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Why Chiropractic Care is a Great Choice for Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash is an injury that can start out as nothing and quickly develop at a pace that disrupts your entire life, making it one of the most subtle traumas a victim of an accident can experience – but undoubtedly one of the most painful.

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Most victims won’t realize they have whiplash at all, as symptoms can wait days and even up to a week to manifest. Some of the more subtle effects can be mistaken or explained away as other things, allowing the trauma to go untreated until the physical effects kick in. Once the physical effects kick in… oh boy.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is caused by a sudden jerk of the head, such as with a car accident when the victim is slammed forward but then stopped by an airbag. This is also the case in horseback riding, should the horse take a stumble and the rider is whipped forward, or with self-defense training where a particularly powerful hit forces the head to snap forward and then back again.

The body’s natural response is to smother any pain sensors that may be warning of a deeper injury from this trauma. The instantaneous nature of this injury may also allow dislodged vertebrate to slide unsteadily back into place, where it does not cause pain but its subtle misalignment affects your mood, ability to focus, and sleep routine. As time passes, stiffness and headaches can manifest and won’t go away with time. Most notably, short-term paralysis and intense pain afflict victims.

Medical attention is necessary to realign the neck and cut off the symptoms that disrupt the patient’s entire life.

How Chiropractic Care is the Best Choice

  1. Immediate Pain Management

As a holistic approach to medicine rooted in science and a deep understanding of the body’s natural healing abilities, chiropractic care forces on immediately relieving the pain whiplash afflicts in the victims. A visit will consist of the chiropractor immediately assessing the injury, the patient’s range of motion, and determining their pain level. Before moving forward, the chiropractor will take immediate action to remove pain. Applying ice or heat, providing pillows or pads with spine health in mind, and in some cases applying electro-therapy to the site of pain to ease the immediate discomfort will relax the muscles, remove headaches, and reduces spasming. This allows for better assessments to be made and also preps the injury site for further care.

  1. The Patient Has Control Over Their Own Healing

The chiropractor will begin applying McKenzie exercises, which are designed to undo the initial damage a whiplash has caused by easing discs back into their proper alignment. This is a process that is carried out in the office, but is also taught to the patient so they can apply them at home, further improving their neck’s condition and getting rid of headaches, but also giving them control over their own healing process. Since chiropractic medicine is centered on adjusting the body to heal itself, this, unlike other medical practices, allows the patient to continue their treatment privately for faster healing and better results.

  1. Diversified Treatment Customized for Each Patient

Each patient and each injury are different. While some sufferers of whiplash can receive spinal adjustments immediately, depending on how long this condition has existed untreated and how the muscles surrounding the injury itself have reacted, this may not be possible without further pain or injury. Therefore, the chiropractor will develop a customized set of muscle stimulations and relaxation techniques designed to ease the muscle tension and relax the neck so that it can be properly adjusted. This involves the muscles being stretched and rotated so that they will release their tension, with pressure techniques and massaging reducing the pain.

  1. An Assessment That Looks Out for Further Injuries

The muscle tension and immobility whiplash victims experience isn’t always a bad thing – it’s a safeguard against a much worse thing. The sudden trauma to the neck can cause fractures in the spine or misalignments that pinch or even severe nerves. The muscle tension is the body’s natural response to hold these vertebras in place to avoid further injury. In simpler terms – the injury that gave you whiplash was trying to break your neck, and your muscle seized to hold it in place and stop this. A chiropractor is the best choice for whiplash, as the broken neck waiting to happen once the muscles unwind will be caught in their initial assessment before further treatment is applied. Through x-rays, the doctor will be able to see your full condition and apply braces, customized treatment, or even recommend further medical attention before the injury turns into something life-ruining.

  1. Solving the Root Issue With Adjustments

With spinal adjustments, chiropractic care is able to rearrange your misaligned vertebrae and joints into their proper position, undoing the exact damage that your neck underwent from the trauma. By seeking treatment early, a chiropractor can make this adjustment while the injury is still fresh and avoid your muscles taking on a memory of when it was out of place, which would encourage it to snap back out of line after a few weeks or months. Chiropractic care immediately will fix the injury at its core and prevent it from repeating in the future.

  1. Full-Bodied Results

Whiplash may most notably affect your mood and your neck’s range of motion, but the trauma spreads much farther. Pain in your legs, hips, arms, and lower back are all side effects of your neck trauma, if not direct injuries sustained from the initial whiplash itself. If you’ve gone untreated for a period of a few days, then your immobility will have slowly worked the rest of your spine out of alignment, and the strange positions you take to get relief only make it worse. Chiropractic treatment is focused on the entire body, so during your appointment, other effects and aches will be assessed and factored into the treatment. To an even greater degree, small misalignments that carried on unnoticed in your body before will be put into their proper place, with the chance of your body feeling even better than before your experienced whiplash. For example, if you experienced frequent headaches, the adjustment can ensure this is no longer a problem you face.

  1. No Medication Required

Chiropractic care is unique in that it requires no medication in order to treat an injury, so you don’t have to worry about surprise side effects or alterations to your mood while you’re seeking treatment for your injury. Relying exclusively on natural adjustments to the human body, the care you receive is focused entirely on returning you to your proper structure so that pinched nerves are relieved, blocks in signals to and from your mind to removed, and pain is eliminated without the need for pills or injections.

While whiplash may seem like a simple injury, the effect it has is profound, and finding relief is an immediate need. Chiropractic care not only offers that immediate relief, but does so in the most concentrated manner with long-term results. When an accident puts you or a loved out down, book an appointment immediately.

3 Common Car Accident Whiplash Questions Answered

3873128926_08343dda0a_mOn top of being extremely stressful and scary car accidents often leave us in a sea of paperwork and confusion. Many of us get so caught up in how to fix our cars we sometimes forget the toll an auto accident can take on our bodies. Whether you are experiencing pain, whiplash symptoms, or not yet feeling the full effects of trauma from the accident there are some very important questions you need to ask. The following are 3 of the most commonly asked questions we hear in my office from auto accident patients.

1. What are Whiplash Treatment Options?

In my opinion this is one of the most significant questions you can ask after any injury. Unfortunately many whiplash cases are taken to medical doctors who often prescribe pain killers which only cover up the symptoms of the underlying problem. It is important to know that there are all-natural treatment options available to you.

Chiropractic: Chiropractic care is an all-natural therapy in which the chiropractor using his hands to adjust and treat misalignments called subluxations in the spine. Don’t let fender benders fool you! Even the smallest car accident can be devastating to your body and eventually lead to chronic pain. You should always be examined after an auto accident, especially since it can take 24 to 48 hours following the accident before whiplash symptoms are present.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is another all-natural healing option that uses stretching and fitness to strengthen specific areas of the body. When used alongside chiropractic adjustments physical therapy can significantly help restore the body. While chiropractic adjustments work to slowly shift your bones back into the correct alignment, physical therapy helps strengthen your muscles so that they are strong enough to hold the bones in the proper place.

Many people may not realize that chiropractors, myself included, often incorporate physical therapy techniques into treatment plans. This saves you, the patient, both time and money while helping to further your recovery.

Pain Medication: There are many holistic pain supplements available today which provide pain relief without the sometimes harmful side effects of prescription drugs. That being said chiropractors will and do refer patients out if prescription pain medication is needed following an auto accident.

2. Will Insurance Cover Whiplash Treatment?

By far the most frequent question we receive from patients when inquiring about care is if insurance will cover their treatment. Auto accidents are unique in the insurance world because in most cases the at fault drivers auto insurance will cover a portion if not all of the medical costs related to the accident. If you are the at fault driver many times your auto insurance company depending on your plan coverage will cover at least some of the expenses. Some auto insurance policies however do not cover medical costs so it is important to have your medical provider check your benefits before care is received.

3. Do I Have To Limit My Daily Activities?

Though we may want it to auto accidents do not cause life to slow down while we heal. Auto accidents are not only traumatic to our bodies; they affect us emotionally as well and can make it hard to focus on daily tasks. I understand the need to continue home life and work as usual, but it is extremely important that you do not put too much strain on your body while it is in recovery mode.

When taking pain medication be especially careful since it can give you a false sense of feeling better or healed. Always consult your doctor before taking part in any strenuous activities, exercise, or stretches. It is better to take things slower than to rush recovery which may cause more harm to your body and health.

Have you or someone close to you recently been involved in an auto accident? Call Hinz Family Chiropractic today at (615) 503-9900 to set up a consultation.

Photo Credit: KevinACrider via Compfight cc

Whiplash Defined – What You Need To Know

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What Is Whiplash

Whiplash is a non-medical term that many use to describe an assortment of injuries to the neck caused by a sudden rapid hyperextension. Medicinenet.com defines whiplash as follows:

Whiplash injury: A hyperextension and flexion injury to the neck, often a result of being struck from behind, as by a fast-moving vehicle in a car accident. The mechanics of whiplash injury are thought to be as follows: The victim may be first pushed or accelerated forward, pushing the body forward, but the head remains behind momentarily, rocking up and back, and some muscles and ligaments in and around the spine may be stretched or torn. These muscles, in a reflex action, contract to bring the head forward again, to prevent excessive injury. There may be overcompensation when the head is traveling in a forward direction as the vehicle decelerates. This may rock the head violently forward, stretching and tearing more muscles and ligaments.

Whiplash Symptoms

Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. Due to this it is advised that you be examined as soon as possible after any injury that may have caused whiplash.

Symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Upper back pain
  • Decreased mobility
  • Soreness between the shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • Low back pain
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue

Many times other whiplash symptoms are present after whiplash injury such as: nausea, tingling, jaw pain, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, changes in vision, balance problems, swelling, bruising, soreness, tenderness, tightness, light-headedness, wrist pain/numbness, sciatica (leg pain), fatigue, concussion, hormone disorders, menstrual disorder, occipital neuralgia, sore throat, loss of voice, weakness, feeling depressed, and anxiety.

For a detailed description of common whiplash symptoms visit 4 Common Symptoms Of Whiplash And Their Treatments 

Treatment

Chiropractic spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments are an important part of the treatment and the recovery process when healing from any injuries. Research has shown chiropractic to be one of the most effective treatments for whiplash pain and injury available today.

Chiropractic care involves the chiropractor using his/her hands to adjust and treat misalignments in the spine also known as subluxations. Spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments can in many cases fix the subluxation relieving pain in the soft tissues, increasing circulation, and stimulating the body’s nervous system.

Chiropractors often incorporate physical therapy techniques and exercises into whiplash patient’s treatment plans to maintain pain relief and strengthen the neck. In some cases you may even be given exercises to perform at home to help with pain relief and strengthening in between office visits.

Think you may be suffering from whiplash? Call (615)503-9900 to set up an exam today.

Photo by D Petzold Photography

Chiropractic vs Prescription Drugs: New study shows chiropractic care is more effective than drugs for neck pain

chiropractic vs prescription drugs

Chiropractic vs Prescription Drugs

A new study on the effectiveness of treatments for neck pain has been conducted. Neck pain is a growing problem that affects three quarters of Americans at some point in their lives but has no proven first-line treatment (O’Connor). The study, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine  in early 2012, compares three treatments for neck pain. In the battle between chiropractic vs prescription drugs the study shows that chiropractic care along with exercise is more effective in subduing neck pain than pain relieving drugs.

More and more people are beginning to realize that there are options for relief other than taking multiple Aspirin, Tylenol, or prescription pain medications a day. For years chiropractors have preached that pain is not the problem but a symptom of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed, therefore pain medication will only put off the problem not resolve it. Thanks to new research we now know that not only does pain medication cover up the problem, it isn’t as effective as chiropractic care or exercise is at providing pain relief.

Purpose

The following study examines the levels of pain relief provided by chiropractic care, exercise, and medication. The goal of the researchers was to find which treatment most effectively relieved neck pain in the participants in the ongoing effort to determine the battle between chiropractic vs prescription drugs.

The Study

To conduct this study researches separated 272 adults experiencing neck pain lasting more than 2 weeks and no more than 3 months into 3 separate groups. The first group received chiropractic care, the second were prescribed pain medications from a doctor, and the third group saw a specialist twice who showed them exercises they could perform at home for pain relief. Each treatment was evaluated over 12 weeks and then again at 6 months and 12 months after the start of treatment. Participant’s disability levels, medication use, health, overall improvement, and satisfaction with their particular care were all taken into account.

Findings

At the end of the 12 week and the 12 month evaluations spinal manipulations performed by a chiropractor were shown to be more effective than medication at improving neck pain. Participants in the third group who used exercise to relieve pain saw similar improvement to those who received chiropractic adjustments however, those who were under chiropractic care were more satisfied with their improvement.

Unlike medication and neck exercises chiropractic care focuses on whole body healing and health. So when when it comes to chiropractic vs prescription drugs…we want to know your thoughts.  

Have you tried these methods for pain relief? Comment below to tell us which method worked best for you.

1. O’Connor, Anahad. “For Neck Pain, Chiropractic and Exercise Are Better Than Drugs.” New York Times Health, 01 03 2012. Web. Web. <http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/for-neck-pain-chiropractic-and-exercise-are-better-than-drugs/>.
2. Bronfort, G., R. Evans, A.V. Anderson, K.H. Svendsen, Y. Bracha, and R.H. Grimm. “Is Spinal Manipulation an Effective Treatment for Neck Pain?.” Annals of Internal Medicine, 01 03 2012. Web. <http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1033288>.

Photo by Selva

4 Common Symptoms Of Whiplash And Their Treatments

whiplash chiropractic Franklin, TNWhiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is an injury to the neck. Whiplash is caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head, either backward or forward, and often occurs but is not limited to the result of a car accident. Whiplash can be diagnosed by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck. Due to whiplash the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged. Whiplash can also injure the brain, causing concussion, or traumatic brain injury. Due to the number of different delicate body structures that can be hurt in a whiplash injury, the symptoms of whiplash can be widely varied.

Common Whiplash Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms related to whiplash injury are:

  1. Neck pain and stiffness: Trauma such as whiplash, if not properly treated, can cause neck pain for years following the injury and often result in a misalignment, called a subluxation, of the neck or spine. When the delicate bones of the neck, called vertebra, become misaligned pressure, tension, and stress are placed on the joints, muscles, discs, and nerves in the neck producing pain and muscle spasms. Chiropractors are the only doctors trained to detect and correct vertebral subluxations.
  2. Headaches: It is frequent for whiplash patients to experience severe headaches or migraines following their injury. There are several types of headaches including tension, stress, cluster, migraines, sinus, and more which may start as a result of the neck injury. You may experience these headaches occasionally or frequently and they may range from dull to throbbing with some causing debilitating pain and nausea.
  3. Pain and soreness in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades: What affects the neck will affect the shoulder and vice versa. This explains why changes in the structure and function of the neck are one of the most common reasons for shoulder pain.
  4. Decreased mobility: Due to the pain associated with whiplash injury most people experience a mild to severe decrease in their mobility and function. Chiropractic spinal manipulation help to gently move the misaligned bones back into proper position, decreasing pain and giving back full range of motion.

Other Whiplash Symptoms

Other whiplash symptoms include: upper back pain, lower back pain, nausea, tingling, jaw pain, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, changes in vision, balance problems, swelling, bruising, soreness, tenderness, tightness, light-headedness, wrist pain/numbness, sciatica (leg pain), fatigue, concussion, hormone disorders, menstrual disorder, occipital neuralgia, sore throat, loss of voice, weakness, feeling depressed, fibromyalgia, and anxiety.

Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. Due to this It is advised that you be examined as soon as possible after any injury that may have caused whiplash. If pain is present it is important to remember that pain is not the problem; it is a symptom of an underlying health issue that needs attention.

The Solution

Research has shown chiropractic to be one of the most effective treatments for whiplash pain and injury available today. Chiropractic spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments are an important part of the treatment and recovery process when healing from any injuries.

Chiropractic care is an all natural therapy which involves the chiropractor using his hands to adjust and treat misalignments in the spine also known as subluxations. Spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments can in many cases fix the subluxation, relieve pain in the soft tissues, increase circulation, and stimulate the body’s nervous system. The doctor may also use physical therapy techniques and exercises in the office to help maintain pain relief and strengthen your neck. In some cases you may be given exercises to perform at home to help with pain relief and strengthening in between office visits.

Subluxations can be corrected with chiropractic care and works best when caught early. Please don’t wait to see if the pain will simply go away on its own. Pain may be sending you a message that you are suffering from spinal subluxations that over time can lead to a multitude of health problems.

Take the first step in stopping your suffering by calling our Chiropractic office here in Franklin, TN at (615)503.9900 to schedule a consultation and exam.