Are You Having Trouble Breathing and Coughing After Your Car Accident? It Could Be a Spinal Injury

Rahul Sood, D.O.

When it comes to car accidents, you might think of visible scrapes and bruises. But, trauma from a car accident can hide below the surface in the form of a spinal injury. 

If you’ve recently been in a car accident and are experiencing difficulty breathing or coughing, this could be a sign that your spine has sustained trauma. The team at Metro Pain Centers are experts in diagnosing and treating spinal injuries.

How can a spinal injury affect breathing and coughing?

Your spine is made of a number of parts. The outside of your spine consists of a group of vertebrae and discs. Inside of this structure is your spinal canal, which contains a long bundle of nerves that relays messages from your brain to the different parts of your body. This group of nerves is called a spinal cord.

If this group of nerves gets damaged, it could affect many functions of your body, including your ability to breathe and cough. Any pressure or damage to your spinal cord can interfere with the connection from your brain to your organs and muscles. If your brain is trying to send a message to your respiratory system, and a spinal cord injury is delaying the message or not delivering it, you may have trouble breathing or coughing.

Any symptoms that lead to difficulty breathing should be immediately reported to Metro Pain Centers. 

Types of spinal injuries

You can sustain a number of spinal injuries due to car accidents, including the following:

Herniated discs

herniated disc occurs when there’s a tear in one of the discs that sits between the vertebrae of your spine. The insides of the disc can then begin to push through the gap. Over time, the herniated disc can put pressure on nearby nerves and affect your ability to cough and breathe.

Pinched nerves

Pinched nerves are nerves that are pressed by surrounding tissue. When a nerve, especially the phrenic nerve ― which controls the diaphragm ― is pinched, it can affect your ability to breathe and cough. 

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis can put pressure on your nerves due to a gradual narrowing of your spinal column. Trauma to your spine from a car accident can eventually lead to this condition.

What can I do about a spinal injury?

We offer a comprehensive list of treatment options that we can customize to fit your specific needs. Among the options are the following:

  • Injections to reduce swelling and pressure on your spine
  • Rehabilitation to strengthen your spine and help it regain normal functioning
  • Spinal cord stimulation

If you’ve been in an accident and have a spinal injury or wonder if you have one, book an appointment online or over the phone with Metro Pain Centers today.

Rahul Sood, D.O.

Rahul Sood, D.O.

About Rahul Sood, D.O.

As a board-certified anesthesiologist and doctor of osteopathy, Rahul Sood, DO, is an integral part of the team at Metro Pain Centers. He is also a specialist in venous medicine with an extensive history and experience in treating lower extremity spider and varicose veins. He practices from the offices in Clifton, Middletown, Riverdale, Edison, and Jersey City, New Jersey; and Staten Island and Ardsley, New York.

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