Aug 15

Accidents and Sciatica

Dr. Jeff Mollins, Brooklyn’s premier accident “specialist” has been diagnosing, treating, and documenting injuries sustained by individuals involved in accidents for thirty years. One of the more common injuries diagnosed and treated by Dr. Mollins is sciatica which results from accidents. Sciatic pain can be extremely painful and is often disabling. Sciatica must be diagnosed and treated as expeditiously as possible to prevent a much more dire health condition which can possibly be permanent.

accidents and sciaticaSciatica is pain in the lower extremity resulting from an irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain from sciatica is typically felt from the low back (lumbar region) to behind the thigh and can radiate down below the knee. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and emanates from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the low back and extends through the buttock to send nerve endings down the lower limb. Radiculopathy (pinched sciatic nerve) is sometimes referred to as sciatic nerve pain.

Sciatica is most commonly a result of a lumbar disc herniation or bulge. A traumatic accident (car accident, work accident, slip and fall, or construction accident) may cause the protective disc in the lower spine to herniate or bulge causing direct nerve pressure on the sciatic nerve. Also, extensive sitting, lifting, bending, pulling, or pushing over a long period of time (repetitive stress injury) may also cause the disc to press into the existing nerve causing sciatic pain. Sciatica causes pain, a burning sensation, numbness or tingling radiating from the lower back into the upper buttock down the back of the thigh to the back of the leg. The result is lumbar (low back) pain, buttock pain, hip pain, and leg pain. While sciatica is often associated with lower back pain, it can be present without low back pain. Severe sciatica can make walking difficult if not impossible. Sometimes the symptoms of sciatica are aggravated by walking or bending at the waist and relieved by lying down with knees bent.

If you sustain any of the above symptoms as a result of any accident, it is possible that you are experiencing sciatica. The most important thing to do is call and see Dr. Mollins immediately. Remember, the sooner this condition is treated, the greater the probability that it will resolve expeditiously. Conversely, if you wait, this condition may become much more dire.

Dr.Mollins will first take a very comprehensive history, which will include understanding the “mechanism” of the accident. Often understanding exactly how the accident occurred helps Dr. Mollins determine a proper diagnosis, as well as having proper documentation of the injury sustained. Dr. Mollins will then proceed to perform a thorough neurological and orthopedic physical examination. Diagnostic testing such as general radiology, and/or MRI study may be needed to provide a visual picture. EMG/NCV testing can provide a functional evaluation.

Once a working diagnosis is established, Dr. Mollins will first attempt to treat this condition conservatively using chiropractic spinal manipulation, physiotherapy, as well as exercise (stretching and strengthening). If ineffective, a more aggressive treatment may be necessary such as pain management or as a last resort, surgery.

Remember, if you sustain a sciatica (or any other injury) in the course of employment it is considered a work related injury and is covered by New York State Workers Compensation. If your injury is due to stress over a long period of time (excessive sitting, bending, etc.), it is also considered a work injury and covered by Workers Compensation. This means that all medical expenses are paid for (providing you go to a Workers Compensation CERTIFIED doctor) as well as loss wages if you are physically unable to work. When you return to work you can still receive treatment at no cost.

Dr. Mollins and all of his “in house” physicians (orthopedist, neurologist, pain management specialist, physical therapist) are certified by New York State to treat all work related injuries. If you are hurt, please call Dr. Mollins immediately and seek treatment as soon as possible.