Whiplash

Tabassum Ali, DC, CCSP, CCCN

Whiplash does not have to be a complicated condition to treat. Most people after experiencing a motor vehicle accident (MVA) are more concerned about the car damage than the effects on their body. Especially in MVA’s in which the airbags didn’t deploy due to a lower impact and you felt fine right after. In some cases, people involved in a MVA might feel some tightness or sore muscle the next day and get a medical examination with clear results and never worry about it again. This is where the most detrimental effects can happen on your body. MVA’s can be quiet traumatizing in regards to spinal injuries and injurious to your health if care is not taken in a timely manner. If you were involved in a MVA, you may have sought medical care in which you received pain medication but this will do nothing to address the underlying condition. It is highly recommended to have a chiropractic examination in addition to any other exam you may have received to evaluate the spine and surrounding tissue. Whether you recover on your own or seek professional help, getting over a collision can take time and insurance can be quiet a task if you wait to long in addition to the duration of treatment needed if too much time as passed.

The most common result of MVA’s is a general term known as whiplash. When the body is forcefully moved by a sudden motion into flexion and followed by extension of the neck. A whiplash can lead to a series of misalignments and sprains/strains. A severe case of whiplash can also lead to disc herniations and further nerve damage. If a MVA occurs at a low speed and very little damage was noted to the vehicles, it is not directly correlated to the impact on the spine. Most cases of whiplash occur at vehicle speeds below 14 mph. A study presented at the Stapp Car Crash Conference examined people in simulated rear-impact collisions at 9 mph. Participants instinctively tensed their muscles to absorb the impact. However, they did not react until their necks were flexed due to the G-force of their heads. The average adult head weighs 10 lbs and can experience forces of 17 G at the speed used in this experiment. That means the head exerts 170 lbs of force on the neck. This is when the crash occurs at speeds less than 10mph.

Chiropractic is a proven therapy for whiplash. In several studies regarding whiplash patients, up to 93 percent of those receiving chiropractic adjustments showed improvement. Chiropractic care is especially effective in alleviating pain and improving range of motion in the neck following a whiplash injury. Other associated symptoms with a whiplash injury include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, low back pain, and numbness. Applying an ice pack or immobilizing the neck with a cervical collar are other options that may help with the symptoms of a whiplash.

At Lone Star Sport & Spine, we approach injuries in a conservative manner that will give the patient the most weighted benefits. Our providers are board certified chiropractors and certified in full body Active Release Technique. We examine the patient and determine the most efficient and quickest treatment plan for them. Our goal is not only to alleviate the pain and reduce stiffness, but also to increase range of motion and allow the patient to continue on with their activities of daily living. We address the scar tissue that is built up from micro tears in the tissue due to injuries and develop a program to strengthen and train the muscles to be used functionally. Most all of our patients find results within a few treatments with decreased pain, and increased range of motion, strength, and balance.

In summary, to address a motor vehicle accident injury:

 

  • Address the scar tissue in primary involved muscle, and any associated muscle

  • Stretch the associated soft tissue

  • Strengthen and train the associated muscles to prevent future injury

Most MVA victims assume that their insurance company has power over the route of recovery and the type of care they must receive. This is not true, and you have the right to know your options. Contact your provider to find our about your rights and your care options.

Give us at call at (972) 379-7993 at the office or check our website for more information and to book an appointment today at www.lonestarsportandspine.com

Works Cited

Robbins, Malcom C. “Lack of Relationship between Vehicle Damage and Occupant Injury.” Motor Vehicle Safety Design Innovations (1997): 117-119. Print.

Doheny, Kathleen. “Putting the Brakes on Post-collision Trauma.” Automative Mar. 2005: 59-60. Print.

Brolin, Dr. Dorothy B. “Why to Get a Chiropractic Evaluation after a Motor Vehicle Accident.” Optimal Health University. Preventicare, 2010. Web. 29 May 2013. <http://carychiropractor.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/why-to-get-a-chiropractic- evaluation-after-mva.pdf>.

Dies, Stephen, and J. Walter Strapp. “Chiropractic Treatment of Patients in Motor Vehicle Accidents: A Statistical Analysis.” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. J of CCA, Sept. 1992. Web. 29 May 2013. <Chiropractic treatment of patients in motor vehicle accidents: a statistical analysis>.

Hildingsson, Christer, and Goran Toolanen. “Outcome after Soft-tissue Injury of the Cervical Spine.” Informa Health Care. Acta Orthop Scanda, 1990. Web. 29 May 2013. <http://informahealthcare.com/doi/pdf/10.3109/17453679008993536>.

© 2014 by DocTabAli.

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