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Posted on 05-09-2016

Roll-Over Baltimore Car Accident Patient Presents with Neck Pain

As my avid blog readers are aware, I am a Baltimore Chiropractor that spends the majority of my time in the office treating patients with whiplash symptoms following Baltimore auto accidents. As a Baltimore auto accident chiropractor, most of my patients typically present with some constellation of symptoms that include headaches, neck pain, radiating arm pain, mid back pain, lower back pain, and occasionally numbness and tingling into the leg. Typically these symptoms manifest from some form a car accident - typically a rear-end impact, but occasionally side swipes, t-bone impacts, and even the occasional front-end (head-on) collision.

Just this past week I saw a new patient that had suffered from a different type of car accident that I do not come across that often. I found it interesting enough to be shared in this forum. This patient had been involved in a car crash that initial included a rear-end impact but then concluded with the car flipping several times over before landing on its roof upside down. The patient had to be extricated with the jaws of life before being taken to the hospital for emergency precautions.

The patient (whose name I can not use) presented to me approximately six weeks after his injury. That is, at the request of his medical doctor, he went to a physical therapy place close by to his house. The PT place took good care of him and helped him overcome some mid and lower back pain. What remained by the time he got to me was neck pain along with radiating and burning left sided interscapular pain, and some numbness and tingling pain down his left arm.

The patient asked me if I could "just crack" his neck on his first visit. I explain to him that due to the complex nature of roll-over injuries, and due to his size, that I felt safer first ordering an MRI of his neck, as I suspect that he had one or several disc herniations in his neck based upon the mechanism of injury and his size.

He seemed surprised that I suggested that he obtained further advanced imaging, since he read our many positive reviews online from people who said that we were able to help them quickly, many times on the same day. I expressed to him that part of owning and running one of the leading Baltimore auto accident rehab clinics in Baltimore was knowing when to proceed with treatment and when to hold back. I told him that due to his large frame (he was approximately six feet four inches tall) it was not only possible but probable that during the roll-over portion of his injury that he compressed his neck on the roof of his truck. As such, we discussed that I did not feel safe manually adjusting his spine until I ordered an MRI to make sure that it was safe for me to do so.

The patient understood, but he was angry at my suggestion. I had my staff go through the process of referring him for an MRI to a local facility. This facility saw him within about a week. The problem was that he was too big for the machine and he was claustrophobic, so my office had to refer him elsewhere. Another week went by and at this point the patient was able to obtain his MRI imaging.

I scheduled for the patient to come back in the following week to review his findings. I hoped I was wrong about him needing an MRI. Unfortunately for him, I was not.

The patient's MRI revealed three levels of disc protrustions/extrustions pressing upon his cervical spinal cord. There was some question about whether or not there was some ligamentous instability in his neck as a result of the trauma. I told him that as a result of the findings of his examination that I would be unable to offer him any spinal manipulative therapy. Instead, we put together a plan of action that included a referral to Dr. Sarah Merritt M.D. for pain management, and a neurosurgical consultation to consider surgery if he does not respond well to pain management.

After the results of the MRI were clear, the patient did eventually come around and thank me for using precaution with his clinical presentation. He admits that he wanted me to adjust his neck that visit and that he had even called a few other chiropractors that he was planning to see just to have someone do it for him. Fortunately, those other offices were too busy to see him and at this point, no manipulation has been performed on his neck.

Not all patients are the same following a Baltimore auto accident injury. Nor are all accident mechanisms the same. My staff and I are trained to ask specific detailed questions to determine if it is safe for us to treat you, or if you require further diagnostic analysis prior to treatment.

If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of a Baltimore auto accident injury and require treatment, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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