New research has found that if you are 65 years or over and are involved in a car accident there is a 1 in 4 chance that you will be still suffering with significant pains and struggling to perform basic daily activities six months down the line. According to the lead author Dr Platts-Mills, car crashes are the second most common form of trauma among older adults.
What did they do?
The researchers included 161 patients age 65 and older who went to A+E after a car crash but didn’t then need hospitalisation. Patients with fractures, major cuts, and brain or spine injuries were eliminated from the study. The car crash victims were interviewed in person at the hospital, and they also completed follow-up assessments at six weeks, six months, and one year after the accident. Their pain was rated on a scale from 1 to 10, both overall and in 15 specific parts of the body. People reporting a pain level of 4 or higher after six months were considered to have persistent pain. They also rated their ability to perform daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs and doing the shopping. In the A+E interview, 72% of patients reported to have moderate to severe pain.
After six months, 26% were still having moderate to severe pain from the car crash. As a trend, those with persistent pain were more likely to have had pain in the head, neck, jaw, lower back, or legs in the first A+E interview. Compared to patients without pain, the patients who did have chronic pain also reported poorer general health, were more likely to have symptoms of depression before the crash and had a more pessimistic view of their expected recovery time. Participants with persistent pain felt much more pain affecting movements and daily activities.
The researchers also noted that many of the study’s participants had not been re-evaluated by a medical professional after a few weeks, and that this may be part of the issue. ‘If you, family member or friend is in a car crash then it is important to be re-evaluated if pain symptoms persist,’ Dr Platts-Mills advised.
If you have problems that are not settling or you have pain that is severe and you want an earlier opinion rather than waiting, then why not come in for a Chiropractic consultation? You will always get honest advice as to your best course of action to help you feel better.
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