Research Supports the Use of Acupuncture in Healing From Pain Caused by Whiplash

How Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Can Be An Effective Treatment for Whiplash by Cindy Chamberlain

When you hear the word whiplash, it’s likely you think of car accidents; most people do. While it’s true that a large proportion of whiplash injuries occur as the result of a car accident, whiplash injuries are also the result of falls, sports accidents, physical attacks and other types of trauma. 

What is Whiplash?

Perhaps one of the most important things to know about whiplash is that it can change your life in an instant. Whiplash is often the result of a traumatic event that involves not only physical injuries, but it often comes with emotional damage, too. The effects of any accident or event that causes whiplash can be far-reaching and it can upset the quality of your life, often for a long time.

Whiplash is a term used to describe an injury to your muscles, tendons and the bones in your neck and back as the result of some kind of sudden impact. For example, during a car accident or any kind of collision your head is snapped back and forth or from side to side, which can cause structural and soft tissue damage to your neck and spine. Interestingly, despite severe damage, sometimes the symptoms from a whiplash injury won’t show up immediately. Instead, symptoms may surface days or weeks later, and they can persist for months or longer. 

The most common symptoms of whiplash are pain, swelling and inflammation in your upper back and neck. However, it’s also common to experience headaches, vision problems, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue and lack of concentration or memory issues. In addition, if your whiplash injury occurred during an automobile accident, you may also sustain:

  • Head trauma, brain injury or a concussion. 
  • A herniated disc. The impact of a car accident can cause one or more of the discs in your spine to become misplaced or ruptured.
  • Fractured bones. Even at a slow speed, a car accident can produce enough force to break bones. Common fractures from a car accident include, rib, shoulder, arm and leg.
  • Knee injuries from your knees hitting the dashboard during impact.
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as cuts, scrapes and bruising. Everything in your car becomes a projectile during the impact of an accident.
  • Post-traumatic stress, which is common after any kind of accident and is especially common after car accidents. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress include insomnia, flashbacks of the accident, anxiety, depression and your symptoms being triggered by places or situations that remind you of the accident.

Healing after Your Accident

Clearly, the most important thing to do after a traumatic accident is to have your injuries assessed and get treatment for those that demand immediate care. However, in many cases people who have sustained a whiplash injury struggle with soft tissue injuries that may appear as vague symptoms over time which can often be hard to diagnose and treat. As a result, many people turn to acupuncture for whiplash and other natural treatments for relief when they’re looking for drug-free solutions or feel like they’ve exhausted other options—and for a good reason.

Several research studies have concluded that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for both back and neck pain, including pain that’s related to whiplash injuries. Acupuncture is helpful because it stimulates the circulation of pain-relieving neurotransmitters in your brain. It also reduces inflammation and increases the circulation of blood and healing nutrients to the injured area. In addition, acupuncture is well-known for its ability to treat emotional symptoms, such as stress and anxiety. In fact, researchers have found that acupuncture can be an effective therapy in treating patients who have post-traumatic stress.

The beauty of acupuncture is that your practitioner is also trained in a number of soft-tissue therapies that are well-suited to treating whiplash injuries. This includes a kind of bodywork called Tui Na that targets acupuncture points, pathways and painful trigger points. Your practitioner may also provide cupping therapy, a technique that uses glass or plastic cups in which a vacuum has been created. The cups gently pull the muscle layers away from each other to promote circulation, relieve pain, ease muscle knots and support the healing process. A soft-tissue therapy called Gua Sha may also be used as a way to loosen up tight muscles and tendons and stimulate healing.

Your acupuncturist may also prescribe an herbal formula as a part of your treatment plan. The herbs work systemically to promote healing, augment your acupuncture treatments and help to relieve pain. Your practitioner may also provide you with dietary recommendations to optimize your health, reduce inflammation and support the healing process.

The bottom line is that being in a traumatic accident—one that causes whiplash—can be life changing. It affects your entire being—your physical health, your emotional health and your ability to do the things you want to do. It’s important to take both your physical injuries as well as the emotional impact of the accident seriously. Research supports the use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in healing from back and neck pain, as well as emotional trauma. If you’d like to know more about how acupuncture can help you in the aftermath of your accident, please contact us today.

Research Supports the Use of Acupuncture in Healing From Pain Caused by Whiplash
Article Name
Research Supports the Use of Acupuncture in Healing From Pain Caused by Whiplash
This article discusses the symptoms of whiplash and how acupuncture and chinese medicine can treat them.
Publisher Name
Eastern Healing Solutions, LLC
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