Posts Tagged ‘throwing the back out’
Whether you’ve experienced it personally or seen it in someone you know, virtually everyone is familiar with whiplash. An estimated 130,000 new cases of whiplash are diagnosed in the United States every year, or about 328 every day. As well-known as it is, however, many cases go undiagnosed and untreated. At the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we help patients deal with all forms of injury. Understanding whiplash and how it is treated are the first steps towards getting the help you need.
Whiplash is usually the result of a sudden stop or change in momentum. While it is typically associated with minor car accidents, any impact or blow that causes the head to jerk forward or backward can cause whiplash symptoms. The abrupt jerking motion stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in the neck, causing a strain or sprain. Whiplash can affect patients of all ages, but especially those who play contact sports like football.
Whiplash can be difficult to diagnose, particularly since it may take 24 hours or more for the symptoms to start. Within the first few days after the injury, patients will usually start experiencing neck stiffness, headaches, pain between the shoulder blades, lower back pain, and/or pain and numbness in the arm or hand. More severe cases may also cause dizziness, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, irritability, and sleep disturbances. Because whiplash affects the soft tissues, advanced imaging tests may be needed to find the extent of the damage.
There are many different approaches to treating whiplash. While whiplash patients used to be placed in a neck collar, we now know that the key to rapid recovery is early movement instead of immobilization. Ice is typically recommended for the first 24 hours, followed by gentle, active movement under the guidance of a trained medical professional. Some doctors prescribe pain relief medications along with therapeutic treatments like gentle exercise, traction, massage, heat, ice, or injections. Each patient’s case is unique, so it’s important to find the combination of therapies that works best for you.
At the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we have helped countless patients find relief from whiplash. When you come in for a consultation, our synergy trained chiropractors and massage therapists can work with you to find the ideal treatment approach for your injury. If you would like more information about the various services we offer or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (404) 352-8900. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.
Most people associate sports medicine with professional athletes, but at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ in Atlanta we are proud to be able to help patients of all ability and activity levels. Even though we are well known for helping to improve the performance of some of the world’s most elite athletes, fewer are aware that we treat some of the most common complaints as well. For example, many of our patients are all too familiar with the sharp, wrenching pain of “throwing your back out.” Even relatively innocuous activity, like gardening or shoveling or just bending over to pick up a pencil, can potentially send a patient to the floor in agony. Why does this happen? What are we really saying when we talk about “throwing the back out?” Proper treatment begins with a deeper understanding of the back and spine in order to evaluate what is really going on.
The spine is the central support for the entire body. It bears the weight of the head, torso, and arms while allowing the body to move and bend in almost any direction. The adult spinal column itself is composed of 26 separate bones, called vertebrae, which surround and protect a central spinal cord that connects the brain to all of the various nerves in the body. These individual vertebrae are stacked on top of one another and are separated by elastic disks of tissue that act as shock absorbers. Back pain can be caused by a number of different issues, including muscle spasm or strain. However, what we commonly call “throwing the back out” is most likely the result of one of these disks becoming pinched or displaced.
The individual disks between the vertebrae are not unlike pieces of candy with hard outer shells and creamy centers. The outer portion, or annulus, which is firmly attached to the vertebrae both above and below the disk, is made up of a network of tough, crosshatched fibers that allow it to hold its shape. Inside this shell is the nucleus pulposis, a soft, gelatin-like filling that provides cushioning while evenly supporting the weight of the body. As we grow older, time and stress can cause small cracks or tears to develop in the outer ring. If one of these tears grows large enough, the disk can rupture, allowing the inner filling to squeeze out. This is called a herniated disk. The escaping material presses against the spinal nerves, causing intense pain or even numbness and weakness in the lower extremities. A herniated disk can be caused by a sudden load or violent jerk, but is more often the result of a slow accumulation of minor injuries over time, so the onset of pain can be sudden and unexpected.
In some extreme cases, spinal surgery may be necessary in order to repair a herniated disk. However, about 80% of patients can find relief without surgery, by pursuing a conservative treatment regimen consisting of rest, pain and anti-inflammatory medication, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic therapy. Our proprietary Synergy ™ Release Technique goes beyond simple manipulation by incorporating advanced therapeutic massage, stretching, and muscle activation techniques to restore balance to the body and achieve real, long-term results.
Back pain is a serious issue and needs to be carefully evaluated and diagnosed. At the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, our unique evaluation process uses a variety of metrics to analyze and diagnose the underlying biomechanical causes of a patient’s concern so that we can determine the treatment approach that is right for you. If you would like more information about the various services that we offer, or would like to schedule an appointment with any of our chiropractors or massage therapists, please contact us today. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.