Chiropractic After an Auto Accident

Jess Caruso was about to start her senior year as a psychology major when a drunk driver hit her head-on.

Patient reviewing xrays

Severe headaches plagued her for the next several years. Physical therapy made little difference in the pain that was ruining her life. Prescription painkillers and muscle relaxers left her addicted and sick. 

Then one day she went to the gym, where a chiropractor was performing spinal screenings.

“She absolutely blew my mind,” Caruso says. “She was able to determine all the areas that bothered me most by simply laying her hands on me.”

After a short period of chiropractic care, the pain started to abate and her health started to improve. She later decided to become a chiropractor to help others recover from similar trauma.

“I don’t even want to imagine what my life would be like today if I had continued on the path of endless prescription drugs,” she said.

For car accident victims, who are often left in debilitating pain, a doctor of chiropractic can be a beacon of hope. While many doctors prescribe painkillers as a first line of treatment, chiropractors can help heal even severe motor vehicle injuries without the use of drugs.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained during car accidents—and often one of the hardest to treat. Nearly 300,000 whiplash injuries occur each year, many at low speeds. It takes only a 2.5 mile-per-hour change in speed to injure the neck.

Although half of all whiplash injuries are the result of rear collisions, they can occur from an impact in any direction. Frontal crashes account for 30 percent of motor vehicle neck injuries.

When a part of the body is whipped back and then forward beyond its normal limits, micro-tears can develop in the surrounding ligaments. Yet many accident victims don’t notice any pain at first. It’s not until the micro-tears start to swell that the symptoms set in, including:

  • Blurred vision
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Arm pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Low back pain

Soft-tissue injuries like whiplash can take a long time to heal. One study found that more than 70 percent of people who visited the emergency room after a car accident were still in pain six weeks later. Other researchers have noted that nearly half of whiplash sufferers continue to experience symptoms three months later, while 25 percent remain symptomatic for six months.

Without proper treatment, some injuries can continue to cause pain for years. As soft tissue injuries heal, they develop scar tissue. If the spine is not aligned and full range of motion isn’t recovered before scarring sets in, it can ultimately inhibit normal functioning and even lead to spinal degeneration.

How Chiropractic Care Helps

Because a chiropractic school curriculum teaches students how to treat back and neck pain without pharmaceutical help, a doctor of chiropractic is uniquely positioned to help car accident victims avoid the prescription drug cycle.

Using a variety of drug-free techniques, from spinal adjustments to electric muscle stimulation to rehabilitative exercises, chiropractors can:

Relieve pain. Soft-tissue injuries may take months to fully heal, but a chiropractor can often provide pain relief much quicker than that. Some car accident victims report up to an 80 percent reduction in discomfort after just a few weeks of chiropractic care.

Restore mobility. The soreness and stiffness from a motor vehicle injury can inhibit movement. Chiropractors work with patients to help get them moving again as quickly as possible so they can regain full range of motion before scar tissue develops.

Support long-term healing. The muscle weakness resulting from a car accident can leave patients vulnerable to re-injury. Chiropractic care often involves rehabilitative exercises that improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine.

Visiting a doctor of chiropractic as soon as possible after an auto accident can boost a patient’s chances of making a fully recovery—without resorting to prescription drugs.

What You Need to Know About Whiplash

Most people have heard the term whiplash, but many overuse the term or misuse it fully. It can be scary when you’re told you have it and you’re unsure about what it is or what to do about it.

This article is a look into what whiplash actually is and conservative ways of caring for it so the result provides the most expeditious and optimal recovery.

What Is It and What Does It Do?

Plain and simple, whiplash is a neck injury (cervical spine). It occurs from rapid, forceful back and forth movement of the neck. Think of the motion of a cracking whip and that will give you the visual of the motion that occurs that causes the injury.

Some structural injuries that can occur are overstretching of ligaments and tendons, restricted or increased range of motion, splinting of muscles, and damage to proprioceptors (receptors that tell your body where it is in space). If severe enough, damage to the discs and nerves can occur as well.

These structural stresses can cause a myriad of symptoms including, but not limited to, neck pain, headaches, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, sleep disturbances, memory and concentration problems, and in severe cases, depression. The person suffering from whiplash can feel as if they are in a fog. The more severe the injury, generally the more severe the symptoms.

How It Occurs

Whiplash is most commonly thought of as an injury related to auto accidents, particularly rear-end accidents, but whiplash is not solely caused on roadways. Remember, it is the motion that causes the injury, meaning any incident in which the rapid, forceful back and forth movement is present can cause whiplash. So anything jarring can cause whiplash: car accidents, physical abuse or fighting, trips and falls (including those from heights), sports ranging from football to skiing to horseback riding to ice skating. Whiplash can come from practically anywhere in a given circumstance.

Conservative Care

Conservative care is often a helpful option for optimal healing results. Care for every injury is unique to the person and the circumstances of the incident. Chiropractic care is one of the most conservative and natural approaches to health care and injury treatment. The chiropractic adjustment helps restore joint range of motion, which is very often compromised in whiplash.

Through restoration of joint motion, the chiropractic adjustment also promotes proper nervous system function, which increases communication within the body. Optimal communication is required for the best possible healing scenario for your neck.

When joint motion is restored, stress and tension is alleviated from muscles, tendons and ligaments that may have been injured in the incident. The adjustment stimulates and resets the proprioceptors found in the joint, thereby allowing the body to reacclimate, position itself, and read external information properly.

The chiropractic adjustment also promotes proper lymphatic flow, which is the transportation of waste through the system in order to clean out the body. Proper lymph flow is required for removing damaged cells and assisting in the healing process. The chiropractor can also recommend additional appropriate measures and modalities such as activity modification, ice, stretching or movement exercises.

Whiplash can be scary and certainly a pain in the neck. However, it does not need to be debilitating. You can heal and you can do so with minimal intervention. The body, when given the proper environment, knows what to do to heal itself. Sometimes it needs a bit of help on the journey. Should you find yourself experiencing whiplash, find your way into Dominguez Injury Centers and let the doctors help your body heal itself.

4 Easy Ways to Fight Coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been dominating news headlines as of late. Canned goods and hand sanitizer may be flying off the shelves faster than you can say zombie apocalypse, but the truth of the matter is that some of the best things you can do to avoid getting sick from Coronavirus are some of the same things recommended by the chiropractors at Dominguez Injury Centers to help you stay healthy when faced with a variety of illnesses, including the common cold and flu.

Yes, Coronavirus is concerning and more than a little scary. You may not even know where to begin to keep you and your family healthy, but focusing on the basics is a good place to start.

Wash Your Hands

You’ve likely heard this a million times but get ready to make it 1,000,001 — you must wash your hands frequently. Simple handwashing with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds is your first line of defense from germs and is key to protecting yourself.

You should wash your hands before meals, after using the restroom, and after you’ve been in public where people are actively spreading germs, such as handling doorknobs and public touch screens. Also make sure not to touch your face when you’re out and about because touching a germy object, such as a door handle, then touching your face is a great way to expose yourself to germs.

Eat Right

A healthy immune system starts in your gut. A balanced diet full of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats will keep the good bacteria in your gut happy. This microbiome is one of your body’s first lines of defense when it’s exposed to germs, so keep them healthy and you will keep yourself healthy too.

It’s a good idea to cut down on added sugars because they can throw off the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Make sure you stay well hydrated, too.

It certainly doesn’t hurt to increase your intake of Vitamin C, either as a food source or supplement, or Vitamin D, which you can get from a few minutes in the sun, fortified foods, or as a supplement.

Sleep Well

It may be difficult to get a good night’s rest when you’re worried about pandemics, but if you’re not getting a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep each night, then you’re doing your body (and immune system) a serious disservice. When you sleep, your body uses the time to rest and rejuvenate. Sleep is integral to your overall health and wellness, so make sure you’re getting enough of it.

If you find that you have trouble sleeping, then check your sleep environment. The room should be cool, dark, and quiet. Also take a look at your nighttime routine, making sure that all electronics are turned off at least one hour before bed and you’re doing what you can to relax in that time to prepare your body for sleep. Scrolling through social media and reading about recent outbreaks probably isn’t going to help you get the sleep you need, so turn it off and tune it out.

See the Chiropractor

Chiropractic care focuses on the function of the central nervous system, which just so happens to regulate every single function in your body — including your immune system. Regular chiropractic adjustments focus on the removal of spinal joint dysfunctions that can impact how your central nervous system communicates with the rest of your body. When your body is able to communicate freely and efficiently, then every system can work optimally to help you stay healthy.

You cannot control the Coronavirus (or the flu or common cold either!) but what you can control are the things you do to support your own health. There’s no new way to outsmart a virus, all you can do is go back to the basics to help you stay healthy.

For updates regarding the latest developments with the Coronovirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

Chiropractic Tips for Car Rides

On average, Americans spend about 30 minutes commuting back and forth to work each day. That may not seem as if it’s a lot of time in the car, but when you add up an hour per day, five days per week, 12 months per year, it’s a lot! The chiropractors at Dominguez Injury Centers often see patients with physical complaints ranging from small aches and pains to muscle fatigue and lower back pain as a result of all that sitting in the car. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, then there are a few small adjustments you can make to make your commute a little easier on your body.

Start at the Top and Work Your Way Down

First things first — your head. Namely, the position of your headrest. It should be right behind your noggin and allow you to sit comfortably with your chin slightly tucked as if you’re holding a tennis ball under it.

Next, think about your arms. Your shoulders should be back against the seat with your arms at about a 120-degree angle with your elbows slightly bent. Your wrists should be over the steering wheel as you hold it at the 4 and 7 o’clock positions. This helps to give your neck muscles a break as you grip the wheel.

Your ribs are another area that could use some attention because let’s face it, people don’t think about their ribs enough! When you sit in your car seat, make sure that your seat is at least the same height as your shoulders. If it’s not, then it won’t support your ribs appropriately and may be too small of a car for you.

As for your lower back, it should be supported by the seat at about a 110-degree angle. This angle is important because it helps to avoid compressing the discs in your lower back. If the seat has lumbar support, adjust it so that the arch of your lower back is supported. If it’s not, then roll up a T-shirt or towel to fit into the space between your back and the seat.

Finally, your knees and feet. For your knees, they should be at about a 30-degree bend to help improve your blood flow. There should also be a gap in the seat about as wide as two fingers between the back of your knees and the seat. As for your feet, your left foot should be on the built-in footrest in order to better support your back and hips.

If you need help with proper posture during your commute, then talk to the chiropractors at Dominguez Injury Centers.

Chiropractic Care for Workplace Injury

What you do for a living can have a big impact on your body – and your job doesn’t have to be physical in order for that to be true. There are many different kinds of injuries that can be sustained in the workplace. Here are some of the injuries you can face at work, and how your chiropractor might be able to help you avoid or treat them!

The Most Common Injuries in the Workplace

If you suffer from an injury at work that keeps you from getting the job done, it can be frustrating as well as painful. It can also put your job in jeopardy. Some injuries are from accidents, while others are from completing the same tasks over and over again on a daily basis. Many workplace injuries can be treated or avoided with the help of chiropractic care, including:

  • Back pain
  • Sprains
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Nerve damage
  • Tendonitis

How Workplace Injuries are Diagnosed

If you see your chiropractor with a specific complaint, such as back pain, then they will work with you to uncover the root cause of the pain you are experiencing. Often this is done through asking questions about your lifestyle, your job, and any other contributing factors. They also may do a family and personal medical history. At Dominguez Injury Centers we offer X-Ray services. If our chiropractor feels you need an MRI we will refer you to a facility where they can perform one. Once all the information is gathered, your chiropractor can then use his experience and education to determine your problem and create a treatment plan to help rectify your issues.

How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help

Once your injury has been diagnosed, then the treatment plan will utilize the drug-free and natural methods to address the injury. Chiropractors are famous for their spinal manipulations, but they are also experts in body mechanics, so they can also utilize exercise therapy, nutrition counseling, and heat/ice therapy to help you move past your injury and recover completely. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment options for you. Rest assured, every treatment offered has one goal: To restore full function to your body.

If you feel that you may have hurt yourself in the workplace, come into Dominguez Injury Centers for a consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic Care

Perhaps you are new to the idea of chiropractic care to treat your condition. You are not alone as many people find themselves with questions when entering into a different health and wellness treatment. Chiropractic is one of those issues that many have an opinion on, even when they don’t really know the facts.
Let’s review some information that can help you to better understand how chiropractic may potentially boost your overall health, both in the short and long term.

7 Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic Care

  1. What Is Chiropractic Care? A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is a highly trained medical doctor who has completed specialized training, completing that training with a series of four board examinations and the completion of state requirements. A chiropractor is a primary care doctor that has a focus on spinal health and well-being. They concentrate on the prevention, diagnosis and conservative care of spine-related disorders with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine. Chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgical procedures, they do, however, refer patients for these services if they are medically indicated.
  2. Is Chiropractic Safe? Chiropractic care is not only safe but also effective, and generally free of side effects. In fact, research has shown that patients with back pain have a higher chance of more serious side effects when taking over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.
  3. What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment? A chiropractic adjustment is a specific, controlled and safe pressure applied to your spine to restore the normal motion and position of your vertebrae. It is a precise procedure that your highly trained and skilled chiropractor has learned and perfected over years of training at a Chiropractic College as well as in clinical practice.
  4. Do Chiropractic Adjustments Hurt? Typically, chiropractic adjustments usually are not painful. Adjustments to specific joints in the spine or extremities may feel like pressure or slightly awkward, but once the adjustment is made you should not feel pain. Generally, patients enjoy being adjusted as well as the way that the adjustment feels.
  5. How Many Chiropractic Visits Will You Need? The answer to this question varies from patient to patient and depends on the issue that is bringing you to them. During your first consultation, you will review the treatment plan as well as ask additional questions regarding your care and the costs involved. The goal is to feel better as soon as possible as well as to maintain that level of wellness.
  6. Can I See A Chiropractor If Pregnant? Seeking chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe and even beneficial. It can help the mother with proper spinal alignment and posture as they go through pregnancy, help prepare the body for delivery and reduce pain during and after pregnancy.
  7. Can Babies And Children Receive Chiropractic Care? While many parents worry about allowing chiropractic care for their small children, it is very gentle and safe and often goes unnoticed by babies and children. Chiropractic has the potential to aid in better sleep, provide immune and nervous system support and alleviate digestive issues in children.

The Takeaway

Are you interested in how to improve your overall health and wellness? Chiropractic specializes in disorders of the body’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and how the two can impact each other and your overall health. Chiropractors use adjustments and spinal manipulations to restore, improve and maintain the normal functioning of the body. The frequently asked questions above will provide you with valuable information about chiropractic.
Contact us today! Dominguez Injury Centers is dedicated to your overall health and well-being. Which is why we offer regular chiropractic adjustments in order to restore your body’s natural state of optimal health, while also providing it with the support it needs to heal from any injury, big or small. 

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