Possible Whiplash after car accident

Patient

Q: I was just in a car accident last week..and prior to this i already had upper to middle back pain...anyway..i was vacuuming my jeep today and had alot of pain in my middle back an it radiated down the back of my left leg.

Doctor

A:    In the way that you described how the car accident occurred, and the pain in neck-shoulder-arm, most likely you are experiencing the sequels of a Whiplash injury (cervical acceleration-deceleration) which is one of the most common cause of cervical strain and also one of the most common sequel of nonfatal car injuries. The severity of the trauma often not correlated with the seriousness of the clinical problems. A history of neck injury is a significant risk factor for chronic neck pain. Other complications besides the pain include:  spinal cord compression, strains or tears of the anterior spinal ligaments, shoulder pain, muscular weakness of the arms. Maybe the car accident has exacerbated your previous upper and middle back pain. I would advise you to get an evaluation with a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatrist) to rule out a possible nerve-muscle problem consequence of the same issue and at the same time get physical therapy for your previous back pain.

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