What is a Strain/Sprain ?
Strain/sprain a common but often non-specific diagnosis that many inexperienced physicians and attorneys utilize in motor vehicle accidents. A strain is when a muscle is pulled past it's physiological limits and results in damage to the tissue. In a motor vehicle accident, the muscle is pulled from it's insertion or origin. A sprain is when a ligament, or fibrous tissue that holds a bone in place is stretched past it's physiological limits. For example, an ankle sprain can occur if you jog on uneven surfaces. This places pressure on the ligaments holding the bones of your feet and ankle together. Repetitive use, or frank trauma to the area can cause damage if stretched passed it's limit. Both injuries will cause pain, obvious swelling or microscopic swelling, tenderness to the touch, increased or decrease mobility of the area in question and repair with fibrous scar tissue formation.
Many times when people are injured in a auto accident, they are prescribed a muscle relaxant and pain medication to help with muscle tightness and pain. These remedies have a purpose but from what I have seen clinically, they do not usually help. In fact, blocking the pain is supposed to only be utilized to help you manage your daily activities. Activities we take for granted. Bathing, sleeping, toileting are everyday actions we take that when in pain, can be unbearable. The problem is the patient, directed by their physician to take these will believe that if they do work, that their condition is resolved. What happens in the natural progression of strain/sprain injuries is that scar tissue formation occurs within the muscle and ligaments. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon that the body uses to heal itself. Unfortunately, scar tissue is not as pliable as the original tissue before it was damaged. If not treated properly, this scar tissue will cause shortening of the muscle(s), laxity of the ligaments or shortening of the ligaments and as a result, improper biomechanics. The improper movements will result in degeneration of the affected tissue. For example, shortening of the trapezius muscle in the neck will not allow proper full movement of the neck. This will cause decreased range of motion of the neck and degeneration of the underlying bone. It takes only six months before these changes are visible on x-rays. By the way, strains and sprains are permanent. The tissues that are damaged never return to the pre-incident integrity even with the best treatments.
So, what should a patient or attorney do? They should come to Auto Accident Pain Relief Center of Illinois. We correlate causality to bodily injury and bodily injury to functional loss. This is necessary to demonstrate to the insurance companies that you have a significant injury. Attorneys-can your healthcare provider pass a voir dire hearing? Will they be able to comment on ligament damage/laxity and the subsequent resulting current and future injuries? Not only is getting the proper treatment necessary, but the case management- proper coding, proper diagnosis, proper examination techniques are needed to stabilize the "back end" of the personal injury case. You can check my qualifications here : US Chiropractic Directory - US Chiropractic Directory (uschirodirectory.com)
So if you are injured in an auto accident and have neck pain, headaches, jaw pain, dizziness, blurred vision, low back pain, disc problems, disc herniations, whiplash, strain/sprains, make sure to give us a call at 800-862-5914 24/7.