Whiplash & the Road to Recovery, After the ER

It is very common for patients to initially visit Dalton Chiropractic with pain in the neck or back yet unable to identify any cause. When x-rays are performed for the neck, a reverse cervical curve is often identified. This can be evidence of a whiplash injury. When presented this information, patients are often able to recollect accidents, often minor, six months or so prior; many times even longer.

Whiplash is an injury to the neck muscles from rapid forward and backward motion of the neck caused by a trauma (i.e., a car accident).

After sustaining an automobile accident, many patients find their way to the local emergency room where they are evaluated by experts in diagnosing and treating emergencies. When they are found to be without an emergency caliber medical condition they are released from care with pain meds and muscle relaxers as parting gifts. They are then contacted by the insurance company who cuts them a check for auto damage and pays the ER bill. Since the patient is under the impression that no further damage has occurred, the patient then releases the insurance company from further liability. This is the whiplash patient that then presents months later; now, paying for damages incurred out of their pocket!

According to a study, the average length of time before the patients began chiropractic care is 15.5 months post-injury. Remarkably, even after months removed from trauma, chiropractic still has proven to get quality outcomes with the whiplash patient; to the tune of 93% of patients in a study were found to have a statistically significant improvement following chiropractic care. Whiplash injuries can also damage the vertebral discs, making the patient susceptible to disc bulges and herniations.

In a different study published on chiropractic care for disc herniations, it was demonstrated that not only do patients improve clinically, repeat MRI imaging demonstrates decreased size or resolution of the disc herniation in many cases.

More importantly, patients that have neurologic symptoms from whiplash injuries also report feeling much improved. In a study, patients with neurological symptoms or signs and restricted spinal ROM; 94% had a good outcome after receiving chiropractic care. 

Following automobile accidents, be sure to be evaluated for major traumas at the ER. Be sure to then follow-up with your family chiropractor to ensure there are no injuries that will case you pain and discomfort down the road!

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