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How to Tell If Your Car Accident Pain Is a Pinched Nerve Versus a Pulled Muscle

Car accidents can be traumatic, both physically and mentally. The pain resulting from a car accident can vary from minor discomfort to debilitating pain. While pain is often caused by either a pinched nerve or a pulled muscle, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. Knowing the difference can be vital in seeking the correct medical help and treatment. Keep reading to learn how to tell the difference between a pinched nerve and a pulled muscle so you can seek the treatment you need.

Understanding a Pinched Nerve

When there is pressure on a nerve, it can become pinched, resulting in pain and discomfort. One of the symptoms resulting from a pinched nerve is shooting pain, which usually originates from the affected nerve. Another common indicator of a pinched nerve is numbness or a tingling sensation. If the pain is sudden, sharp, and feels electric, then it is most likely the result of a pinched nerve.

Understanding a Pulled Muscle

A pulled muscle occurs due to a strain, often caused by overstretching or tearing. The muscle fibers become damaged, resulting in pain and discomfort. The immediate sensation of a pulled muscle is often a sharp, stabbing pain that eventually develops into a dull ache in the affected area. You may also feel an increase in soreness or tenderness in the area surrounding the affected muscle.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Pinched Nerve and a Pulled Muscle

A significant difference between a pinched nerve and a pulled muscle is the way the pain travels and the associated symptoms. Pain resulting from a pinched nerve typically shoots up and down the affected nerve, which is usually accompanied by a tingling sensation. In contrast, pain resulting from a pulled muscle is more localized and usually becomes sore to the touch or during movement. If the pain in your body lasts longer than a few days, it is a good idea to see a medical professional who can diagnose the condition and provide appropriate treatment.

Treatment Options

Once the diagnosis is made, treatment options will depend on the nature and extent of the injury. Muscle strains or pulls often resolve themselves in a week or two and don’t require any special treatment. However, if the pain is severe and chronic, medical intervention, physical therapy, or rehabilitation might be necessary. On the other hand, pinched nerves can be more serious and require medical attention. Treatment options like physical therapy or medication might be suggested, but surgery may also be recommended in more severe cases.

Take the First Step Toward a Pain-Free Life Today

If you are still having trouble determining the cause of your pain after reading this post, it’s time to schedule a free medical evaluation with Impact Medical Group of St. Petersburg. Our certified professionals specialize in treating car accident injuries and can evaluate the source of your pain. We’ll diagnose your injury and provide appropriate treatment to achieve long-lasting pain relief so that you can get back to living a normal life. Remember never to leave pain untreated, and consult professionals to avoid further complications. Call us today at (941) 222-1157 to schedule your free medical evaluation.