A 38 year old woman who was involved in a serious car accident when her car was broadsided by another vehicle on Highway 400 and subsequently flipped over in a ditch. Neck x-rays in emergency were reported as normal, but her right knee was not x-rayed despite the fact she had severe knee pain. She came to our clinic 10 days after the accident in horrific pain, unable to walk without a cane and needing help to even put her clothes on. Her husband had to take a leave of absence to take care of her. An extensive medical examination as well as an examination by our chiropractor showed multiple tender areas. Additionally, she had severe anxiety and nightmares from the accident. Our psychologist saw her the same day and diagnosed her with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. We submitted her to quick investigations (x-rays, bone scans, etc.) to make sure we were not missing a fracture. At that point we started treating her intensely with a combination of medications for pain and sleep disorder, manual therapy, postural and other exercises, as well as with a psychological intervention for her post-traumatic stress disorder.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE: A quick interdisciplinary approach, addressing the proper diagnosis and both physical and psychological components of the patient’s condition, is the best way to prevent pain from becoming chronic and very difficult to treat.