Muscle or Disc Back Pain: How to Tell the Difference after an Accident
September 26, 2022
Immediately after the collision, your back feels a little painful, but the next day, it’s unbearable. When loved ones ask what kind of back pain it is, you’re not sure—you just know it hurts! But understanding the kind of pain you’re experiencing following a car accident can help you know what to do next.
Following a car wreck, two common types of back pain consist of injuries related to the muscles being strained or torn or to a disc slipping out of place. How do you know which one you have? What should you do in both cases? Keep reading to find out!
What Muscle Pain Feels Like
When you work out, tiny fibers in your muscles slightly break down, which causes soreness. This sensation occurs because your body is healing itself and becoming stronger. However, if you push your muscles too hard or don’t stretch before a workout, these fibers can actually be pulled or even tear, causing a more serious injury.
In a car accident, you obviously aren’t exercising, but it is possible for your muscles to work hard or tear to stabilize your head and spine. A clear sign that your injury is muscle related is that you feel similarly to how you feel a day after you exercise rigorously, although it could be a little more intense. Depending on the severity of the injury, you should start to recover a few days after the pain sets in. If it doesn’t show improvement by then, it’s definitely time to see a chiropractor.
What Disc Pain Feels Like
A disc is a small circular pad that cushions the spinal column. You have many discs that protect your vertebrae and spinal nerve from touching; however, when a disc is slipped out of place—say from a car accident—it can touch the nerve, sending a tingly, painful, or even numbing sensation in your back and appendages. If you have a restricted range of motion and struggle with sharp pains near your spine, it could be disc related, in which case your first move should be calling a chiropractor for an appointment.
Why You Should See a Chiropractor Right Away
Did you know that you don’t have to wait until you’re in excruciating back pain (whether muscle or disc related) to seek professional help? In fact, it’s better to start treatment early after a car accident, even if you aren’t necessarily in pain, because the sooner you address the issue, the sooner it can heal and the sooner you can get relief from pain.
In the end, regardless of the type of pain, the best professional who can help you recover from these injuries is a chiropractor. Don’t simply accept pain and try to carry on as usual. Pay attention to your pain and allow yourself to heal through working with someone who knows how to facilitate the process.
About the Author
Dr. Zinovy Chukhman, who prefers to be called Dr. Z, has worked in rehabilitation for more than 20 years. He is certified by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and uses many types of treatment protocols, including the Gostead and Graston techniques. If you were in a car accident, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Z at AlignRight Injury & Rehab online or call our practice at 972-907-2800.
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