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Posted on 11-03-2014

Baltimore Car Accidents and Peripheral Nerve Injuries

As a Baltimore chiropractor that spends a lot of time treating patients involved in Baltimore car accidents with Baltimore whiplash injuries, I see many "non traditional" presentations of injuries. That is, I will treat patients for several weeks and they may fail to improve as expected. They continue to have arm or leg symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in an extremity. In these instance I will typically refer my patient for advanced imaging such as MRIs or CT scans to better characterize their injuries. I would typically expect to see disc inflammation, disc protrusion/extrusion/herniation, and or ligament or tendon tears. Once in a while these expected findings do not appear on imaging. In these instances I typically refer my patients to a neurologist for a second opinion.

Neurologists are able to perform a series of studies such as NCVs and EMGs. These are tests where needles are placed near the spine and down the arms and legs where the spinal nerves travel. These tests attempt to determine where along the pathway of a nerve there is a decrease in nerve impulses that correlate with a patient's symptoms.

Whiplash injuries can cause injuries to peripheral nerves. A tractioning of the brachial plexus (the collection of nerves that exit the neck and innervate the arms) or the lumbosacral plexus (the collection of nerves that exit the lower back and innervate the legs) can lead to arm or leg symptoms following whiplash injuries due to the rapid acceleration and deceleration forces involved in these crashes.

Research out of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2001 state that "symptoms and signs attributable to stretching of the brachial plexus do occur in a significant proportion of patients after a whiplash injury. Their presence and persistence are associated with a poor outcome..."

When treating patients involved in whiplash injuries in Baltimore, it is important that patients treat with providers that not only know how to help them feel better, but how to appropriately document the full extent of these injuries. Depending upon the normal ADLs that a patient has to perform in their lives and/or their jobs, peripheral nerve injuries can cause permanent impairment and in some cases may require an injured individual to find another vocation.

If you, or someone you know, has suffered a peripheral nerve injury as a result of a Baltimore car accident and have suffered Baltimore whiplash, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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