This is a very common thing for me to hear from a patient who was injured in a car accident. Pain down the leg can possibly be something called sciatica.
Sciatica is a term referring to severe pain in the leg. It is often accompanied by numbness, weakness and tingling sensation originating in the lower back and traveling downwards through the buttock. These sensations travel through the large sciatic nerve present in the back of the leg.
The most common cause of sciatica and back pain following a car accident is the sheer force that the seat belt places on the lower back and the associated nerves. When involved in a car crash, your seat belt anchors your hips down to your seat, and the forces of being hit cause the area directly above the seat belt to move forward. This creates a sheering force across the fifth and last bone in the back and all of the nerves associated with it. On top of this sheering force the resultant injury causes the body to spasm and this pinches all of the nerves around the spasm in the muscles
Sciatic pain can be very severe and can be felt in the lower back region, buttocks, and various parts of leg and foot. People suffering from sciatica will find it difficult to walk, or even get up from bed.
Some of the common symptoms of sciatica are:
1. Tingling or burning sensation in the leg
2. Weakness in the leg or foot, difficulty in movements
3. Sharp pain that may make it difficult to get up or walk
4. Pain in one side of the buttock or in one leg
There are 2 cases though in which immediate medical attention has to be sought:
1. Progressive weakness in leg
2. Urinary or bowel incontinence
People with the above symptoms may have cauda equina syndrome and should to directly to the emergency room.
Treatment for Sciatica:
Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying problem such as herniated disc. In order to treat sciatica, the underlying problem has to be determined. There are various ways to treat sciatica. Surgery is only required in severe cases, otherwise this problem can be treated with non-surgical treatment methods.
Chiropractic care has been shown to be extremely helpful with sciatic pain. In fact it is one of the things that we specialize in here at Bellevue Whiplash Center at Back in Action Chiropractic. Back exercises, stretching exercises, healthy diet, and massage can also be extremely helpful in eliminating sciatica. There are numerous natural and home remedies to ease the suffering. Here are a few things you can try:
1. Taking turmeric daily can help in reducing some of the nagging pain because of the anti-inflammatory agents in tumeric.
2. You can apply winter green oil to the affected leg for relieving the muscle pain.
3. You should not be still for extended periods of time. You have to keep moving, but not too fast to aggravate the pain. When you sit or lie down for a long time, the muscles will tighten, thus increasing the pain.
If you are suffering with sciatica since your car accident, please give us a call at 425-635-0495. We would love to see if you are a candidate for the type of care that we deliver for car accident victims.
On my way into work this morning I noticed, and heard the car in front of me tailgating and honking at the car in front of him. We were on a two lane stretch of residential road where the speed limit was 35 miles per hour and there are plenty of school buses and children around. As far as I could tell the car that the driver was honking ats only problem was that they were going the speed limit (which obviously was too slow for the guy in front of me). As he was throwing up his hands in frustration he whipped his car around and passed the driver in front of him. Thankfully no one was injured, but this is something I see more and more often as a cause of car accidents...impatience and being in a hurry.
Being late for work does not justify putting other people and yourself in danger. Use these simple tips to avoid a car accident.
1. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going
2. Use http://www.navbug.com/washington/bellevue_traffic.htm to check traffic conditions that may slow you down.
3. Use your smart phone to find alternate routes if you get frustrated with sitting in traffic
4. Take a deep breath!
In our last blog post we talked about the first step to take if your are involved in a car accident in Bellevue, WA. In today's post we are going to walk through the second step you want to take.
2. Make sure everyone in your car is OK, then make sure the other driver is OK, then call the police.
Car accidents, especially on the busy streets and highways of Bellevue, can be VERY dangerous things. Head injury's, broken bones, cuts, and a whole host of other injury's can occur during a car accident. Because of this you want to make sure that everyone is OK and does not need any special attention for their injury's. Make sure that no one passed out, or hit their heads and that no one is bleeding. Once you have secured your own car, go and check on the other drivers involved, and ask them the same questions. If someone is seriously hurt make sure to call 911 and stay with them until help arrives.
If everyone is OK, the next thing you need to do is get all cars off to the side of the road as to avoid another collision and call the police. Most experts will agree that if there is any damage or any injury's that an officer needs to take account for what happened and file a report. As a physician I get to hear a lot of story's about different kinds of accidents and recently I have seen a ton of drunk driver accidents and in each situation the drunk driver has asked my patient to not call the police. Another reason that a driver may ask you to not call the police is that they say that they will pay you out of pocket to fix your car or your injury's. Even if you are approached and asked to not call the police it is very important that you still do.
You never know how things will turn out or what story's may be told in the future and for this reason a police report is vital. Also if there are any injuries that need to be dealt with or an unsafe accident scene that could harm your safety a policeman or highway patrol can help manage the accident scene.
If you are involved in a Bellevue car accident please make sure everyone is OK, then call the police. In our next blog post we will be discussing step 3 to take following an accident which is to contact your insurance company.
Driving here on the Eastside can sometimes be a dangerous activity. No one WANTS to get into an accident, but with the amount of traffic, distracted drivers, and irresponsible drivers (drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, road rage, etc...) they do happen. Here is the first step to follow if you are in an car accident here in Bellevue.
1. Make sure to be prepared.
Being prepared for an accident before an accident ever happens is one of if not the most important step to take. It is my experience working with auto injury patients for the last 12 years that the people who are well prepared before they ever get into an accident have a far less traumatic experience. The best example I have of this is if you have ever been pulled over by a police officer. The times that I have put all of my relevant information, licence, title, etc... into one envelope that I hand the police officer, my experience has been very low stress. Its the time that my tittle is buried in the glove compartment and I cant find anything that I am the most stressed. So what does it mean to be prepared?
First off, preparation starts when you are buying your auto insurance policy. Know exactly what you are buying and that you have enough insurance to protect for the worst case scenario. Do your research and make sure you are protecting your health, your family and your car.
Secondly, it means having all of the tangible things you need following an accident at arms length. Have all of your insurance information available, company, policy number, and any phone numbers in your glove compartment and in your wallet in case the glove compartment is damaged. Also, if your cell phone does not have a good camera it is good practice to have a disposable camera to take pictures of the scene and your cars. And lastly, a pen and paper to take down all of the other drivers information.
If you are in a car accident in Bellevue, make sure you are prepared for the worst. In our next blog post we will continue this series on the steps to take following a motor vehicle accident.
Dr. Michael Weir is the clinic director at Bellevue Whiplash Center at Back in Action Chiropractic. We will also be hosting a variety of relevant guest bloggers to help you understand your injuries better.