A car accident can lead to pain in the neck, chest, shoulders, back, head, and muscles. If pain persists, you may need to visit an auto injury clinic in San Antonio for pain medication and treatment.
What is Muscle Pain?
Muscle pain can feel like aching, cramping, stabbing, or burning, depending on what is causing the pain. Patients will need to visit a physician to obtain a diagnosis before they can receive treatment, such as medication. Some patients may need to undergo imaging and blood tests, in addition to a physical examination.
Types of Muscle Pain
Patients experiencing localized muscle pain have pain that is centered around one muscle or group of muscles.
Muscle strain. May be caused by overuse, injury, or sudden movement. Symptoms include sharp or tearing sensation, swelling, or bruising.
Muscle cramps or spasms. Characterized by an uncontrollable contraction or tightening of a muscle. Potential causes include poor stretching technique, muscle fatigue, exercising in extreme heat, dehydration, and depletion of salt and electrolytes.
Muscle contusion. May be caused by a direct blow to a muscle that crushes the muscle fibers and surrounding connective tissue. Symptoms include swelling, discoloration, stiffness, weakness, and a collection of blood around the injured muscle.
Myofascial pain syndrome. Pain disorder caused by trigger points within a muscle or group of muscles.
Compartment syndrome. Occurs when pressure builds up within a part or group of muscles. Two types of compartment syndromes:
- Acute compartment syndrome. Extreme and constant pain develops suddenly. Often described as a deep ache or burn. Neurological symptoms include numbness and tingling.
- Chronic compartment syndrome. Pain begins gradually during exercise and resolves with rest.
How Pain is Diagnosed
During an appointment at an auto injury clinic in San Antonio, a physician will ask the following questions:
- Did the muscle pain develop gradually or did it come on suddenly?
- Are you taking any medications?
- Are you experiencing fever, headache, weight gain or loss, or fatigue?
- Are you experiencing muscle weakness?
- Is the muscle tender to the touch?
- Is there any swelling, redness, or warmth around the muscle?
The physician will then perform a physical examination which may involve:
- Pressing on various muscles to evaluate tenderness
- Inspecting the skin and surrounding tissue for redness, swelling, warmth, or skin changes
- Checking for trigger points
Depending on the patient’s condition, the physician may order an ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, and/or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
How to Relieve Pain
One of the simplest ways to reduce pain is to drink lots of water. Dehydration can lead to tightening of the muscles and cramps. Until the exact cause is identified, patients will be advised to follow the R.I.C.E. protocol:
- Rest. Rest the injured muscle(s) and avoid putting any pressure on it to allow the inflammation to subside.
- Ice. Apply an ice pack to the painful muscle for 15-minute intervals, every four to six hours.
- Compression. Wrap the sore muscle with a bandage.
- Elevation. Raise the affected muscle above heart level.
If you’re experiencing pain after a car accident, be sure to call My Doctor Sam — auto injury clinic in San Antonio — for pain medication and treatment.