Unfortunately, most doctors do not have specific training when it comes to automobile collision related injuries. It is not just regular medical doctors that miss this problem, but also most radiologists are not even looking for this hidden injury. The amount force experienced in an auto collision is unique in that it produces a condition that is also unique to the body. I’ve personally seen time and time again that the injury goes unnoticed and not worked up appropriately. This can have lifelong health repercussions and legal repercussions when this problem is not uncovered.
This is why it is very important for your well being to utilize specific car accident doctors that have been trained in dealing with these unique injuries. I’ve also seen doctors believe that the patient is faking their injuries because nothing is showing up on standard imaging studies. Unfortunately, this happens all too often because doctors are not accustomed to looking for Spinal Ligament damage.
The spine is held together by about a dozen different ligaments organized in a complex fashion which give rise to the spine’s stability. When one of these ligaments have been disrupted, the spine loses some of its integrity. The muscles often try and compensate by becoming very tight, which ultimately gives rise to myofascial pain syndromes that can be stubborn to treat. It’s often understood that when a patient is injured in a car crash, that the person has sustained a strain and a sprain, one of the most common diagnoses given. This begs the question of what is exactly sprained and strained.
Our diagnosis codes don’t even reflect the exact location of the sprain. This is very problematic because if the doctor doesn’t know where the exact sprain has occurred, how can one decide on which therapy to use or which site to target the therapy.
The whole idea of a spinal ligament being sprained is not new, but it is one of the most commonly overlooked conditions because there are many factors that go into trying to find these lesions. This is where the team approach in a multidisciplinary setting surpasses non-integrated clinics. There are also other factors of why these types of injuries are going unnoticed, which you can read more about in our blog.