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Numbness and Tingling After an Auto Accident

Lady after car wreckAlthough neck pain, back pain, and headaches are the most common complaints after an automobile injury, those are not the only symptoms we see in our accident victim patients. Along with pain, another common complaint after car accident injuries is numbness or tingling, primarily in the hands and arms.

Also known as compressed, impinged or “pinched” nerves, the symptoms that develop can frequently cause patients significant discomfort, stress, and difficulty sleeping.

A Nerve Function Analogy

Imagine that nerves are an interstate of information running throughout your body. All of these interstates run down your spine and up to your brain with secondary roads branching out like exits.

If there is a car accident on the interstate, this can block traffic from getting off at the exits. The analogy of a car accident is particularly relevant when you suffer injuries to your spine during an automobile accident. The nerves that control your arms and legs could be partially blocked and signals headed to and from your brain are interfered with.

Nerve Damage or ‘Pinched Nerves’

In our analogy, the traffic accident that blocked all the traffic from getting to the secondary roads was, of course, pinched nerves-when pressure is placed on the nerves by other structures such as tissues, bones, cartilage, or tendons.

Symptoms of Pinched Nerves

  • Prickling, tingling, pins-and-needles sensation
  • Burning or “hot and cold” sensations
  • Muscle spasms or weakness in the affected area
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Sharp, burning or aching pain, which may diffuse outward
  • Shooting pain through the shoulder or arm
  • The sensation that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”
  • Twitching or other uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Muscle weakness or pain
  • Greater sensitivity of the skin when in contact with colder or warmer temperature

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Everything from normal daily routines to sports and exercise to simply a good night’s sleep can be complicated by pinched nerves caused by a car accident. Your chiropractor can help to alleviate these symptoms.

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