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Neck pain and vomiting after an accident. X-ray showed mild reversal of the normal cervical lordosis

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
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My 29year old daughter had a mild car accident 18months ago. Two days later she began to have neck pain which became increasingly severe. She began to vomit and faint. An initial x-ray showed no problem and she was treated with muscle relaxants and pain killers. The problem has eased but never gone and the most distressing symptom is constant breathlessness. She feels as though she can never get a deep breath. She has been having osteopathy and accupuncture which ease symptoms but do not get rid of the underlying problem. We have repeatedly been to the doctors who do not seem to realise how much of a problem this is and offer no help. She is becoming increasingly depressed. Please can you offer some advice. A recent x-ray showed mild reversal of the normal cervical lordosis. Thankyou.
Posted Wed, 24 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 20 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

X-ray is a good test for major fractures diagnose. However it never tells about spine condition.
It is possible that the accident has caused some due to spine disc herniation for example. Neck pain is a very characteristic symptom of such condition. The best way to rule out or confirm it is to perform spine MRI which will visualize possible spinal cord compression.
Shortness of breath can be related to this accident, however most likely it is due to asthma. Moreover, if she finds herself stressed, it can aggravate breathing problem.
I suggest you to visit pulmunologist, have spirometry (blow test) and chest X-ray performed.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Neck pain and vomiting after an accident. X-ray showed mild reversal of the normal cervical lordosis 16 minutes later
She has had her asthma checked several times and that has been ruled out as the cause. Is it possible that the cervical londosis revesal could affect her breathing?

Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 5 minutes later
Yes, it is possible. Cervical spinal cord compression/injury can cause breathing muscles to become weaker or even paralyzed (in serious injuries). So it might be the reason. Especially if asthma is well controlled. MRI seems strongly advisable.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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