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  Pain Management Theraphy in UK

ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT OF WHIPLASH INJURY

BY DR. TUKMACHI CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF UK ACUPUNCTURE


The word “Whiplash” is a non-medial term and it was first used in 1953 in the description of a hyperextension injury to the neck caused by car accident. This type of injury is usually sustained by the driver or passengers of a stationary car that rammed from the rear by a fast moving car. Because the victims are completely relaxed and unaware of the collision, sudden acceleration due to impact throws the head backwards causing violent hyperextension of the neck.

What is the effect of HYPEREXTENSION? It is of two phases: the 1st phase is an immediate jamming of the posterior vertebrae, producing a pinching effect on nerves and blood vessels. The 2nd phase is the head thrown forward, the food pipe (oesophagus) may be closed, and the back of the neck muscles are stretched. The cervical facet joints are disturbed and delicate nerves and blood vessels tortuously distorted. Discs are forcefully compressed to the point that bone may be jammed into one bone on the anterior cervical spines.

The damage to the neck structure occurs during the period of marked hyperextension, when the backward course of the neck unobstructed (headrests may limit this effect). Immediately after a whiplash accident, when the victim is often unaware of injury, (there may be only slight discomfort and stiffness in the neck), significant soft tissues damage will have taken place. Usually 12 to 24 hours after the accident there is pain at the base of the neck which may increase in severity and be aggravated by neck movements which become increasingly restricted.

The neck muscles may be severely stretched and some of the fibres torn. The recoil flexion action of the neck is limited in instances where the chin makes contact with chest or steering wheel, thus flexion injuries to the cervical spines are a lesser consequence.

How acupuncture can help whiplash injury?


Although a whiplash injury usually causes damages only to the soft tissues of the neck, X-rays of the cervical spine should be taken for reference against the possibility of delayed symptoms. It has been known that soft tissues injury may benefit from Traditional Chinese Acupuncture such as the relief of muscular spasm (with localised pain and stiffness) which is always produced by severe strain or muscle tears. Obviously in the first 24-48 hours of the acute stage acupuncture is highly indicated at this stage. However, Acupuncture works in acute and chronic stage of whiplash injury by releasing the good feeling hormones, the Endorphins (the body natural morphine) for pain relief and cortisol (the natural body steroid) foe treatment of inflammation.

 


What is the outcome of whiplash injury after acupuncture treatment? Having discussed all possibilities of what should and should not be done, the most important procedure in acupuncture remains that of taking a history and making a physical examination. From this, one will always reach a correct diagnosis and ultimately give the right treatment. The cervical spine in particular should always be handled with great respect as motor and sensory transmission for the entire body passes through this structure.

Last but not least, in acute conditions it is not always possible to diagnose the condition until the acute stage has subsided. The patient is usually in far too much pain and discomfort, so that why acupuncture can be the right initial treatment for such condition.
If you suffer from Whiplash injury whether in acute or chronic, acupuncture may be what you’ve been looking for to ease your problems and to restore your health and vitality. Please call us today

 

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