Biomechanics Is Heavily Used To Treat And Prevent Sports-Related Injuries The Backlash After Whiplash: What Can You Do?

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The Backlash After Whiplash: What Can You Do?

Have you ever been in a car accident? During an average lifetime there is a high probability that you or someone you know will experience an unfortunate event of this type. Statistics show that one out of four people will experience a traffic accident during their lifetime. After a fender bender, whether you’re the driver or passenger, you can take a pain reliever or two and maybe do some physical therapy. Then, when you feel better, you may never think about it again. But what if the symptoms persist? Or, even worse, if you have no symptoms, could the accident come back to haunt you?

What is “Whiplash”?

The nonmedical term whiplash was first used in 1928. Although more specific terms such as accelerated flexion-extension neck injury or cervical hyperextension soft tissue injury have sometimes replaced it, “whiplash” is still commonly used for this type of soft tissue injury. neck injury. Specialist for whiplash injuries dr. Arthur Croft estimates that as many as 3 million whiplash injuries occur in the United States each year and that one in three people will suffer from the condition.

A whiplash injury is a sudden strain or trauma that affects the bones, discs, muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons in the neck, an area of ​​the body that includes seven vertebrae and is known as the cervical region. Injurious head and neck whiplash forward and backward or even side to head whiplash is caused not only by car accidents, but also by contact sports, various amusement park rides, falls and assaults. Statistically, motor vehicle crashes, contact sports and amusement park rides are the top three causes.

A variety of symptoms are associated with a whiplash injury, including, but not limited to, neck and back pain, nausea, numbness, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, vertigo (loss of balance), inflammation, hearing loss, headaches, visual disturbances, fractures and paralysis. Sometimes no symptoms are present at first, but only appear days, weeks or even years after the injury. Consequences of whiplash range from mild pain lasting a few days (the most common outcome) to severe disability caused by limited movement of the head or cervical spine, sometimes with persistent pain. It is likely that 40% to 50% of people with whiplash injuries suffer from persistent pain.

Treatment of injury

After an accident, it is important to see an emergency room or your chiropractor right away. Provided no fracture has occurred, the chiropractor may perform an examination that begins with taking a detailed history, followed by orthopedic and neurological tests, a range of motion tests, checking posture and palpation, and x-rays to see the extent of damage or changes. in the spine. The neck should be perfectly straight on the x-ray and your chiropractor will be able to identify any misalignment (subluxation). When viewed from the side, the neck should show an arc of a circle. Loss of cervical curvature, which is common with physical impact, can cause any of the whiplash symptoms listed above.

Treatment for twitching includes passive and active exercises, gentle massage, chiropractic, therapeutic massage, spinal and extremity adjustments, and therapies such as traction to correct spinal posture, electrical stimulation to relax muscle spasms, stretching, and ice. Applying ice immediately after most whiplash injuries helps reduce inflammation and swelling. Each application should be maintained for 10 to 20 minutes every hour. After 24 hours, it is recommended to change ice and heat, up to 20 minutes per treatment. Ice or an ice pack should be wrapped in a towel before use. To sleep, the patient can wrap a towel and place it under the neck while lying on the back so that the back of the skull rests on the bed, a position that promotes healing of the injury.

Chiropractic is preferred

Many studies have shown that chiropractic and acupuncture are more effective than drugs for treating car accident injuries. According to the Insurance Research Council, “nearly one-third of all claimants injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) seek treatment from doctors of chiropractic.” This is an impressive number when you consider that the National Safety Council (NSC) has determined that there are more than 12 million MVAs annually involving more than 20 million vehicles.

In a related study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers showed that “treatment of facet joints [which link the bones in the spine] not only did it relieve severe neck pain, but it also resolved the psychological disturbances associated with motor vehicle accidents.” According to another study published in Dr. Stephen Foreman and Dr. Arthur Croft’s book Splinter Joint Injuries: Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Syndrome, 3rd Edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001), a recent comparison of medicine, acupuncture, and chiropractic in a randomized trial reported that “comparing drugs (Celebrex, Vioxx, or paracetamol [acetaminophen]) to acupuncture and spinal manipulation over 9 weeks in people with chronic spinal pain (including neck and low back pain), the authors demonstrated quite profound superiority in chiropractic spinal manipulation.”

Many people choose chiropractic for treatment because of its benefits in improving soft tissue injuries (ie ligaments, muscles, tissues), especially the spine. As the injuries associated with car accidents are most often sprains and strains of the spinal muscles and associated ligaments, it is natural that chiropractic is the preferred therapy.

Preventing further injury

Various proactive factors can help prevent whiplash injuries from occurring or worsening while driving. In addition to the obvious steps to avoid distractions, such as not using a cell phone for calling or texting, wearing a full lap brace is a must. Drivers and passengers should place the headrests in the middle of the back of the skull and try to keep the head on the headrest while the car is in motion. Looking straight ahead and checking your rear view mirror frequently are also crucial for the driver.

Because some whiplash injuries result in sequelae that last for years, if a cervical impaction accident occurs, immediate attention is essential. Seeking good medical and chiropractic care without delay can help prevent further injuries from developing as well as prevent the need for surgery.

dr. Chad Laurence is one of fewer than 400 doctors worldwide recognized as a distinguished contributor to the clinical biomechanics of posture. His practice focuses on structural spinal correction, nutrition, massage therapy, acupuncture, family care and pediatrics as well as personal injury and auto accident support. dr. Laurence can help relieve symptoms for people suffering from a variety of physical problems, including neck and lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, limb problems and arthritis.

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