Are Neck & Back Injuries Permanent?
Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: One of the most common questions I get from patients after an injury is “Will I always have pain in the future”? Another common statement is to relate all current complaints to a previous accident or injury. This can be back pain from jumping off a roof when they were 15 or an auto accident that they had when they were in college. People are surprised when they are shown to have no degeneration from prior injuries or signs of prior trauma.
Most accidents or prior injuries do not cause permanent pain or impairments. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that impairment is “any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function”. Another way of saying it would be “a condition that interferes with an individual’s activities of daily living. The impairment becomes permanent when it has become static and stable and unlikely to change with further care.
Most accidents and injuries cause a mild to moderate sprain / strain injury or a soft tissue contusion (bruise). These injuries typically resolve in 8 weeks or less. With the proper treatment and therapy there is no permanent impairment or pain. The key to getting the problem resolved is to understand what happened to the body and providing the correct chiropractic adjustments to the joints, doing the proper therapy to minimize tissue inflammation and getting the patient to begin the necessary stretches and exercises as soon as possible. After the injury is resolved, the patient should be given a home based exercise and stretching program. These typically only take a few minutes to perform so it is easy to include in your daily routine, similar to brushing and flossing your teeth.
There are times when these injuries take longer, such as when a bone has been broken, ligaments or tendons ruptured or when surgery has been required. This is typically where permanent pain or discomfort can occur. Luckily that does not happen often.
Unfortunately some patients are told that they will always be in pain or that they can never do a particular activity again because of the injury. With a mild to moderate sprain / strain injury (this includes a small disc herniation) or contusion, you will not be limited with what you do if you are regularly doing the correct exercises and stretches. If you have not been given a home based exercise and stretching program by your previous doctor or therapist, ask your current chiropractor for a program that you can do on your own. He or she should be able to formulate a plan to get you out of pain and back to enjoying your activities of daily living. If they don’t give you a home care program, feel free to contact us for information.
Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!