whiplash car accident

by Matt

I was driving at 80 to 90 km a hour when a car pulled out in front of me I managed to hit the brakes with less the 30 feet closing I clipped the car in front of me, I continued to lose control and hit a embankment my car came to a dead stop.

My face hit the steering wheel, the first impact I braved myself, but the second I went completely limp not expecting it.

I have home through over a year of physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, accupuncture.. I was told that I needed to push myself instead of passive therapies, so I started light weights, aquatic therapy and exercise, I did that for 4 months and nothing progressed.

I am at a stand still. I haven't progressed very much in the last year, mostly have my range of motion back, but I am still experiencing severe pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, loss of memory, I can't sleep comfortably, or through the night.

I still have shooting pains through my shoulders, hands and fingers. Certain times or activities I feel slipping or possibly pinching feelings in my spine like if a disc is shifting.

My MD is certain it’s just a simple case of whiplash, and that I need to strengthen the muscles. I'm sorry I am lost, confused and frustrated I don't know what else to do.

Thank you

Hi there, Michelle here...

First, thanks for including so much information, its very helpful. Second, you do NOT have a simple case of whiplash.

This is often told to patients, when professionals don't know what to do next, it must be the patients fault! This leaves patients feeling like they should be doing better or that they are not trying hard enough to get well.

It is also a mis-categorization of your therapies to simply label them as “passive” and that somehow you are not doing enough. Again, this comes from the myth of “no pain, no gain” which is detrimental after an injury. You are not being too passive, that is not the issue.

Your injury was very serious. When you are traveling with a great amount of momentum, and you bring that momentum to a sudden stop, the force and energy must go somewhere. In your case, your body took most of it.

And your head and neck specifically --you did not simply “hit your face”, your face, head and neck stopped the forward momentum of a fast moving car as it came to a violent stop.

Your doctor is minimizing your injury, which leaves you feeling like you are not doing it right. I am going to help you with this.
So what I think is that your treatment is not finished.

If your treatment was finished you would feel better and have a feeling of being able to return back to normal. If you were seeing me as a client, I would immediately send you to a chiropractor who focused on the Atlas.

These chiropractors often advertise as Atlas/orthogonal chiropractors. They work specifically with the upper most bone of your neck.

The atlas adjustment can be profound. One of my husbands close friends brought his wife over for dinner, it was the first time I had met her.

About half way through dinner she stopped eating, and started becoming noticeably uncomfortable in her chair and grimacing. She was trying hard to be subtle, but finally I just asked her where her pain was.

She said she had pain every single day. That many years ago (I can’t remember but I think it was 3), she had been in 2 really serious accidents, and since then she had:

Headaches, searing pain down her arms, back pain, trouble sleeping, difficulty sitting still, pain daily.

I asked her what she had done for treatment, and her list was as long as yours. Everything.

But she had not seen an atlas-orthogonal chiropractor. So I sent her to one I respected and she had a lot of treatment for 3 weeks straight. As often as 3 times a week.

And her pain stopped. Her arms stopped having that burning sensation. She changed in every way.

It was remarkable. But being in the industry of car accidents, it was predictable for me, I knew what would happen. I knew with the right therapy she would get out of pain, because I have seen the change in literally hundreds of patients.

She still has pain now and again. But now and again is radically different than every single day, she sleeps all night. The change in who she is was profound.

So, don’t believe you have simple whiplash. Simple whiplash takes less than 3 months to get patients out of pain. You do not describe mild whiplash, you describe a very serious injury which has not been treated enough.

I personally would stop acupuncture,all physiotherapy, and only do massage as indicated by the chiropractor. Now, I think massage is one of the most important things you can do, along with the chiropractic care, but until your neck is stabilized, I think massage can wait.

The focus should be on getting your neck into a normal alignment.

The atlas-orthogonal chiropractor will take very specific x-rays and will be able to tell you exactly where the problems are coming from.

If the issue is not arising from your atlas, which you will know after the x-rays, then it would be time for an MRI of your neck to see if you have a disc issue. The atlas chiropractor will be able to evaluate your medical history, and advise you on next best steps.

Again, this is a specific type of chiropractic care, not just average chiropractic. I believe in chiropractic care wholeheartedly, but you have done traditional chiropractic and you are still in pain. So its time for more focused work on your neck.

You are not being too passive, your therapies are not too passive, you have a serious injury, you are not done being treated, and you will have a completely new outlook once treatment gets started that more directly addresses this issue.

I hope this helps, much luck going forward. M.

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