Category: Featured Articles


3 Shocking Mistakes People Make When They Have Whiplash

Being in an automobile accident can be a very traumatic experience. While the advanced safety features in today’s cars do a great deal to prevent fatalities, you can still sustain injuries. Whiplash is very common and is caused when the head and neck are forcefully propelled forwards, backwards or sideways. When this sudden force is applied to the neck and back, it generates microscopic tears within the fibers of muscles and ligaments. Inflammation gathers in the soft tissue, stimulating pain fibers, causing that sore feeling.

It’s easy to come out of an accident intact and think that whiplash will not be a problem for you. While it may be the case, as you are monitoring your condition immediately following your accident, here are three major mistakes you’ll want to avoid.


Mistake #1: Believing You Will Have No Pain

You may start out after an accident feeling stiff and sore, wondering whether you will ever fully recover and be able to return to your normal activities. For some, though, the adrenaline released by the body just after the accident blocks all or some of the pain. It also takes a while for the inflammation to build up in the tissue. In so many cases, people don’t believe they have any pain – until hours or even days after their accident, when they start feeling it. Monitor your body very carefully in the hours after an accident – and get treatment as soon as pain symptoms crop up so you can be on the path to recovery faster.


Mistake #2: Ignoring the Symptoms

You may think that your pain is minor and doesn’t warrant seeing a medical professional. But ignoring the symptoms of whiplash (neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, headaches, and tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back and arms) or just covering up the pain with medication without any type of therapy can oftentimes lead to greater issues down the road, such as:

  • Migraines or tension headaches
  • Decreased mobility
  • Chronic pain
  • Degenerative changes in the spine

This is why it is important to get checked by a chiropractor after an accident – to fully heal and avoid any residual effects of the whiplash.


[Related: Why You Should Care About Neck Posture]


Mistake #3: Undertreating Your Condition

Finally, you may acknowledge your pain and do something about it…but it is not enough to give you true healing. For a typical accident, we find three types of therapy are needed:

  1. Chiropractic care to properly align the spine to reduce irritation within the nervous system
  2. Ultrasound and electric stimulation on the injured soft tissue to push out inflammation and reduce muscle spasm
  3. Gentle therapeutic exercise to strengthen and stretch injured postural muscles

Some of our patients also choose to add massage therapy to their treatment plan. This is only when recommended by the doctor and after it no longer hurts to be touched, though. Typical recovery time for most accident-related musculoskeletal injuries can be anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks.


Word of Caution: You May Have Issues Beyond a Sprain or Strain

While most people only experience a mild to severe sprain or strain, some patients suffer from more complicated issues, such as concussion, torn ligaments or herniated discs. At Life Care Chiropractic and Wellness, we are prepared to examine, diagnose and treat all of these types of problems.

We hate that any of you go through the experience of a car accident, or any other cause of whiplash: rough roller coasters/amusement park rides, bumper cars, hits/collisions in sports, kids rough-housing and pushing from behind, pillow fights, turbulence on a plane, etc. And, above all, we want you to avoid the mistakes many people make when they have a case of whiplash. Know that we are here to help with everything from understanding how to set up a claim with your insurance company to treating your whiplash with a thorough medical approach.

We strive to make your entire experience as stress-free as possible. We understan that the accident itself has already been a traumatic episode. As always, give us a call if you have any questions – we are happy to help.

new chiropractic patient

Every New Chiropractic Patient Needs to Know This

One thing I have noticed from years of being a chiropractor is that it is nearly impossible to cover everything that I think a new patient should know about chiropractic in just one visit. The initial visit typically focuses on the patient’s medical history, main areas of pain or concern, exam and/or imaging results, prognosis, a treatment plan, insurance coverage, etc. We cover a lot in the time we have on day one, but it never seems to be long enough. So, I thought I would dedicate this month’s blog to tell you the important things I think a new chiropractic patient should know.

#1: Be Patient as a Patient

To manage the expectations of new patients, it is very rare that a single session is enough to reduce or eliminate pain. Patients do often begin to see some relief in the first few visits, but one or two sessions is not enough to create lasting change. The body needs time to start to create a new pattern within the underlying structural issues or faulty biomechanics that are contributing to the overall problem. Typically, it takes about 12 visits for a significant change to take effect. During the treatment period, I’m helping your body to heal and to work more efficiently. This is a process that takes time. I like to do a re-exam around the 12th visit to see how far you have come and make any changes to your treatment plan at this point. It’s at this time when I often tell a patient that they can come less often, require fewer types of therapies or can start returning to certain activities that previously were challenging.

#2: This Might Hurt a Little

Some patients get a little sore after their first visit, as if they worked out at the gym. This is normal and should not be outside of new patient expectations. In a way, what I’m helping your body with is very much like starting a new exercise regimen. You end up with some “awareness” of your muscles after a session as I help your body to function better. Any discomfort or soreness typically subsides after the first few visits as your body gets used to the changes we are making. To help, I recommend patients take a supplement called Zymain that helps reduce inflammation. Also, using ice for 15 minutes on and off will help with any soreness or pain. By the end of the treatment, you will find that you feel and move better!

#3: It’s a Two-Way Conversation

In our sessions, I ask a lot of questions and do a lot of explaining. Our conversations, though, are two-way streets. Feel free to be open and honest! If the recommended treatment plan is not possible for you, let’s talk about it and come up with an alternative. Maybe you cannot afford your copay twice a week? Or, maybe the three therapies I recommend cause your appointment time to be too long and you have to be available to pick up your kids? It’s okay. We just need to be able to discuss the issues. My foremost priority is to get you well in a way that you feel great about.

#4: Beyond Chiropractic, We Can Help Your Well-being

Many people don’t realize that we offer many other services in addition to chiropractic and physical therapy. Yes, most patient engagements involve these two services, but at Life Care, we’re interested in your overall well-being. This means we really care about you reducing your physical, chemical and mental stress. With that in mind, we offer complementing services such as massage therapy, body purification programs, vitamin therapies and nervous system and brain health testing to help with the inner workings of your systems. And, we have products available – supportive pillows, back supports and custom made foot orthotics – to help with your day-to-day physical comfort.

[Related: 5 Reasons Custom Orthotics Will Change Your Life for the Better]

Let’s talk about your overall health goals and see where we can help. As a new chiropractic patient, know that we are here to serve you and your well-being. If you ever have questions, concerns or suggestions, we are always happy to hear from you. Or, if you have a friend or family referral, we’re happy to hear from them, too!