The more you understand your body and how it functions, the better equipped you'll be at taking care of yourself to achieve optimal health. Our team of chiropractic professionals empower patients to take charge of your own health and future, educating you about your condition to decrease your need for future care. We've included the Patient Education section on our website to provide you with valuable, practical wellness information which you can incorporate into your lifestyle to improve the quality of your life. We hope you will turn to these pages whenever you have a question about health related issues and urge you to contact our practice at any time to make an appointment with one of our chiropractors.
Providing the best, most comprehensive treatment, evaluation of neck, back and musculoskeletal injuries, www.chulavistachiro.com, serving San Diego, South County & North County, www.chulavistachiro.com, feel free to visit our website at www.chulavistachiro.com, and please visit our Blog, www.DrStevenWachsBlog.com, updated monthly we feature condition specific articles on our, www.DrStevenWachsBlog.com.
Whiplash, or more properly stated, Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD), is usually associated with car accidents, slip and falls and sports injuries. It is a very common injury affecting millions of people around the world, and costing health care systems billions of dollars. The question of the month is, what can we do to AVOID or prevent whiplash?
STEP 1. SHOP FOR A SAFER CAR.
There are many resources that you can review such as the “Insurance Institute for Highway Safety” that have published ratings for the safest seats, head restraints, and include many makes and models of cars, SUV’s and trucks. For example, Volvo and Saab have recently designed car seats where the seat back collapses backwards upon impact so as to minimize the rebound response in a rear-end collision, thus minimizing the head and neck from whipping back and forth. Therefore, before YOU purchase your next car, compare the vehicle’s structural design, its size and weight, the restraint systems, the airbags, the head rests, as well as crash avoidance features. Remember, in general, small cars put you at greater risk simply due to the small mass equaling less protection.
STEP 2. POSITION THE HEAD RESTRAINTS PROPERLY.
This means put them in their “up” position. The most common problem with head restraints is that they are placed too low and offer little to no protection if and when you are struck from behind. In fact, 80% of cars have the head restraint in the low or “down” position, which (surprisingly) is WORSE than having no head restraint at all! This is because when the head restraint is too low, it acts like a fulcrum, hitting the middle of the neck promoting MORE hyperextension when compared to having no head restraint whatsoever. Remember, head restraints are designed to fit an “average man,” making it challenging for a tall or short person to obtain a good “fit.” A good position for a head restraint is within 1 inch of the back of the head and 1-2 inches above the mid-portion of the head as “ramping” often occurs especially if the seat back is reclined backwards, and the whole body slides up and over the head restraint.
STEP 3. PREPARE FOR THE CRASH.
This actually may NOT be possible since the “whipping” action happens within 500 milliseconds and voluntary muscle contraction is about twice as slow, not to mention that the crash can occur at lightning fast speeds leaving you with little time to prepare. However, if you do have time to prepare, do the following: 1. Put your head and neck all the way back into the seat back and a properly adjusted head restraint so that there is firm contact. 2. Extend the elbows and straighten the arms gripping firmly onto the steering wheel in preparation to brace yourself. 3. Place your foot on the brake as firmly as possible (assuming that you are stopped in traffic). 4. Look straight ahead avoiding neck or head rotation. 5. Tilt your head back slightly so that your eyes are pointed toward the top of the windshield. 6. Prior to impact, shrug your shoulders upwards toward the ears and brace yourself firmly.
STEP 4. SEEK IMMEDIATE TREATMENT.
It is critical to obtain treatment as quickly as possible as there is a tremendous advantage to start treatment especially with the first 2 weeks post-collision to avoid the likelihood of a chronic potentially disabling condition.
We realize you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for whiplash, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.
Providing the best, most comprehensive treatment and evaluation of neck, back and musculoskeletal injuries, we are the office of choice for Personal Injury Attorneys in San Diego; a member of Pacific Coast Injury Group, a select group of chiropractic specialists who evaluate and treat Whiplash Injuries, Motor Vehicle Injuries, Auto Accident Pain, and who work with specialists in all fields to provide diagnostics, x-rays, orthopaedic and neurological consultations, and pain managment as needed; www.chulavistachiro.com, www.drwachs.com, serving San Diego, South County & North County, www.chulavistachiro.com, www.drwachs.com, feel free to visit our website at www.chulavistachiro.com, www.drwachs.com and please visit our Blog, www.DrStevenWachsBlog.com, updated monthly we feature condition specific articles on our, www.DrStevenWachsBlog.com.
Be ready to provide your medical history, which will be essential for preparing a course of treatment for you. Medical records, such as diagnostic test results, or imaging results, such as X-rays and MRIs, also will provide important information about your condition.
Certain things in your health history are particularly vital to a chiropractor. This information could provide important clues that will allow your chiropractor to properly diagnose your problem. Such clues include whether you have or have had:
- Bone disorders, such as osteoporosis
- Circulatory problems (poor circulation could be a sign that you have a subluxation, for example)
- Dizziness or blurred vision
- Heart conditions such as hypertension or high blood pressure
- Infections, especially those affecting your spine
- Injuries, such as bone fractures, muscle sprains, or disc injuries
- Joint disorders such as arthritis
- Sleep apnea
Be prepared to answer such questions as:
- Did the onset of your pain immediately follow an injury?
- Is there anything you do that improves or worsens the pain?
- When and how did your pain start?
- Where is the pain centered?
The physical exam
Here's what to expect:
The first order of business is checking your vital signs, reflexes, and blood pressure.
Sometimes measurements will be taken to determine arm and leg length. Next, you will be asked to do a series of simple and easy activities or exercises. These exercises will provide information about your motor skills, balance, and gait, among others. These tests also help determine your range of motion, muscle tone and strength, and integrity of your nervous system. Any abnormalities could provide clues about a condition. You may be asked to:
- Bend forward, sideways, or backwards â€“ Misaligned spinal vertebrae can sometimes be detected during this exercise.
- Flex and extend your leg â€“ This is a test for signs of sprain and helps determine the integrity of your joints (also called the "Yeoman's Test").
- Grip something such as a rubber ball â€“ Your grip strength is vital for showing signs of muscular or nerve damage.
- Lie down and raise one leg â€“ This is often referred to as the "Thomas Test," in which the chiropractor gently pushes on your raised leg to check for hip joint mobility.
- Stand and raise one leg â€“ This test can sometimes show whether you have sciatica, a nerve disorder in your lower back. Another test may involve pushing on your raised leg to determine whether you have pain, inflammation, or imbalance in the joints between your spinal vertebrae. (This is also called the "Psoas Muscle Test.")
- Stand or sit â€“ Posture can sometimes show whether you have misalignments in your spine.
- Walk a straight line â€“ This test measures your gait, and helps to determine if you have a normal walking pattern.
- Walk in Place â€“ Abnormalities in the way your pelvis and spine coordinate can be seen during this test.
Next, a short physical exam by the chiropractor will involve palpation, or use of the hands, to explore the alignment of your spine and other structures, as well as provide information on any stimuli that may cause pain. Depending on your condition, a series of diagnostic tests may follow. These tests may include MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, blood work, and other laboratory tests.
The chiropractor may also consult with you about making important lifestyle changes, such as exercise, nutrition, and smoking cessation to improve your chances of healing faster or preventing further injury.