrae to promote faster healing and allow the discs and joints to realign naturally.

He may also use chiropractic adjustment for injuries like strains, sprains, and pinched nerves. By applying controlled force to hypomobile joints, this treatment can help restore your range of motion and help the affected areas to heal.

Some patients may also benefit from electrical muscle stimulation, a technique where we send mild electrical pulses into target areas to help loosen tight muscles and reduce pain.

Whatever chiropractic treatment is right for you, Dr. Rush can help you find pain relief and lasting results. Don’t wait to get treatment after a car accident! Give us a call today at (954)432-5006 to schedule a consultation.

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