Whiplash In The Winter

Here in Northern California, we are transitioning into the winter season as we experience cooler temperatures and a lot of rain. With this transition of weather, comes an increase in the number of car accidents. Did you know that a staggering 40% of people who are in a car accident will struggle with chronic pain for the rest of their lives? Almost 3 million new cases of whiplash occur every year. Please let us tell you a story about one of our patients, Lauren.

One early morning in Citrus Heights, Lauren wakes up like she normally does at 7 AM to leave for her morning commute to Sacramento. We all know heading onto I-80, on to the split is no fun at 7 AM on a weekday morning. On top of the normal sluggish traffic, the roads were slick with heavy rainfall.

Lauren was safely driving in the right lane, slowing along with all her fellow commuters as she made her way onto the I-80 business split, right before another car slams into her rear. BAM!

They all pull over on the shoulder and exchange their insurance information. Lauren is in shock and shaken up but otherwise feeling okay. The other people involved told her to go to the hospital to at least get checked out but Lauren has disliked going to hospitals ever since she felt like the medical system failed her mother who was diagnosed with dementia. Besides, Lauren had no broken bones, no bleeding, so she must be okay, right?

It isn’t until 6 hours later she is sitting at her desk at work and Lauren begins to feel a lot of pain and tightening in her neck. She even begins to notice that when she goes to turn or bend her head, it is heavily restricted and very painful when she tries to move it.

This is known as whiplash.

As the pain worsens as the day progresses, Lauren can no longer focus at the task at hand at work and decides to go home early thinking she just needs a bit of time to recover. She wakes up the next morning and feels as if she was hit by a truck. She calls into work because she can barely move her neck, the pain bringing her near to tears. She realized she was very afraid to drive her car today and thought it would be best to stay home and rest.

Lauren never sought out any kind of rehabilitative or medical treatment following the accident, eventually, she got back to her morning routine and commute to work, but found that she could not move or bend without feeling the pain. She also found that she had difficulty with simple things such as remembering things such as her login information at her work computer. Her neck pain did get better, but it never fully went away and about six months later she started to get headaches after staring at her computer screen for hours at a time accompanied by brain fog and anxiety.

Six months after the onset of her headaches, brain fog, and anxiety, Lauren is no longer able to be productive at work and is forced to take a leave of absence until she gets better. She is frustrated and wondering why she is having all of these health problems, after all, she’s only 37 and leads a relatively active lifestyle, she eats the right things and generally has a positive outlook on life.

Knowing that she, and she alone, has the ability to change her health she does a little online research and finds a chiropractic office that specializes in the symptoms she is experiencing. In her mind she’s thinking that there is no way a chiropractor can help her with what she’s dealing with “don’t they just crack backs?” but the more she read the more she was intrigued by the care and decided to fill out the online form for a complimentary consultation. Lauren is so upset that these health issues are preventing her from working and she reached a point where the cost of not dealing with this problem now far outweighed the cost of doing nothing.

This is usually the point that most people find our office. The most susceptible area to damage in a whiplash injury is the upper cervical spine, the area we specialize in. When Lauren did not get checked after her car accident she never knew the extent of the damage to the soft tissue in her neck and even though she started to slightly feel better, the root cause of her issue was never addressed. This is why she continued to experience other new health issues. Research has found that it can take months or even years after a car accident for chronic health problems to start showing up.

When Lauren came into our office for a consultation and exam, we found that was there a dysfunction in her nervous system (system in the body that controls all organs and functions in the body) and a lack of motion in her upper neck vertebrae, that was the root cause of her heachaches, brain fog, and anxiety. When we give specific adjustments at the right time her body is able to begin to heal. Donna returned to work a week later and never looked back.

Although Lauren’s story is a common one we hope that none of you are stuck dealing a chronic health condition following a whiplash injury. Often times people do not know where to turn when they are struggling with their health but we are here to tell you that there is hope and options for you. If you, or anyone you know, are relating to Lauren’s story then please fill out a request for a consultation at our office HERE.