Car accidents are most likely the number one cause for chronic disability and/or pain. The August 1999 issue of American Family Physicians, the article notes that 3.5 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. each year. Even minor car accidents can cause changes in the spine that can lead to degenerating joint disease and future pain. Studies indicate that chiropractic care is the best treatment for the vast majority of injuries from a car accident. The main reason that chiropractic patients have less problems in the future and recover better from their present complaints is because of the focus in chiropractic care.
The injuries to the spine will cause slight misalignments in the joints of the neck and back. It's these misalignments that produce the majority of symptoms, not pulled muscles. Chiropractic care and analysis focuses on the detection and correction of spinal subluxations. Subluxation is the term for misalignments that develop in the spine. These misalignments can stay there for years unless they are corrected by chiropractic adjustments. The average patient after a car accident that visit an emergency room usually are only given pain pills and muscle relaxers. This of course allows the misalignments to remain. It's this focus on just the symptoms of the injury that leave a high percent of car accident victims with ongoing disability, pain and degenerating joint disease.
One study showed problems five or more years after the accident. Symptomatic recovery occurred in 57 per cent of the 146 patients, while degenerative changes developed after the injury in 39 per cent. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1974;56:1675-1682.
......several studies have investigated and linked the relationship of altered cervical curve configuration to the presence of chronic headache pain. CBP Structural Rehabilitaion of the Cervical Spine, Deed E. Harrision, DC, Donald D. Harrison, PhD, DC, MSE, Jason W. Haas, DC, 2002 Harrison CBP Seminars, Inc. pg. 56, "Cervical Lordosis and Headaches"
Cerebral symptoms after whiplash injury of the neck: a prospective clinical and neuropsychological study of whiplash injury. Ettlin TM, Kischka U, Reichmann S, Radii EW, Heim S, Wengen D, Benson DF. University Clinics, Basel, Switzerland.
Twenty one unselected patients with an acute whiplash injury of the neck had neurological and neuropsychological assessment, cervical x rays, EEG, BAEP, MRI, and an otoneurological examination within two weeks of the injury. Subjectively, 13 patients reported concentration deficits, 18 reported sleep disturbances, 9 had symptoms of depression, and 7 female patients told of menstrual irregularities. Scientific Automobile Accident Reconstruction treatise by Barzeley; Published by Mathew Bender 1984; Chapter 46:
" The simple fact remains: neck injuries do occur as a result of rear-end automobile accidents. 46-2
" Whiplash injuries may be present as a result of automobile accidents, even though no physical, radiological or other objective evidence of injury can be found. 46-3
" Usually the onset of symptoms occurs from 12 to 24 hours afterward. Sometimes there may be as much as weeks or even months delay between the automobile accident and the experience of symptoms. 46-5
" Most people just don't expect injuries to occur when the impact velocity has been low and damage to the vehicles has not been great. It is common sense to expect that the severity of the injuries should be in proportion to the severity of the collision. However, whiplash injuries most frequently result from relatively minor automobile accidents without major damage done to the vehicles. 46-6
" Rear-end collisions produce a sudden forceful hyperextension of the neck which is immediately followed by recoil into neck flexion. 46-8
" Probably most of the injuries result from the sudden traumatic snapping of the neck when the acceleration of the head suddenly shifts directions. 46-10
In most cases you're better off in the long-term to break a bone than to damage a joint. When you damage a joint, you primarily damage the connective tissue in the joint which can leave that joint unstable for the rest of your life. When you break a bone, the bone heals stronger than it was before. Connective tissue has a history of poor healing. By bringing that joint back to its proper alignment, you allow the maximum healing to the soft tissue or connective tissue in that joint. And by maintaining that alignment over the long-term, you assure maximum results. Out of 50 or so outcome studies which have been published in the past 40 years. They nearly unanimously presented 30 to 50 percent of whiplash victims are left with some form of residual pain or dysfunction.
Our treatment goals are not only to make you feel better now, but to try to assure that 10 years from now your injuries will not be bothering you.