Injuries sustained in automobile and motorcycle accidents make up one of the most common causes of chronic pain. Thousands and thousands of people are injured in motor vehicle accidents every day in the U.S., but many of these injuries are not readily apparent.
Even when a car accident seems like it’s not very serious in terms of damage to the vehicles involved and outward signs of physical trauma to their occupants, hidden injuries can bring on serious, long-lasting pain that may significantly reduce the sufferers’ quality of life and that may interfere with their ability to work and enjoy life as they wish.
If you’re involved in a car accident, paramedics on the scene will check first and foremost for life-threatening injuries. If you are taken to the emergency room, the emphasis again will be on detecting any acute problems that must be addressed before you can be sent home. Injuries like broken bones and bleeding lacerations are relatively easy to detect, but the injuries that cause chronic pain are not so obvious. To make matters more confusing, the pain itself might not be felt for some time after the incident that triggered it.
In fact, the onset of serious pain most commonly does not occur until three days after the incident that caused it, and it can take even longer than that for chronic pain to become evident. In an accident, the vehicles involved often experience near-instantaneous deceleration; that is the cars or trucks are quickly brought to a stop when they collide. The problem is that the human bodies inside, following the laws of physics, continue traveling in the same speed and direction that they were already going.
Fortunately, the vehicles’ restraint systems keep them from doing so, otherwise many accident victims would fly through the windshield and land on the pavement, as used to happen more often in the days before widespread use of seat belts. Unfortunately, the forces applied by the sudden stoppage can wrench a human body violently enough to cause trauma to the soft tissues around the joints, that is, the muscles, tendons and ligaments around areas such as the knees, shoulders, elbows and hips. The neck is one of the areas most prone to injury in a car accident; injuries that happen to the tissues around the upper spine are often collectively referred to by the non-medical term whiplash.
Phoenix Pain Treatment offers Phoenix interventional pain management for auto accident victims. Not only do we offer many modalities of medical and chiropractic treatment for pain, we can help you navigate through the complex and often difficult legal and insurance issues that often surround getting treatment for an accident-related injury. If you have post-accident pain, call Phoenix Pain Treatment at 602-449-9430.
Fibromyalgia, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can make its victims’ lives miserable. Fibromyalgia causes those suffering from it to experience chronic widespread pain and sensitivity to pressure, sometimes along with numbness and tingling sensations. Fibromyalgia sufferers usually also experience stiffness of the joints, disturbed sleep and chronic fatigue.
While fibromyalgia is not a degenerative or progressive disorder and does not lead to death, it’s a very difficult condition to deal with. In fact, the emotional toll of living with fibromyalgia may have as great an effect on a victim’s quality of life as the actual physical symptoms. Fibromyalgia appears to impair some victims’ ability to think, as well. The combination of physical pain, cognitive impairment and mood effects such as depression and anxiety causes many fibromyalgia sufferers to change jobs, cut back their work hours or quit working altogether, often creating a severe financial strain that affects their quality of life even more.
Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 2 to 6 percent of the world’s population; in the United States, there are an estimated 10 million fibromyalgia sufferers. The great majority of fibromyalgia victims are women. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA), 75 to 90 percent of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are female. In women, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia (sometimes abbreviated FM or FMS for “fibromyalgia syndrome”) usually occurs during the childbearing years.
Despite the preponderance of cases among women aged 20 to 50, fibromyalgia can and does strike people of both genders and of all ages and races. The prevalence of FM does go up among the elderly, however – the NFA says that by age 80, about 8 percent of the population meets the criteria for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia established by the American College of Rheumatology.
Although the syndrome has probably been around for most of human history, the term “fibromyalgia” was not coined until 1981. The word is a combination of Latin and Greek words meaning “connective tissue and muscle pain.” In the past, the symptoms of fibromyalgia may have been labeled “muscular rheumatism” or “neurasthenia.”
Doctors and researchers do not agree on the causes of fibromyalgia. A predisposition to fibromyalgia might be passed on genetically, but stress in one’s environment seems to be a contributing factor, too. Fibromyalgia is also strongly associated with depression. The most accepted hypothesis seems to be that fibromyalgia is caused by a chemical, electrical or physical abnormality (or some combination of the three) in the central nervous system (CNS). A victim’s pain threshold is lowered because the CNS responds with greatly increased sensitivity to everyday movements and pressures that would not cause pain in a healthy individual. Just because fibromyalgia may originate in the nervous system, however, does not mean that it’s a mental disorder. Often victims are told “it’s all in your head,” which only makes the situation more difficult for the fibromyalgia sufferer.
No single test exists for fibromyalgia, but the American College of Rheumatology established criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia two decades ago. To be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a patient must have a history of chronic widespread pain that has lasted at least three months and that affects all four quadrants of the body — upper left, lower left, upper right and lower right. Also, a person must feel pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of 18 designated “tender points” located in various areas of the body. These possible tender points occur in pairs on the front and back of the neck, shoulders, elbows and knees as well as on the lower back and just below the buttocks. It should also be noted that a fibromyalgia sufferer is likely to feel pain in other areas besides these tender points.
The healthcare providers at Phoenix Pain Treatment offer Manipulation under Anesthesia (MUA), which breaks up the affected fibrous tissues of the muscle and ligaments, allowing you much more freedom of movement. This in turn also allows the nerves within the muscle tissues to have a more natural relationship, so that the nervous tissues are able to relax and not be as irritated by the fibrous tissues inherent with fibromyalgia. If you’re suffering from fibromyalgia pain, call the caring staff at Phoenix Pain Treatment at 602-449-9430.