Acupuncture For Whiplash And Concussion
Car accidents can cause tremendous trauma to your body, and sometimes these injuries can be hidden until days or even weeks after the accident occurs. Two of the most common injuries—whiplash and concussion—can have serious effects that last well past your accident. Acupuncture for whiplash and concussion is an effective, non-invasive, integrative way to heal trauma to your body. Here’s how we can help at The WellBridge Clinic.
What happens during a car accident?
In a car accident, the body is traveling in one direction when the car stops short. When properly restrained, the body continues to travel in the direction it was going until the seatbelt stops it.
This sudden stop places a huge amount of stress on the body. Imagine a whip cracking. The length of the whip scrolls out from the handle and then snaps at the end. Now picture your spine as that whip, with the tailbone the handle and your skull as the tip of the whip. The motion of a car accident is the same, with the impact landing in the delicate muscles, tendons, and ligaments of your neck.
This motion causes soft tissue injuries in the body, including whiplash and concussion. The adrenaline after the car accident itself can mask these injuries for a period of time, but the body will catch up.
Whiplash symptoms include:
- Pain when moving the head
- Stiffness and limited range of motion
- Headache at the base of the skull
- Tenderness in the head
- Dizziness or vertigo
Long-term symptoms of whiplash and whiplash associated disorder (WAD) include depression, anxiety, and difficulty with memory.
Concussion occurs when the brain hits the inside of the skull with such force that it sustains trauma. Symptoms of concussion can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but can include:
- Confusion or “brain fog”
- Sleepiness or a groggy feeling
- Mood changes
- Inability to answer simple questions and other cognitive changes
Only a few years ago, a doctor’s advice for a concussion was to “walk it off.” We now know that even a mild concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury and requires treatment and monitoring.
Acupuncture for car accident injuries can help your body recover and reduce your chances of developing a chronic pain condition after a car accident.
How can acupuncture for whiplash help?
When it comes to the trauma of the car accident itself, acupuncture for whiplash can help relieve chronic pain and improve range of motion in your neck. It works by reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow to the area and improves circulation, and reducing scarring by increasing and organizing the tissues that are healing.
We also include nutritional supplements that increase cellular function in order to improve all potential outcomes. These may include:
This comprehensive approach is crucial to healing. In a review of studies, researchers found that acupuncture for whiplash was as good as or better at relieving pain and increasing mobility than medications (and without harmful side effects). Acupuncture also helped with the psychological effects of whiplash by stimulating production of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine in the brain. In this way, it can help relieve anxiety and depression in the days and weeks following an accident.
Together with other complementary therapies, acupuncture for whiplash can restore the health and function of your neck without the side effects of medications or more invasive surgery.
How can acupuncture for concussion help?
If you are looking for evidence that acupuncture for concussion works, the best place to start might be where concussion is an unfortunate frequent occurrence: combat zones.
The U.S. military pioneered the use of acupuncture in the field to address issues of concussive trauma due to explosive devices. Back at home, military doctors continue to use acupuncture for concussion to reduce or eliminate the use of prescription medications.
Our approach to acupuncture for car accident injuries
Whether your whiplash results from a car accident or you suffer from a concussion while playing sports (the most common cause of concussion) The WellBridge Clinic, will rule out if the nature of your injury constitutes an emergency room visit. From there we begin by getting you relief. Most of our patients report experiencing relief before the treatments are over. We expect you to get up (leave, experience?) with less pain and muscles spasms, and have increased range of motion.
Some things we don’t do during your visit:
- We do NOT twist your injured neck and back. Those muscles and tendons are damaged, inflamed, and in spasm. There is a time and a place for twisting, but not until three to six weeks after a car accident.
- We do NOT squeeze and press on the injured neck and back. Again, these damaged tissues need to be treated gently. There is a time and a place, but we wait before pressing, squeezing, and stretching torn ligaments and muscles.
- We do NOT use acupuncture needles directly in the injured muscles. You will experience several stages of acupuncture treatments at The WellBridge Clinic. Every stage will be gentle and relaxing. Our patients report that they immediately feel less pain and can move their neck better during and after acupuncture treatments for car accident injuries.
Once your emergency symptoms are cleared, we focus on bringing your body back into balance. You may have fewer treatments with different goals at this time before transitioning to “maintenance mode” to maintain optimum wellness in your neck, head, and upper back.
Acupuncture for whiplash and concussion is an integral part of your treatment plan after a car accident.