July 24, 2020
Hello everyone, it's Dr. Aaron Seaton with The Chiropractic Place. Today, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about Whiplash injuries. Most of the time, a whiplash injury occurs in a car accident, somebody's rear-ended or hit from the side. Typically at the time of the accident, people don't feel a whole lot of symptoms, but after two, maybe a day, two, three days after, the symptoms really start to kick in, and they can last for weeks to months, and sometimes they can even have permanent damage to the spine, which can cause chronic daily pain. The reason Whiplash is so important to talk about is a lot of people have had car accidents in their life, and no one is really telling them the most important things that they could be doing, or how do you get the best results if you have a whiplash and you're trying to get better. What is it that you need to do to get better?
Most people, when they think of whiplash, maybe they think of the cervical collars or those little neck braces people will wear so they don't move. When it comes to whiplash, the research, the most current research on whiplash is pretty clear on what we need to be doing, and the last thing we should be doing is not moving. So when you're in a whiplash, the first month after you have that whiplash the single biggest factor about whether or not somebody has chronic long-term debilitating issues from a whiplash is what they do in the first month after the accident. So waiting months or years to come in and see a chiropractor is not a good idea. The biggest thing that impacts patients when they've had a whiplash, is mobilizing the tissue that was injured, so if you had a whiplash in your neck, if it's not moving and stuck like that, that is gonna lead to what's called the fibrosis of repair, that is the creation of scar tissue, when scar tissue gets in there, that can become a long-term debilitating problem.
So what we recommend in our office, based on the most current peer-reviewed medical literature on this subject is to be doing chiropractic care massage therapy or manual therapy, myofascial work on the neck. And then we also encourage and teach our patients about stretching and home exercises when those become appropriate, the last thing we wanna do is let that injured area heal in that position and stay in that position and cause long-term chronic problems. So typically, when patients come to our office and they've had a whiplash injury, we'll start with a series of digital X-rays to better understand what's going on in their neck and how they were injured and the second thing we do is chiropractic examination and what's called palpation where we're using our hands to also feel the tissue, check on the muscles around the neck and see how was this injured? Do we have scar tissue forming already, and then we set a course of care with those patients.
Typically if we're being... Wanting to be smart and really get through this patient and get them the results that they need, we're typically gonna see them for six to eight weeks, pretty aggressively, to make sure that we're not allowing scar tissue to form, the research is very clear, like I said earlier, that the first, the best thing you can do, the number one thing to impact your long-term outcomes is what we do in that first month and the most important thing we could do, keep that tissue healthy, keep it moving, Do not let scar tissue to start forming in there, otherwise, we've got long-term problems. So hopefully, when you guys think of a whiplash injury or you see somebody who's had a whiplash injury, a lot of times people think, to do the exact opposite of what you should do, they think, Oh, put it in a brace, don't move it, or just stay still. Let it heal, don't do anything, and when the pain starts to feel better, that means I'm better.
Usually, if you go that route, it might start to get better, and then six to 12 months down the road, it starts to come back, because now you've had the time to develop these chronic problems, because we have scar tissue in there, we have a loss of motion, and then long-term that could lead to problems like disc degeneration, spinal arthritis, things that we don't want our patients to deal with when they've had whiplash injuries. So hopefully this video has answered some of those questions. Remember, key things to remember are most important thing is what you do in the first month after a whiplash injury, and what is the most important thing you could be doing, you have to keep the tissue mobile, otherwise you are way more likely to develop long-term problems. If you have any questions about Whiplash, or would like more information about it, give our office a call. I'm Dr. Aaron Seaton with The Chiropractic Place.