Still In Pain, What's Next?

I was in an accident December 19, 2011…there were no visible broken bones in the x-rays that were taken soon after the accident. I was on my way to the hospital clinic when the automobile accident happened. I was on my way to cardiac rehab. My car was a total loss. The other car was ticketed for failure to yield the right away. I was on the main road to the hospital the other vehicle was at a stop sign.

The Registered Nurse at Cardiac Rehab told me to see a doctor, she thought that I may have a hairline fracture to my foot - x-rays were done - my cardiologist and my general practitioner both agreed that I should discontinue cardiac rehab for a couple of months. Eventually, I completed cardiac rehab at a much decrease capacity. I have been seeing a general practitioner, foot Doctor and a chiropractor.
Most of the symptoms in my foot have been relieved in the last month , no further appointments are scheduled with the foot Doctor regarding my accident. My general practitioner has not scheduled any further appointments after determining that my neck pain and back, lower back pain were chronic.

I have been seeing the chiropractor at least two times a week since January. The only improvement is the symptoms of my foot have subsided. I'm experiencing most of the symptoms described earlier in this website, the problems with my neck and lower back still persist although I've been doing the recommended exercises at home, as well as seeing the chiropractor on a regular basis.

A minimum of two times a week and for a while three times a week. I still cannot do most of my normal activities yard work, driving or riding in a car and normal grocery shopping . I cannot help my wife with housekeeping duties as I once did. I am 70 years old and I was in excellent condition before the accident. The chiropractor does not seem to be making much progress with electronic therapy and chiropractic adjustments. I am taking pain medication as prescribed by my general practitioner. The pain medication is somewhat ineffective and chiropractic therapy doesn't seem to be working. If there is something else I should be doing please let me know.

Hi there, Michelle here...

Thank you for sending me so much information, I will do my best to give you some idea as to what I would do if you were my patient. I have nothing to offer of course about your cardio situation, obviously that requires the skills of a specialist and it sounds like you already have this part of things well covered.

However, chiropractic care on its own is rarely enough to help someone heal from a big impact. The fact that you are so consistent with your therapy and still have so much back and neck pain tells me you need some concentrated attention on the muscles... I highly recommend you seek treatment from a therapeutic massage therapist. This page has details that you might find helpful:

Your symptoms tell me you still have muscle strain or sprains which remain untreated. Physical exercises that you are doing at home will NOT heal the injury to the muscle tissue. The exercises will keep your tissue a bit stretched, but until you have some therapeutic work, likely you will remain with residual muscle pain.

In your submission to me you did not include what state you were writing from...I always highly recommend folks look on “find a therapist” on the American Massage Therapy Association website:

It is also important you have a conversation with an attorney. An attorney will act as your advocate and will make sure you are well treated by the insurance company when you come to the end of this injury.

I would encourage you to also use heat at home to loosen your muscles to help with your pain. Hot baths, hot tub soaks, hot pads etc can bring temporary relief.

One of my clients had had a car accident at 16, the car had rolled and she had been injured, but had never sought treatment. She was 24 when she saw me for the first time. She assumed she had chronic back pain and was preparing to live with it. She had a goal of traveling through Europe with a back pack, but had put off the trip many times because of the back pain. Her back felt like touching a piece of 3/4 inch plywood. Stiff. Hard. Unyielding. The muscles felt locked together. Yet with deep tissue massage across 6 weeks, she changed dramatically. At 12 weeks (one time a week) she was ready to book a trip to Europe because she had no more back pain. Her back now felt like a normal 24 year old back, flexible, soft, and pliable. Therapeutic massage can bring dramatic results.

I no longer have a 24 year old back, and have to be a bit more patient with myself when I have a strain, at 70 in excellent health, I would anticipate you will notice an enormous difference in your pain by the 3rd week of therapeutic treatment, and likely will have returned to most movement without pain at 2 months.

Now, that is a radical statement as I am giving you my input across a computer without ever treating you, but I base that on years of experience, your specific description of both the accident, your level of pain, the treatment you have already received and your current state of health.

I wish you very well, and hope this assists you on your road to recovery!

Sincerely, M.

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