Chronic Pain After An Auto Injury

Central Sensitization & chronic pain after auto injurychronic pain from auto injury

It is not uncommon for patients to developed chronic, widespread chronic pain after an auto injury. If an injury is untreated or improperly treated, specific pain receptors in their brain become overly sensitized to pain stimuli, making their body overly sensitive to pain in general.

In the past, those patients with chronic pain were believed to be faking or exaggerating. However, research has demonstrated there are changes that happen to their nervous system and brain that can cause chronic pain.

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With an auto injury, the soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, nerves) of the spine are typically stretched or torn. This injured tissue becomes inflamed or swollen, sending pain signals to the brain to let it know there is a problem in the injured area. The brain and nervous system respond by telling the muscles in the area to tighten or spasm for protection from further injury.

Unfortunately, if untreated or improperly treated, a negative pain cycle can develop. The injured area continues sending pain signals to the brain, causing an overreaction by the nervous system. Studies have demonstrated that the pain centers in the brain become sensitized to the pain signals and become overstimulated, causing your body to become oversensitive to pain in general, this has been termed Central Sensitization

Chronic Pain And Proof

Auto injury patients have been shown to demonstrate objective evidence of this over sensitization. Scientist find that patients with chronic pain demonstrate more pain in their hands or feet which is obviously far from the original injured area. Other research, using PET scans, reveals changes in brain function of patients with chronic pain.

Once the nervous system becomes over sensitized to pain signals, it can take time to reverse this cycle. The goal of care should be to quickly reduce the pain stimuli, returning your nervous system back to a normal state.

If you have experienced an auto injury or you are in pain, we should be able to help! Chiropractic has been shown to be one of the most effective forms of treatment to reduce the pain from auto injuries.  We can help you pinpoint the root of your pain and develop a treatment plan to reclaim your health.

Call our office today at (314) 731-4383 or Click Here To Callfor an appointment or more information.

In most cases, there may be no up front payment for care! We can work with your insurance company or attorney using a valid lien.


References: Stone AM, Vicenzino B, Lim EC, Sterling M Measures of central hyperexcitability in chronic whiplash associated disorder – A systematic review and meta-analysis. Manual Therapy 2012; Sep 1.