Friday, July 30, 2010
Lets face it. Most of us drive cars to get around. And despite how
perfect we all are as drivers, accidents happen. Many of us are left
with (besides a damaged car) a sore neck or back. In more severe cases,
this neck soreness is called "whiplash".
The common source of whiplash is a sudden collision from behind. The
impact causes a rapid extension and then flexion of the neck, leading
to cervical sprain or strain. The resultant damage can include
ruptured/herniated discs as well as strained or torn ligaments in the
neck, shoulders, or back. This can lead to headaches, dizziness,
nausea, and of course, severe pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.
Severe spasms of the muscles often accompany the localized damage. In
some cases, victims can also experience tingling, numbness, or weakness
in the arms and fingers. This is due to impingement of the nerves in
the hands that originate at the neck bones C5, C6, and C7.
What do you do if you ever get in a car accident? The most important thing is to NEVER admit that you're fine. And NEVER EVER
sign any document saying that you're OK and have no injuries. Why?
Most neck and back injuries from car accidents don't fully manifest
until at least 1 month after the accident. By the time patients seek
medical care for the injury, it's too late to seek help from insurance
companies involved in the accident. I recommend that patients get at
least an x-ray as soon as possible following the accident. I then
suggest anywhere from 5 to 10 acupuncture treatments with cold-laser
therapy. In my experience, neck pain is very easily treated with
acupuncture. Our treatments can effectively eliminate the spasming,
decrease inflammation, and dramatically decrease the associated pain.
The most common scenario at my clinic is patients seek my help after
spending several months and thousands of dollars under chiropractic
care, often getting adjustments 2-3 times per week for several months.
After several months of treatment, they admit that it's not working and
seek me out. In MOST cases, significant progress is made between 5 to
10 of my treatments. This is not to say that chiropractic care is not
appropriate. I will often recommend patients to see a chiropractor
immediately following the accident to address any subluxation
(dislocation) of the spine. After the initial adjustment, however, I
suggest that patients work with an acupuncturist trained in traditional
chinese medicine. Acupuncture is proven to reduce pain, increase
functionality and accelerate healing of whiplash.
The neck and back are ingenious designs that give us both skeletal
support and amazing mobility. They are also, however, frustratingly
vulnerable to all sorts of injuries that can lead to years of suffering
if left untreated. Fortunately, acupuncture is almost tail0r-made to
address these problems.
Craig Amrine, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and can be contacted through his website at www.hiddenrhythmacupuncture.com