The sciatic nerves run down the length of your lower body. Typically, these nerves that go from your hip to your buttocks and down through each leg don’t give you cause to pay them any mind. However, an auto accident can indeed cause several injuries that may inflame the sciatica nerves.
The pain can be severe and long-lasting if not expertly treated by professionals. Learn more about inflamed sciatica nerve symptoms and where to seek sciatica pain treatment with an auto accident injury doctor who will understand your needs.
What Is Sciatica Pain?
The pathway of nerves running from your lower back down your legs is your sciatic nerves. Though your sciatica nerves run down both sides of your body symmetrically, the symptoms will likely affect only one side of your body when a part of the sciatic nerves are pinched or compressed. When inflamed, these nerves can cause excruciating and sometimes paralyzing pain. Sensations that you may experience with sciatica pain are:
- Severe discomfort running a line from the lower back down through the calf
- Usually, only one side of the body experiences the pain
- Numbness, weakness, tingling, limbs that feel “asleep”
- Types of pain can vary depending on the sciatica nerve damage
- Periods of sitting or standing at length can make symptoms worse
- In extreme cases, loss of bowel or bladder control
Can Auto Accidents Cause Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain happens when your sciatica nerves become inflamed. This inflammation can occur for a host of natural reasons, including risk factors like diabetes, obesity, age, or occupation. However, sciatica inflammation can also be caused by damage or injury from a car accident. If left untreated, sciatica pain can worsen and, in some cases, even cause permanent nerve damage. Seeking treatment immediately after your accident from a car accident doctor is the best way to identify if you have potential sciatica inflammation and how to best address the injury with a treatment plan.
Herniated disks are a primary cause of sciatica pain. Disks can become compressed and pinch or crush a part of the sciatica nerves. If you are in a car accident, the chances of having a herniated disk are high. The force of the impact of a car crash is what causes herniated disks. Since all car accidents have some sort of impact, you may have sciatic damage without even knowing it. The impact could cause your spine to compress along your spinal cord, which means that disks could bulge in one area and be compacted in another. This flexing of disks keeps your spine from breaking, but it also causes extensive damage within the body, including sciatica nerve damage that results in sciatica pain. Seeking treatment from an experienced auto accident injury doctor will help identify damage early.
Bone spurs can also cause sciatica pain. Though bone spurs result from your body trying to heal from an injury, they can result from car accidents in two ways. If you do not seek treatment directly after your auto accident, your body will try to heal itself the best way it knows how. This healing process may include developing a bone spur. A bone spur is simply the body’s response to inflammation or injury in an area; a cellular response occurs that produces more bone to help protect the area. But, bone spurs can be damaging too. The outgrowth of a bone spur can irritate or inflame your sciatic nerves causing a painful reaction. Bone spurs can also form as a response to spinal damage on vertebrae or hips, which can pinch sciatica nerves causing long-term nerve damage. A car accident doctor will be able to treat injuries preventing the development of bone spurs.
Nearly everyone has experienced a pinched nerve at some time in their life. This experience can range from irritating to almost paralyzing. Imagine having an internal injury that you knew nothing about and, since left untreated, experiencing a lifetime of pinched nerve discomfort. Having a pinched sciatica nerve as a result of a car accident injury is such a situation. A chronic pinched sciatica nerve can interrupt daily activities and affect your quality of life. If you have been in a car accident, even one that seemed of little force, your body can be suffering from pinched nerves. Whiplash is a common neck injury in an auto accident, wherein the head and neck whip back and forth violently and can cause severe nerve damage. Many people who have whiplash do not feel it until the next day or even days later. This neck strain can range from mild to severe but can also impact your sciatic nerves. Seeking treatment directly after an auto accident will help your body begin healing faster.
One of the most common and most severe injuries from a car accident is a spinal fracture. A spinal fracture is a result of pressure on the spine from the trauma of force of impact. Spinal fractures may also occur with some airbag injuries due to the force of inflation. Vertebral fractures can heal with treatment but, if left untreated, can cause a variety of other problems and particularly inflammation of the sciatic nerve system. The less mobile you become from healing from the pain and more sedentary your lifestyle, the greater your risk factors are for developing sciatica nerve pain after an auto injury. Three primary types of vertebral fractures can cause sciatica inflammation and pain.
- Burst fractures
- Flexion or distraction fractures
- Vertebral compression fractures
How Is Sciatica Pain Treated?
Seeking treatment directly after your auto accident is crucial to receive an accurate diagnosis, reduce the risk of further damage, and make sure you have proper documentation for your coverage. The Medical Clinics of New York City professionals will quickly identify car accident injuries and help you return to a pain-free lifestyle. First, they will work to identify your injuries with state-of-the-art imaging tests. You can expect to undergo a physical exam in addition to imaging tests such as a CT scan, an EMG, an MRI, and a series of X-rays to determine the exact nature of your injuries. These scans help pinpoint the precise location of your pain in addition to providing documentation for your carrier. There are several potential treatment options that the specialists may recommend for your unique treatment plan. Surgery is usually a last resort effort, and your doctors will go through a variety of treatment plans before suggesting invasive options.
Spinal manipulation is a fantastic option to treat limited spinal mobility due to injury or damage. Chiropractic care can help increase flexibility and decrease pain. Chiropractic care helps treat sciatic nerve issues with a massage-based approach that first helps loosen tense muscles in your musculoskeletal system. Next, spinal adjustments can help herniated disks make their way back into place, removing any pressure on the sciatic nerves. Some spinal decompression techniques are also helpful in treatment and recovery from auto injury accidents.
Physical therapy is another non-invasive option for sciatica pain recovery treatment. Physical therapy involves a series of conditioning exercises and stretches specifically designated to improve overall mobility but also targets the injury area. Only your specialist will know which physical therapy method is best for you based on your injury and your range of motion. However, with sciatica inflammation, it is essential to remember that remaining active is better than bed rest for recovery.
Some sciatica pain is so intense that it can be unmanageable to deal with unassisted at first. Many spinal injuries can be excruciating and without medical intervention will interrupt daily routines and activities. Since it is integral to remain active when you are healing from sciatica pain, you may also consult with your auto injury doctor about pain management and medical intervention. Medical pain management may be a short-term option to help manage your pain levels until you have enough treatment to bring them back down to normal. There are also options for medical interventions such as doctor-managed injections like steroids. Your doctor will work with you on a treatment plan that will best meet your needs.
The doctors of the Medical Clinics of New York City offer comprehensive auto injury care and documentation. Our professionals are dedicated to quality care, comprehensive services, and caring customer service in a warm, stress-free office setting. We’re conveniently located in New York City with several offices to make it easy for you to see us directly after your auto accident for a more accurate diagnosis. Don’t wait to see our doctors because you are worried about finances; your no-fault insurance covers medical treatment after a car accident. Remember, your treatment plan has the best results when you start as soon as possible after your injury. We want to make returning to wellness as quick and easy as possible.
To begin your journey to healing, contact the Medical Clinics of NYC to schedule an appointment for an expert consultation on sciatica pain treatment from the best auto accident injury doctors in the state.