Auto Injury: How to make pain management work
After an auto collision many will seek the care of a pain management specialist. These doctors typically use oral medication or injections to help provide some relief. The goal of pain management is reducing inflammation or providing a numbing effect. However, this does not address the actual cause of the inflammation or the dysfunction of the injured joints and tissues.
When soft tissue and joints are injured, there is a disruption in the nervous systems proprioception capabilities. Proprioception is the way our brain senses the position and movement of our body. Basically, these nerve message from our neck joints and muscles tell our brain the position and movement of our head in relationship to our body. When healthy, these inputs produce a smooth coordinated position of our head over our torso as we move through our daily activities.
However, when injured, these nerves send faulty signals to our brain which causes uncoordinated and stiff movement of our head over the body. Unfortunately, this happens even after the pain has been reduced from pain management treatments. This abnormal motion continues initially, with minimal pain, to irritate the injured tissues and joints. When the medication wears off, the inflammation begins to build again. If left untreated, it can cause a chronic pain cycle and degeneration of the spinal disc and facet joints – for which pain management at this point has limited effect.
The answer to this is co-treatment. Along with pain management, skilled manual care from chiropractic physicians trained in injury care can help “reset” the nerve/proprioceptors normal signals. With normal proprioception, there is a restoration of normal position and movement of our head. This will help to diminish or stop the continued irritation and degeneration, thus helping to prevent long term chronic pain.
If you want to make your pain management care the most effective, call our office at (314) 731-4383 and schedule your examination today.