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Recent Whiplash Accident - Would appreciate info & advice

melville74mmelville74 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hello All-

I am a 31/m and had an L5/S1 diskectomy at 25 while in the US Army. It went good and my pain level is way down from what it was. Horrible sciatica pre-op. (Don't let what you see on TV regarding the VA and Army medicine fool you - these folks do a great job).

The above however, is not the topic of my post.

On May 30th, I was sitting in rush hour traffic, when a 22 y/o girl smashed her blazer into a car, who smashed into me, and I smashed into a SUV in front of me. Vehicular damage was minor and has been fixed. (She was too busy adjusting her stereo apparently)

However my neck is still hurting (30 days out). Still feels like soft tissue healing, plus what I can only describe as "bones out of place/bone pain". I went to my PCP who said 4-6 weeks is typical, but it can be 4-6 months in some cases and longer in the minority. I estimate the girl (who admitted fault to the police and insurance) was going 20 MPH. Enough the cause a 4 car pileup. I drove myself to the ER and had a CT scan which was negative.

Had a 1/2 hr Swedish massage - girl noted that my muscles are quite tense and I did feel/hear bones crack once during the session (felt good).

Today I went to a chiro who did x-rays and a neck adjustment and an adjustment somewhere in the mid-thoracic area. (Areas I pointed out to her).

I don't think I have a herniated disc, as the x-rays showed good spacing and no nerve impingement symptoms.

I just wanted thoughts on the efficacy of chiro, massage therapy, physical therapy (traction?) or any other info you could provide. Currently I am using ice, Advil 600 mg and Valium (previously prescribed for other issues).

Insurance wants to give me $800 for p/s/i plus $5000 future medical, plus one day lost wages. I am scared to sign a release until I know either a. I am back to normal or b. this is a forever pain deal. I am seeing a lawyer tomorrow for a free consult.

Thanks to all with any helpful information. I went through hell with my L5/S1 nightmare and feel your pain. I know how it is.




  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    1. You may want to avoid taking the valium RX'd at a different time for a different reason .... It could be inappropriately masking symptoms that should be known now.

    2. It is my belief that neither an X-ray or a cat scan would show a herniated disk or nerve impingement
    - that is typically dx'd via an MRI.

    3. Driving yourself to the ER may not have been the wisest activity. If you or the medics on the scene suspected a neck injury - you should have been collared and boarded until your neck was appropriately cleared in the ED via an MRI. This decision and activity lessened the appearance of a potentially serious (or actual more serious) injury.

    4. Ditto the visit to the Chriopractor

    5. My neck problem from multiple MVA's didn't manifest themselves till some 15 years post my first non-at fault rear-ender. Was hit hard enough from behind to brake my seat - total my car and yes send me to the ED in a collar and on a board.

    It will be very interesting to see what your attorney suggests - please keep us posted and I hope that things resolve quickly and well for you!



    I am not a physician and any advice or comments are based on my experience only. You should always consult with a spinal specialist with the M.D. or D.O. credentials after their names.
    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Tom, Welcome to Spine Health.

    I was involved in a MVA a year ago in April. I was about 2 months out from a cervical fusion with previous lumbar fusion. I can only tell you this year has been hell for me. I was told I would get better in 6 weeks, then 3-4 months (just whip lash). I later found out that I suffered multiple herniated discs through out my Thoracic spine (very unusual without trama). Not to mention that my neck is still giving me problems on/off. They say something like this can set back your recovery/change it forever.

    It took several months to find out what was going on. I have ove $15,000 in medical bills and growing. Multiple MRI's CT Scan with Contrast, X-rays, ESI's, and Pain Managment.

    I was offered some money the first month to cover my hospital ER and some pain and suffering which I didn't take. My pain is daily, non stop, never ending. I will need another surgery at some point. I am in the process of trying to find the right attorney. I have until April 2012 to get the paper work /case started.

    I can not afford to go off work, but no that I should be labled fully disabled. Thankfully I work from home and get help from my family when there is heavy work to do. My house is a disaster, I hate shopping,cooking, & cleaning (things that I did before) due to the fact that my pain immediately jumps out of control.

    I suggest that you hold off if you are having and doubts or pain. $5000 is nothing when it comes to medical bills. You can eat through that with an MRI and 2 office visits with a NS. I would not settle until you have been cleared by a specialist (NS/OS/ Neurologist).

    Good luck,

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