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Jefferson Spine & Injury Center

What causes persistent pain after a car wreck?

Arlington, VA auto injury treatmentOf the approximately 2 million rear-end accidents in the United States every year, a substantial number of people find themselves enduring long-term pain and disability. Some research indicates that about 20% of people are still in pain 12 months after a collision.

Dr. Holcombe sees many auto accident cases in our Arlington, VA office, and we oftentimes see individuals who have been suffering for many years and have not been able to find relief. Dr. Holcombe has great success in treating these patients.

What Causes Chronic Pain after a Crash?

During an accident, the structures of your spinal column can be sprained or torn. The damaged area becomes swollen and irritated and sends pain signals to the spinal cord and brain.

Pain tells your central nervous system that something is wrong, which tells the muscle tissues in the damaged area to contract to protect the area from further harm.

If the injury isn't addressed immediately, a negative cycle develops. The damaged area keeps sending pain signals and each time, your nervous system reacts. This produces a feedback loop in your nervous system that specialists refer to as "central sensitization." Your nervous system basically becomes hypersensitive to any kind of stimulation, causing chronic pain.

Dr. Holcombe is able to help this kind of issue, as chiropractic is a proven way to restore your nervous system's healthy functioning. Studies show that adjustments are effective at reducing pain from car accidents and shows that chiropractic in fact has positive effects on the pain centers of the brain.

If you live in Arlington, VA and have been in a crash, you don't have to suffer with chronic pain. Give Dr. Holcombe a call today at (703) 933-9000 for a consultation or appointment.

  • Ferrari R. A prospective study of the 1-year incidence of fibromyalgia after acute whiplash injury. Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Disease 2015; doi:10.1136/rmdopen-2014-000007.
  • Stone AM, Vicenzino B, Lim EC, Sterling M. Measures of central hyperexcitability in chronic whiplash associated disorder - A systematic review and meta-analysis. Manual Therapy 2012;18(2):111-7.
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