SOURCE: Ivey-O'Sullivan Health Care Services, PA

December 06, 2011 10:00 ET

Spartanburg Chiropractor Treats Auto Accident Pain

SPARTANBURG, SC--(Marketwire - Dec 6, 2011) - Spartanburg residents who find themselves involved in an automobile accident often face the prospect of long term back pain and other troubling symptoms. These events can do serious damage to the body, particularly the spinal column, due to the tremendous amount of force transferred to the victim's body on impact. But a local chiropractic center, Ivey-O'Sullivan Health Care Services, treats auto accident injuries on a regular basis and states that prompt evaluation following an accident can help pinpoint injuries requiring treatment.

According to Spartanburg chiropractor, Dr. Gabe O'Sullivan, automobile accidents can cause personal injury in a variety of ways. "Cars carry a great deal of momentum even at relatively slow speeds," O'Sullivan explains. "An impact from behind that might appear unremarkable to an onlooker can cause an occupant's body to go flying forward. Seat belts and shoulder harnesses can prevent a skull injury, but the harness usually holds one side of the body more securely than the other. The uneven forward motion causes the spine to twist sharply, resulting in trauma." O'Sullivan adds that injuries typically seen from such an impact include spinal misalignments, strained or torn muscles and ligaments, and herniation of the vertebral discs.

The back is not the only part of the spine to suffer damage in an auto accident. The upper part of the spinal column inside the neck can also sustain injury. O'Sullivan states that he frequently sees cases of whiplash, a neck condition that occurs when the head snaps forward and backward in reaction to the sudden application of force. "The cervical part of the spine can suffer misalignments, herniated discs, and other soft tissue damage just as the lumbar region can," says O'Sullivan.

Accident victims' symptoms may vary depending on the part of the body affected. Damage to the cervical spine can result in neck pain and stiffness, migraines or other headaches. A lumbar spinal injury may cause not only back pain and immobility but also sciatica, an impingement of the sciatic nerves that extend into the legs. Sciatica can cause tingling, numbness, shooting pains or muscle weakness in a buttock, leg or foot.

Dr. O'Sullivan warns, however, that back pain or other symptoms may not appear until weeks or months after the accident, leading victims to assume that they have not been injured at all. "This can prove dangerous," says the chiropractor, "because the damage just continues to worsen unless it is treated. Scar tissue accumulates, contributing to stiffness, nerve impingement and other problems."

He recommends that anyone involved in a car accident receive an immediate examination to make sure an injury has not taken place. If damage is discovered, a chiropractor can perform adjustments designed to realign or, if necessary, apply spinal decompression to help injured discs heal. Dr. O'Sullivan states that requests for further information or appointments may be directed to the Spartanburg center's website at

Contact Information

  • Ivey-O'Sullivan
    Health Care Services, PA
    Spartanburg, SC