It looks like that auto accident you had when you were a teenager is finally catching up with you... This month I had several patients who had severe pain in their neck that just happened for no apparent reason or cause, it just happened as they stated.
While reviewing their history, they didn't remember of any accidents in the last 10 or 20 years that they recalled. The spinal exam showed a lot of restriction and muscle spasm. After the recommendation of neck x-rays, it was determined that they had a spinal level which is typical for the fifth and sixth vertebra in the neck to have significant amount of spinal degeneration and arthritis after a rear end collision. I asked them do you remember maybe 30 years or more ago were you may be in a small fender bender. The answer to that is Oh yeah, I remember I was a teenager and was rear ended. "You know, I really didn't feel any pain, I was just sore for a couple days, but it just kind of went away". I said this is the accident that caused this amount of spinal degeneration in your neck and osteoarthritis.
It has been my experience that even some neck and muscle soreness after a mild whiplash or auto accident injury you should still have your neck properly examined. The reason for that is just because you don’t hurt that bad doesn't mean you shouldn’t have the necessary examination to determine the true extend of your injury. This is very similar to you driving down the road and hitting a pothole going 65 mph. While that kind of scared you at the moment and your car may have made a loud noise at impact, but I guess what you could continue to drive with your tire being misaligned. After several thousand maybe even 10,000 miles later, do you need new tire on that side. This is exactly the same situation. If you let something go without having it properly aligned not only getting yourself out of pain, but having it aligned and corrected so it doesn't cause you permeant and debilitating pain 20, 30 or maybe even 40 years later.
It is essential that after an injury or an auto accident, that you have a consultation, examination and spinal x-rays to see exactly how severe your spinal misalignment that you have actually is . After a series of several spinal adjustments over the next several weeks the problem is most likely corrected. You are a lot less likely to be coming in my office and saying “I don't know how or what happened, I just kind of woke up that way or I just turn my neck and I just I had severe pain. Hopefully you learn from the story and the examples, so this doesn't happen to you. So next time you're an auto accident, get yourself checked, the sooner the better and get the problem addressed before it becomes a long-term problem. Thanks for reading, Dr. Joe