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Neck and spine pain after accident. X-ray normal. Feeling depressed and anxiety. Taking amitriptyline

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Oncologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 576 Questions
I was a victim in a car accident last November where a car crashed into the back of my car at 70 mph ( whilst I was stationary) which sent my car into another car the usual domino effect. I was not aware of the on-coming car, the first indication was a sharp pain in my lower spine followed by crashing sound.
I was fortunate and walked away with the useual whip lash injuries, but my car was a right off.
I have had a neck X-Ray and no visble damage, neck pain has now ceased with the help of phsiotherapy which has also reduced the pins and needle sensation in both arms and hands. I have suffered with constant headaches, fatigue, depression, poor memory, lack of concentration,anxiety, difficulty in completing tasks, poor time & management skills and lack of sleep which is caused by my paronia to sleeping. In bed I experience involuntary twiching (spasms)and painful burning sensations down my arms which awakens me and is followed by bad pins and needles and dead hands.
I have been prescribe sleeping tablets, sedatives all of which only sent me asleep at work. I have been precribed anti depressents which has provided some help and Amitriptyline ( another anti depressent) to reduce nerve end feelings to reduce pain when I sleep.
5 months on since my accident has taken a toll on the quality of my life and my wifes life as she is also awaken every night. This has become very warying and pushing me further into depression as I can not see any light at end of tunnel and has now cost me my job.

Posted Sun, 31 Mar 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 1 hour later
Dear Sir,

Sorry to hear about your problem but I am glad that you are seeking medical attention for the same. Thank you for providing such a good history. The problem you are suffering from is most likely 'post traumatic stress disorder'. This is a natural response to such an event and all the symptoms you have described in you and your wife fall into the domain of this disorder.
This can range from a minor problem to severe depression & anxiety. The best method to cope with this is to seek professional help. I can see that you are already receiving some medications for the same. In addition, you can join groups in which people share similar experiences and help each other tide over problems. This problem usually settles down within 6 months to one year with proper treatment.
If it continues, it can affect your personal as well as professional life. So it is better to pay proper attention to the disorder and to realise its severity.

I hope I have answered your query. Please feel free to clarify any other query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Neck and spine pain after accident. X-ray normal. Feeling depressed and anxiety. Taking amitriptyline 2 hours later
Thank you for your reply.
Is there anything one can do with the pain, pins & needles and dead hand I get every night, as this has got worse and my Physiotherapy appointments have now ended although I have been instructed to continue with the program of stretching excercises. It is also reappears in the day in my left hand if I am holding anything ie phone, ipad etc.
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 7 hours later
Dear Sir,

Sorry to hear about your problem. These symptoms could either be because of a trivial neck injury which did not show up on x XXXXXXX or because of the PTSD.
You can get an Mri of the cervical spine and that would be able to pick up minor cord compession which could be leading to this problem. You are already taking medicines for PTSD and if the symptoms are due to it, they will take a few more months to settle down. Try to continue the physiotherapy lessons for some more time.

I hope i have answered your query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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