Chiropractic Car Accident Treatment Orange County vs Medical Treatment
Have you been in a car accident and your medical physician (MD) advises against chiropractic treatment for your whiplash injuries?
If so, you may want to read this very carefully.
Without getting into a debate over professional courtesy and creating even more dissent between MD’s and DC’s, let us just stick to verifiable facts specifically related to whiplash injuries.
Medical research has proven over the years that medication, bed rest and/or physical therapy alone or in combination are not very successful at relieving whiplash pain, but more importantly, leads to chronic impairment. This is because those car accident treatment methods are designed to merely relieve pain then discontinue once pain releif has been achieved without correcting the underlying problem of abnormal joint mechanics and misalignment within the spine.
Facet joint injury is known to be the leading cause of chronic pain and disability following an auto collision. “Cervical (facet) joint pain is common among patients with chronic neck pain after whiplash… and has proven to be of major clinical importance” Nikolai Bogduk, MD, PhD, DSc, FAFRM (1) A by-product of this injury is a neck curve that is less than the average normal measurement.(2) Since whiplash is chiefly a structural and bio-mechanical disorder, it is no wonder medical treatments such as muscle relaxers and pain pills fail to address whiplash injuries effectively.
Chiropractic Car Accident Treatment
Chiropractic on the other hand has proven to be the most effective therapy for whiplash injuries, particularly late whiplash pain (pain lasting 3 months or more after injury) and results in the lowest amount of disability. The reason is chiropractic manipulation, the popping you hear when a Doctor of Chiropractic adjusts your neck, is a release of tension within the facet joint. Adjustments unlock damaged, tightened and misaligned facet joints and allows them to realign and heal.
The medical researchers of Woodward, Cook, Gargan and Bannister (3) looking at medical and chiropractic treatment of late whiplash noted the following, “The ‘whiplash’ syndrome is a collection of symptoms produced as a result of soft-tissue injury of the cervical spine. The accumulated literature suggests that 43 percent of patients will suffer long-term symptoms following ‘whiplash’ injury. If patients are still symptomatic after three months then there is almost a 90 per cent chance that they will remain so. No conventional (MEDICAL) treatment has proven to be effective in these established chronic cases.”
They further stated, “Following CHIROPRACTIC treatment, 93% of the patients had improved.”
So why would your MD tell you otherwise? It’s purely lack of knowledge. See, your MD knows a little about a lot of conditions, but as a non-expert in whiplash injury, he or she really has very little knowledge at all. Certainly, the average medical doctor spends very little education time on whiplash type injuries on an on-going basis.
How does chiropractic treatment of car accident injuries help?
Remember, whiplash often causes your neck to be misaligned and you lose cervical curvature. A problem that many MD’s miss because of lack of training on reading radiographs and also because many MD’s treat whiplash victims without taking x-rays to begin with. If you don’t know what to look for or if you don’t bother to look at all, you’re not going to find anything.
Chiropractic treatment restores normal function to the facet joints. Further, a chiropractor specializing in car accident whiplash treatment, will attempt to restore your normal neck curve. Only a car accident chiropractor will even know to check your neck curve and has the knowledge and skill to actually correct it.
A study was done to see if chiropractic treatments improved neck curvature on x-ray in motor vehicle collision victims. The results after an average of 17 adjustments were that 77% of those treated did in fact see improvement in their neck curve, 15% had no change and 8% had a worsened curve. The study suggests that chiropractic adjustments do indeed increase cervical lordosis, which may be helpful for patients suffering from auto injuries. Even more encouraging is that the average number of adjustments of 17 is quite low compared to what experts within the chiropractic rehabilitation arena say are required to correct a neck curve. Therefore, it is highly possible that by seeing a specialist chiropractor who works specifically with rehabilitating spinal curvatures the correct number of times may result in an even higher rate of success.
Car accident victims suffer from neck pain and other symptoms that are brought on by damage to the spine. Treatment is crucial to not only relieve pain, but most importantly to restore normal function to prevent long term pain and disability. Various auto accident treatments have been compared scientifically over the years and chiropractic has been shown to be the superior treatment. Therefore, when you are told by your MD to discontinue chiropractic care for your car accident injury, take it as advice and have a discussion with your chiropractor.
(1) Pain, 54 (1993) 213-217
(2) Kristjansson E, Jonsson H. Is the sagittal configuration of the cervical spine changed in women with chronic whiplash syndrome? A comparative computer-assisted radiographic assessment. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2002;25(9):550-555.)
(3) Woodward MN, Cook JCH, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Chiropractic treatment of chronic ‘whiplash’ injuries. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured 1996;27(9):643-645.
(4) Coleman RR, Hagen JO, Troyanovich SJ, Plaugher G. Lateral cervical curve changes in patients receiving chiropractic care after a motor vehicle collision: a retrospective case series. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2003;26(6):352-355.