What causes chronic pain after a motor vehicle accident?
Of the over 2 million rear-end accidents in the US annually, a substantial number of men and women end up enduring long-term pain and disability. Some studies have shown that 1 out of 5 people are still in pain one year after a crash.
Dr. Helton sees many accident cases in our Portland office, and we regularly see people who have been suffering for many years and have not been able to find help. Dr. Helton has great success in helping these patients.
The Cause of Chronic Pain
During a crash, the ligaments of your neck and back can be stretched or torn. The damaged area becomes swollen and inflamed and transmits pain signals to the spinal cord and central nervous system.
Pain tells your central nervous system that something is wrong, which tells the muscle tissues in the injured area to contract to shield the area from further injury.
If the injury isn't addressed right away, a negative cycle develops. The hurt tissues keep sending pain signals and each time, your central nervous system reacts. This brings about a feedback loop in your nervous system that specialists refer to as "central sensitization." Your nervous system actually becomes hypersensitive to any kind of stimulus, leading to chronic pain.
Dr. Helton is able to help this kind of problem, as chiropractic is a proven way to restore the nervous system's healthy functioning. Research shows that adjustments are effective at relieving pain from car crashes and shows that chiropractic in fact has positive effects on the pain centers of the brain.
If you live in Portland and have been in a collision, you don't have to suffer with chronic pain. Give Dr. Helton a call today at (503) 771-1974 for a consultation or appointment.
- Ferrari R. A prospective study of the 1-year incidence of fibromyalgia after acute whiplash injury. Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Disease 2015; doi:10.1136/rmdopen-2014-000007.
- Stone AM, Vicenzino B, Lim EC, Sterling M. Measures of central hyperexcitability in chronic whiplash associated disorder - A systematic review and meta-analysis. Manual Therapy 2012;18(2):111-7.