Whiplash Injuries and Concussion
What do whiplash injuries and concussion have in common?
In the past, these types of injuries were often dismissed as somewhat minor
and were thought to heal on their own relatively quickly. In reality, the newest
research shows that whiplash, like concussions, can cause permanent and
severe impairments that may show up years after the initial trauma.
Historically, concussions were thought to be short-term injuries, but it has become increasingly more evident that the real damage may take 15 or 20 years before its full impact is known. Many former NFL football players are now showing signs of permanent brain damage (chronic trau-matic encephalopathy) as a result of multiple concussions. Some are left with physical, ememotionalor mental disabilities, while some are so disabled they become suicidal. In light of this new evidence, what was once a few weeks off from practice and games has now become a possible career-ending injury.
Unfortunately, it has been shown that whiplash injuries can have a similar effect. Initially thought to be just a minor soft tissue injury, it has now been shown that for many people the real damage may not show up for decades after the initial trauma. Some people may be sore for a few days or weeks after experiencing a whiplash injury and then feel as though they’ve completely recovered. When years or decades later they experience symptoms, the patient may not recognize that the two are connected. These symptoms can appear as chronic neck pain, weakness, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, bulging or ruptured discs, TMJ, dizziness, ringing in the ears, premature arthritis, PTSD… the list goes on and on. Even more confusing is the fact that the time between the initial injury and the onset of debilitating symptoms is often so long that the patient doesn’t even realize that the two are directly related.
Currently, the standard protocol for concussions is to be evaluated and treated immediately, and the same is true with even the mildest of whiplash injuries. These low impact accidents have been proven to occur at speeds as low as 5 mph with little to no obvious damage to the vehicle.
How your injury is treated can determine whether you heal properly or risk a life-long disability. Patients who are treated through more traditional channels are frequently prescribed medications and may undergo some physical therapy. If these solutions fail, the patient may be sent to a pain clinic for a series of injections to manage the pain. Unfortunately, surgery is often their last resort.
In reality, none of the traditional solutions actually correct the most critical component of whiplash which is a condition called the Atlas Subluxation Complex. This condition occurs when one or both of the upper cervical vertebrae (top two bones in the upper neck) become misaligned and cause both neurological and musculoskeletal damage. This condition is most commonly detected through a thorough examination by an Upper Cervical Chiropractor. Upper Cervical Care is a specialty within chiropractic that focuses on the upper neck and more importantly, the brain stem area. Mild trauma, such as whiplash or concussions, can cause an atlas subluxation (neck misalignment) that will often go undetected to the untrained eye. It is this type of injury that can lead to years of unnecessary pain and suffering. If you, or anyone you know has had a whiplash-type injury, do yourself and your family a favor and get checked by an Upper Cervical Chiropractor today! You can also get in touch with us if you have other questions about whiplash injuries and concussion. For more information about Upper Cervical Chiropractic or to locate a doctor near you, visit www.uppercervcialcare.com.
Thanksgiving is more than food and football
Thanksgiving is a time to take a step back, give thanks and count our blessings. As we gather with family and friends in the upcoming weeks, remember that gratitude is just as important for your overall health as the food choices you make.
We know that 75-90% of all doctor’s visits are stress-related. If the effects of stress can alter hormones and neural pathways, release chemicals detrimental to healing, trigger physical reactions throughout the entire body, lead to sickness/disease and change your thoughts/mood … then isn’t it feasible to think that the opposite of stress could elicit beneficial changes throughout the body? In fact, science is starting to prove just that! Gratitude, love and mindfulness are showing incredible positive effects throughout the entire body. Therefore, use this time of the year for your benefit and for the benefit of those around you by giving the gift of love and gratefulness. Not only will you affect the lives of those around you but you will also reap the health benefits associated with these actions!
We at Barrett Chiropractic are so incredibly grateful and thankful for you! We have loved getting the opportunity to serve you and guide you toward a more mindful, natural and healthy life. We hope that your November is filled with appreciation and that you have a safe and loving Thanksgiving!
Yours in Health, The Team at Barrett Chiropractic