Neck and back pain is among the most commonly reported injuries after a car accident. It can be so common, in fact, that people might even expect it. And when they start feeling these aches and pains associated with whiplash, they might be tempted to minimize their injuries.
However, whiplash can be more severe than people think, and the pain can worsen over time if left untreated. And researchers are using a new approach to scanning for these injuries that can show just how serious they can be.
Making pain visual and objective
Pain is incredibly difficult to quantify or describe in objective ways. Typically, parties must rely on subjective measurements of pain, like rating it on a scale of one to 10. This can create a host of complications, as there is no uniformity to this method. A three on the scale for one person can be another person’s nine.
To tackle this problem, researchers are using a new method to scan for lesions and inflammation that typically occur after a collision.
The method involves injecting patients with D-deprenyl after an accident and then taking positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) scans. These scans revealed an elevated uptake in the D-deprenyl in patients’ back muscles, joints and bones.
Researchers say the new scanning method makes it possible to see the pain people experience in a crash.
Quantifying your pain
Medical testing may or may not reveal the source and extent of a person’s pain. Regardless, crash victims must report injuries to police, doctors and insurance companies.
Do not feel like you should downplay or dismiss pain because others cannot see it – pain can be unbearable, and it can interfere with your life indefinitely. Even if you can manage it now, it can resurface after other accidents or flare up during certain events. And you could spend years taking medication, going to see doctor’s or changing your lifestyle to accommodate your injuries.
Physicians and researchers know how difficult it can be for people to quantify pain associated with whiplash after a car crash. Victims should also take this into account and be clear and forthcoming when it comes to their injuries.