It is unfortunate that during long vacation weekends so many auto accidents occur; but it is a reality and we have to face it openly. Usually associated with car crashes is a trauma called “whiplash.”
Whiplash is the name given to an injury in which there is a hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck. As a result of this forceful bending of the cervical spine backward and forward, changes in the structural alignment occur. Many injuries of this nature are not felt immediately by the person involved; it may take many hours, months or even years before pathological symptoms appear. Usually the first “healing” symptoms are stiffness, tenderness, pain or soreness of the neck muscles along with edema or swelling and inflammation. This is a perfectly normal reaction to such physical trauma: the stiff muscles provide a “physiological cast” that locks the neck in position. This prevents further damage, and allows healing to take place.
The edema is caused by interstitial fluids and lymphatic fluids that have rushed to the damaged area to provide protection with immune cells. The swelling dilutes the toxicity of the chemicals released by the torn tissues. Any attempt to reduce swelling with ice will actually work against the body and leads to long range joint problem. The inflammation creates heat, which is necessary to speed up chemical reactions, and renders the pharmacopeias of the body more effective. The heat created, sometimes accompanied by fever, inhibit the reproduction of bateria that have flocked to munch on the damage tissues, thus keeping their population under control.
It is unfortunate that people are being prescribed muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory and pain killer which allows them to move their neck around painlessly, leading them to work against their own body’s healing process. Immobility being a necessity for the repair of torn tissues in the early part of the healing process.
The irony is that after being prescribed those drugs, they also are being given a neck brace. The body had provided them with a natural one from the inside out free of charge! The lack of understanding and knowledge that most people have about whiplash leads to dire effects. People ignore the fact that undetected damage to the nerve system, called subluxation, due to displaced vertebrae, is usually associated with such trauma. Unless corrected, this leads months or years later to many disorders. Ranging from migraine headaches, visual disturbances, restricted movement, hearing loss, dizziness, neuralgia, and pain in the arm and shoulder, to asthma and respiratory problems. Prompt attention to this type of trauma can help avoid many symptoms, which often develop at a later date.
Chiropractic is particularly concerned with the structural and functional balance of the spine and the integrity of the nerve system. Should you become involved in an accident or fall in which you suspect that your spine has received traumatic forces, seek to get checked and adjusted.
Through “reading”, feeling and honoring your body responses Chiropractic will clear the subluxations caused by such trauma at the appropriate time.
Areas that are not yet ready or available for an adjustment will be left alone, while others will be addressed. Over time the impact of the trauma can be fully released preventing harmful effects.
There is always more than meet the eyes in a whiplash or fall. Such structural trauma to the neuro-spinal system is frequently the cause of pathologies latter on in life. Think of it in those terms; when was the last time you “banged” your stomach, pancreas, kidneys or liver verse the last time you “banged” your skeletal frame? The frame protects the nerve system and internal organs. In health and in sickness it is the first thing that needs to be addressed. Hippocrates the father of Medicine stated thousands of years ago: “In the care of human health, first look to the spine.” The neuro-spinal system is the “health keyboard” of the human body. A well functioning, supple, flexible spine free of blockages called subluxations insures the potential for a healthy life.
Healthy does not necessarily equate to being free of symptoms, as many symptoms are actually healing symptoms, adaptive symptoms to changes in the internal or external environment, messages to make changes in our lifestyle, or cleansing symptoms. Healthy means having the best capacity to adapt and function properly.
Healthy means being perceptive and aware of the inner messages given to us by our body and responding to them by honoring ourselves. The human spine being “married” to the brain stem, spinal cord and spinal nerves is the most essential system of the body. Proper alignment and function of the spine is paramount to one’s health and well being.