Whiplash – Effects – Solutions

00:00-09:01What Is A Whiplash Injury?
09:02-12:44The Types of Whiplash Injuries
12:47-19:37Chiropractic Care for Whiplash X-RAY! 
21:26-28:13The 3 Phases of Chiropractic Care 

What Is A Whiplash Injury?

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:00:06] Tonight, we talk about chiropractic and whiplash and the effects of whiplash and what is whiplash and the types of whiplash. So we’re going to dove into that tonight. Ben do want to be sure.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:00:20] Well, yes. So, yeah, whiplash, a.k.a. cervical acceleration, deceleration syndrome. We’ll be talking a little bit more about why that is in just a second. But a whiplash injury is an injury to your neck and head, right? So not just the neck, but also the brain is involved, is caused by your neck, then forcibly forward and then backwards or vice versa. And so you get this whip whipping motion of the head and the injury. Again, it’s very much a multifactorial injury, especially if the condition symptoms last for greater than three months, becomes very complicated. But it usually involves some muscles, tendons, the disc, the nerves.

They’re all under an increased amount of stress because of this injury. And so it becomes one of these conditions that is perfectly in the perfect condition to be treated by chiropractor’s. Most whiplash injuries result from a collision like a rear-end collision, which causes an acceleration than a deceleration. Yes, a rear and motor vehicle. They also happen as a result of the sport injury, particularly during a contact sport or during an accident or during an assault. And so whenever an individual is hit, when they least expect it, that’s when you’re most likely to suffer a whiplash injury.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:01:41] Yes, and definitely something that we see in the clinic a lot, and both the brain effect and the resulting symptoms of that and also the net effect of that stretching of those muscles and contraction afterwards. So definitely something that we definitely can see as a chiropractor to talk about that a little bit more. And how chiropractors may help you with whiplash. So ready to move on? Yeah, let’s talk about it. Let’s go.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:02:14] So how does a whiplash occur? And this is the photo that I took to just sort of show the prime example. So this is the mechanism of injury. And so just imagine you’re driving in your vehicle and essentially you have forces that will hold your head back into the seat. Right. And then you have forces of the car driving forward, which then holds your pelvis nice and aligned in the seat as well when you’re hit from behind, like in a rear-end collision. The pelvis will jut forward. And the head and neck will whip back, right, and that’s when you’re hit from behind the head and neck will whip back, jamming all of your sets and joints in the rear there.

Then what will happen is the head will whip forcibly forward. And if we’re just thinking about the structure of the neck, it’s not very good for it to whip from front to back because you’re putting the neck under an undue amount of stress. Now, not only just thinking from a neck perspective, we can also think about it from what’s actually happening to the brain inside of its casing. Inside of the skull, what’s happening to the brain, so as you can imagine, the head is whipping back forcibly. The brain sits inside of a fluid inside of the skull, and so it moves independently of the skull.

So if the head is whipped back forcibly, the brain will then be slid anteriorly and it hit into the front of the skull. This in itself can cause damage to the brain. I’ll let Dr Roach maybe speak about why that’s a significant part of the injury, because it leads to a lot of people symptomatology. Not even maybe acutely, but definitely over the long term.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:04:10] Yeah, so, you know, we always have to consider the state of the neck and the human being in the car prior to him having a trauma. So most of the time, people go into a trauma motor vehicle accident, already having some neck dysfunction. Maybe they know about that neck dysfunction. Maybe they don’t maybe they don’t have any symptoms. But what will end up happening is when, as you explain, then the brain bleeds into the cerebral spinal fluid so it’s not attached to the skull, per se. So the brain sits here and as the head goes back, the front part of the skull comes in and bangs right into the brain.

And then as the head comes back forward, the back of the skull comes and hits the posterior part, the back part of the brain. So that’s what we call the contrecoup, which means that the brain gets hit twice. And that whiplash motion, when there is trauma, there is disruption of what we call the blood-brain barrier. So that’s the meshing that allows the brain to be protected from all kinds of stuff that’s in our body, that undigested. Viruses, bacteria that can’t cross that blood-brain barrier, but when there’s trauma, that mesh starts to tear apart. Now we’re able to have infiltration of stuff going to the brain, very commonly inflammation.

So now you have an inflamed brain which can cause stuff like headaches, confusion, brain fog and a lot of the stuff that happens after a car accident, sometimes later, which is why in a car accident afterwards, you might feel OK and the symptoms start to come two, three, four weeks after. Always be careful to settle a car accident based on the fact that you feel good shortly after because you might be surprised two, four, six, eight weeks later that symptoms start to come around from that brain contusion, even though your neck might feel better. But now you’re starting to have more like concussion type symptoms. Very, very important in a car accident.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:06:32] Absolutely so neck pain and stiffness, shoulder pain, low back pain, dizziness. So we’re talking a lot about the vertigo, right? The lack of coordination, pain in the arms and hands. So we’re talking about issues with the neck here ringing in the ears, blurred vision, just as an example, when the back of the brain hits the skull, that’s where the occipital lobe is. And so this is where your actual site processing takes place. And so if that area is damaged, of course, we’ll experience some difficulties with vision. Right. We’ve also got the frontal lobe in the front of the brain, which is responsible for our thoughts. Right. And so our ability to think and process and so in that area is impacted. Our ability to concentrate and focus on the things that we’re trying to do is disrupted

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:07:26] Thoughts and also emotions. Right. I have a lot of people that after a car accident, a very emotional and I think they become depressed, some of them hysterical. Like, it changes their mood and behavior. That’s the frontal lobe. Right. So, like Ben said, any part of the brain that’s concussed and confused is going to display symptoms based on whatever that brain’s functions are in that area.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:07:52] Absolutely. And so they have four symptoms, irritability. Right. And so, again, that frontal lobe is involved. Sleeplessness, right. So an inability to calm down from this fight or flight, which is why a lot of people were in car accidents, will then experience PTSD. Right. So a lot of people will have these thoughts going through their head of what will I get back and look into a car? And the next time that I step into a car. And this is because the brain was traumatized at that moment. So they I saw something down here and I don’t believe that is true. Most people who sustained a whiplash injury will recover within three months. I mean, the symptoms of the issue may

slow down. They may go away. But I guarantee you, if something small happens to the head or neck, the symptoms will return and they’ll return with a vengeance because a lot of the stuff that was there even before the car accident is going to become more apparent even afterward.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:08:54] And definitely depends on your definition of recovery. I don’t know if I agree with that either. Yeah. So when we look at whiplash-associated disorders, so that’s what the acronym WAD stands for Whiplash associated disorders can be graded from zero to four. So we go through that all the time when we basically help the patient be covered with chiropractic care after they’ve been in the car accident. And we need to see what kind of whiplash disorder it is. So basically, if you look here at the grading chart, a zero is no complaining about neck, no physical signs. A grade one is complete, a neck stiffness, tenderness only the pain is not traveling anywhere. Again, very mild.

Although I will say there’s research that shows that a car accident five miles an hour can create permanent damage. Right. So sometimes people say, oh, just a minor fender bender, a minor fender bender with the airbag go off of the airbag went off. And I’m like, oh, well, this is not a minor fender bender, but sometimes it is a minor fender bender. But the patient does have long-standing issues from that. So, yeah, so great to Ben.

The Types of Whiplash Injuries

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:10:15] Yeah. Agree to what it’s in that complaint and musculoskeletal signs. Musculoskeletal signs include decreased range of movement or point tenderness. You have neck pain, but then also you’ve got really limited ranges of motion almost shuttered because it’s so painful to move in a shutter’s just where the muscles are spastic. And so you can’t achieve that range of motion as well as point tenderness and some point tenderness is just what we’re doing, our motion palpation or feeling the joints.

We’re looking to see if they’re moving properly or if there’s tenderness on the muscles themselves and they cause for situations. That’s a to. But three. Yes, go ahead. Neck complaints and neurological signs, and so you have a neck complaint, neck pain as well, you’ve got neurological signs which include lack of sensation, lack of strength or a lack of reflex of tone. And so those are what we would screen for in our neurological exam. So we’re looking for neck pain and neurological signs. And most of the time, this isn’t very good, especially post car accident and what in that complaint with a fracture or dislocation.

Most of the time, if an individual is in a car accident, chances are I’ll refer them for an x-ray regardless because I’d like to rule this out and rule in any other things. I could possibly give us a little more information on the individual’s condition.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:11:56] And obviously, if there is a reward for those, most of the time we need to bypass the chiropractor, at least for the neck complaint, and needs to be stabilized and put into a collar and take on the proper treatment protocols for a fracture which are not going to be a neck adjustment, obviously. So just to be clear, a chiropractor is very good at treating loved ones to Ward three.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:12:23] Yeah, I was about to say, if you know that you have a dislocation in your spine and you don’t have that moved and put into the proper spot that you’re not in the right office because a subluxation of the spine is very different than a dislocation of the spine.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:12:41] Absolutely. Yeah, not quite the same. All right.

Chiropractic Care for Whiplash X-RAY! 

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:12:47] Chiropractic and whiplash, and so we understand that one of the main causes of pain disease is the misalignment and abnormal motion of the vertebra in the spinal column. Again, this is called a subluxation. This is what we base a lot of what we’re looking for in the spine on. And so, as you can see, the x-ray to the left has a beautiful spinal curve. It’s got a nice forty two degrees and its label below there. I don’t know if you guys can see it, but this is the normal curvature of the spine. This is pre-collision.

So this is a pre-motor vehicle accident. And so this individual has got no dislocations, no slippages, no DDD degenerative disease, no arthritis or anything like that. Then we look to the photo to the right there and we see that this is the individual spine post motor vehicle accident. And so immediately what’s the number one thing that we talk about? It’s very hypo lordotic. You can see the great line.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:14:02] So one of the things that. Ben was saying there that we are within three months, typically more vehicle accidents recover. So if the person on the right here with the straight curve. Has no symptoms. As has he or she recovered. Right, well, there’s no pain, we could say there’s symptomatically there, they’re symptom-free, but they’re neck. It’s still a mess, the curve is gone, muscles are going to react to this over a period of time, causing the spine to degenerate, have a degenerative disease, eventually have bony encroachment where the nerve exits from the spine in the small and the holes.

And now you’ve got nerve compression pain going down the arm, which happens sometimes five, six, seven years after the car accident, and now here you are stuck trying to prove that this was from the car accident seven years ago. It’s all about the structure and what it looks like because by no means is the spine on the right, a normal spine, regardless if there is pain or not,

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:15:24] Just as an example as well. Like, you know, an individual who was in a car accident 10 years ago. They come to our office and they say, I was in a car accident, but I actually didn’t feel anything. And then I had this fall the other day. And it seems like, after this fall, everything’s gone downhill. Right. And so the spine was already in a position in a fragile position, to begin with, where, you know, any other sudden move, any other trauma would lead to the eventual symptomatology. Right.

The symptoms just now, the results, of course, structure over time that had done failed you. And now you’ve got some work to really restore that structure. And sometimes you’re going to have to put in a lot more work than what you would have had to do just after your car accident. Correct.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:16:22] So in terms of if the effectiveness of chiropractic care, there’s been a study that was done that basically compared a lot of years. I’m not sure at the exact amount of years that this was in. But what they did is they compared motor vehicle accident claims, people that have been to massage therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors. And what they looked at was the length of time they were treated, the outcomes, how good they were and how much money was spent using those practitioners, and what they found over.

I believe it was 10 years of data that chiropractic far better was far better in terms of cost-effectiveness as a treatment for whiplash-associated disorders than any other profession. Here’s why I feel I think this is the reason I feel that in the beginning, structure, joint movement needs to be restored before muscles can be rehab because muscles at that moment in time are told by the brain to protect the dysfunction and tighten up and spasm so that you restrict your movement because the dysfunction that’s there will not like if you move your neck too much. So what needs to be done is dysfunction needs to be fixed.

Get the spine to move better so that the brain now gets feedback from the spine and can now tell the muscles to relax. So when you try to rehab a muscle and stretch a muscle that’s attaching to a spine that’s immobile, that makes it very hard to get progress because you’re always coming up against a roadblock, which is the amount of movement that can be had from the spine, which is now traumatized from the accident.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:18:17] Yeah, and so we have to go in there as the chiropractor and determine where are the areas that aren’t moving enough, how can we break this cycle, the Spastics cycle that the spine is in, where it’s trying to protect itself because it thinks that it’s under some type of trauma? And so by adjusting the spine, we can reorganize the amount of input that’s being put to the put to the joint from the brain, cause the area to calm down and restore the proper curves and proper structures of the spine and eventually lead to a better, happier, healthier spine for years to come.

That won’t be traumatized by the next thing that that causes that pain, that causes a dysfunction or that causes it to come out of alignment. By working on the spine, making it more resilient. Even if you feel normal, basically what we’re trying to say here is even if you feel normal after a car accident or after an issue with your neck, you should definitely still have your neck thoroughly examined to determine what state the neck is actually in because these symptoms can be delayed for days and sometimes cannot even surface after years. So it’s better to have it checked early than to have a little thing happen later on. That leads to a big, big, big problem.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:19:38] So if you can right now, I know he said a lot, but if you’ve learned something from what we’ve done so far, what we’ve said so far, just please give us a little bit of a reaction here. Thumbs up or a little bit of a heart that you’re learning something, because I think this is really important to understand, because a lot of times people will go into a car accident. They are getting hit with paperwork to fill out. And the language is sometimes complicated and sometimes the paperwork is more painful than the darn accident. Right.

So to be able to come to a chiropractic office that knows what they’re doing and somebody that can take you through that process and teach you something in the meantime about what a whiplash injury is, I think it helps put the patient at ease, understanding the why behind and what we’re going to go through and where the patient is going to go through in that process. So, please, if you like this episode, just give us a little bit of a thumbs up. And if you’re watching this on YouTube, make sure you subscribe to our channel to watch some of our other episodes.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:20:41] Absolutely. And so I also read something as well about whiplash, whiplash disorders, neck pain, brain fog. So even after you have you know, you’re in a car accident, you’re experiencing symptoms. They say that it’s good to do a little bit of aerobics exercise and so begin to feed the brain with proper oxygen and healing factors to work the brain and keep everything moving.

Now, I’ve also got this slide here of the three phases of chiropractic care, and so phase one is the relief of care or relief care. That means that you’re in an acute phase. This means that you’re under some type of pain because unfortunately, most people come to your chiropractic when they’re in pain. We want to be able to help you with restoring that function in that structure and breaking this painful cycle that’s happening. And so relief care, that’s when you finally get relief from the symptoms.

The 3 Phases of Chiropractic Care 

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:21:59] Phase two is corrective care. And so corrective care is when we’re really trying to restore that structure, we’re trying to do it the entire time. But now the symptoms are gone. And so we’re restoring that structure and ensuring that the symptoms don’t do not return during this phase. The symptoms may come back or they may not. But that’s OK because that’s the whole point of corrective care. How could you just left after your symptoms were gone, then you’d probably be worse off if you saw us again. And so we have corrective care to maintain that structure. Phase three is maintenance care.

This is when the symptoms have been gone and they don’t return. And we’re continuing to treat and maintain that structure so that they don’t come back so that when there are little things that do happen, the body is more resilient and you’re in a better place, to begin with than you were four or five months ago when you first started your chiropractic journey. And so be prepared to undergo three phases of care, the relief of care, the corrective care, and then when you’re able to maintain your structure for years and years to come.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:23:06] But Dr. Roach after phase two with the correction is done, why do I need to continue to come back? Well, my answer to that is always, well, do you still sit at your desk all day long at your job? Do you still run, lift weights, or still have stress in your life? And if the answer to that is yes and if it isn’t, yes, they’re lying. We need to continue to build a strong spine and catch things as the body is accumulating stress so that our body is able to adapt to that stress along the way. So in other words, if you continue to eat sugar, it doesn’t really matter how long you brush your teeth.

If you start brushing your teeth, the sugar is going to take over and you’re going to have tooth decay. While the spine is no different, we just call it spinal decay, also known as arthritis. Right. So one thing I wanted to point out in phases one, two, and three, there are three phases of care.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:24:08] And if that was the case, it would be much cheaper to take a Tylenol and enough drugs to numb the pain. Right, which is all relief care is going to do is going to make the pain go away, and then we get into the corrective care, which is actually creating the better structure that allowed the pain to come forth. Right. And then once you get there, yeah, the braces come off and you want to wear your retainer in order to maintain that correction. So very important that people understand that whether you’re in a whiplash injury or not, most of the time we’re not in a place where people come in and say, hey, you know, I thought chiropractic was important in my life.

Somebody told me and I want to come in so that you can check my spine. No, it doesn’t happen that way. People come in with a problem. They say I’ve got low back pain, sciatica. I got neck pain. So there’s always a relief phase followed by a corrective care phase, followed by a maintenance care phase if the patient so desires to stay out of pain and not wait for it to come back.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:25:12] Absolutely. So, for example, and I mean, this is Primo. I had a patient who came in. She just started chiropractic care ever since we started adjusting and she’s been feeling great. None of the tension in her neck mid-back. None of that pain has been coming back. She was out. She did a lot of driving, took her kids to and from sports events.

And so she found this entire weekend quite stressful. So when I saw her on Monday morning, she came in and said, you know, I had a stressful weekend, so but I don’t have any pain. So any pain. But I had a stressful weekend. And so I said, OK, we’ll perfect, you know, sounds like you had a good weekend and then everything was going well. I’m really happy that you don’t have any pain. But, you know, just because she doesn’t have any pain doesn’t mean that I’m, like, overly happy about that because we only just started care. We’re only in the relief things. I had her go face down on the table so I could do my assessment and see how it was she was doing.

The amount of tension in her back and neck was supreme, and so I told her, you know, you’re back and you’re the muscle tension is very high. We treated and released it and everything was moving a lot better. And I told her, you know, had you not come in today and had you stopped care because you were just feeling good, that tension, that stress on your spine would have built up and you would have had a flare. That is why we do it. It’s because you want to be able to empty the cup before it spills over. So this is the idea and that’s how it works.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:27:06] One of the best analogies like what comes first, the plaque in the arteries of the heart attack. Right. What comes first? The structural dysfunction or the pain? Right, so, so many times chiropractic works so great that when people get out of pain in five, six days, they say, oh yeah, you fix me, doc, thank you so much. Because everything in our society from the day that we’re born is based on the treatment plan that starts and ends. Right. You take antibiotics for seven days. They won the two, five, six, seven, and done. Right.

You go through treatment plans and they start in the end. Again, health does not mean the absence of symptoms. Health means everything working optimally from a physical, chemical, and emotional standpoint. So we got to take into account the whole body and function, not just symptoms. All right, surrounding the PM, so we talked about this one last week because we’re talking about sleep, obviously certain serenity, the ability to boost serotonin. Many of you may be familiar with serotonin.

Those of you might be on antidepressants, known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. So basically they leave serotonin in the brain so they don’t get uptake. So serotonin is a good thing to boost mood. Gabbar melatonin. So Serenity PMB has often given the people that have a hard time staying asleep that basically wake up middle of the night many times because of cortisol spikes. So a very good supplement that many people come in and just buy that because they’ve noticed some improvement.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:29:05] I recommended it to a patient today and I was talking to her about it. I was just saying, you know, we have these great supplements, we’ve got Cerenity PM, magnesium. I said I said, I’ll help you sleep. And then she said, well, my problem isn’t falling asleep. She said, my problem is that I wake up too soon. It’s like I can’t stay asleep. And I said, well, no, that’s part of what this does. That’s part of what magnesium and surround do, are they regulate your sleep-wake cycle because you’re having stress hormone, you’re having wakeful hormones release at the wrong times during the evening. These types of supplements are what’s going to help regulate that system so that you stay asleep throughout the entire night waking up as opposed to.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:29:53] Yep. And when cortisol spike, the body thinks it’s morning. Right. So everything starts to starts to wake. So. All right. So this was our topic for today. And whiplash-associated disorders and chiropractic care. So give us some thumbs up tonight. If you enjoyed this talk on whiplash if you have any questions about whiplash. Right. Maybe some of the things you’re experiencing are related to that whiplash injury. So make sure you speak up and let us know because sometimes things you didn’t think were important. Are actually important to us, right? So what else, Ben?

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:30:38] Don’t be fooled, like if you don’t have symptoms, don’t be fooled. I think we definitely misconception have a misconception that I need to be in pain to do these things. Right. But no, there are lots of people that we see in our practice. They’re not in pain. They’re looking to feel better. Chiropractic optimizes their

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:31:06] Life. They need to have a vision problem to see an optometrist

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:31:11] Or have your eyes checked to see if they’re optimal, just like you need to see a chiropractor, see how your spine is, and receive your spine is optimal. And to get that adjustment, because there’s a lot more that chiropractic can do for you than just getting you out of pain. And most of the time, that’s just the first step.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:31:27] Absolutely, as you saw, three phases, right, relief care, corrective care, and maintenance care, so I think this is a great talk. Yeah, absolutely. Now you know where to go, which, by the way, Nova Scotia, I think we need to mention this in Nova Scotia. It is your choice who you choose to see, right? You go into a car accident. They cannot I repeat, they cannot force you to go to a physio or a chiropractor. It is your choice of who you need or want to see.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:32:00] Ok, Chiropractic and Whiplash Humpday conversation number thirty-six with Dr. Clayton Roach and Dr. Boudreau from Roach Chiropractic Centre in Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada. Hope you guys are having a great week so far.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:32:13] Head is up on YouTube, Facebook. Make sure you subscribe on YouTube, Facebook, or live every Wednesday night at nine o’clock. So thank you to all our listeners. As always. We’re very grateful that you are here every night with us and we’re very grateful to have information to share, to write like we’ve been on this journey for a long time, being chiropractor’s and being in the trenches every day, treating people and acquiring knowledge on a functional spine and all kinds of conditions. We feel grateful to be able to share that information.

Part of being a chiropractor is teaching and sharing this information so that you can become better patients as well, more in tune with your body, more intelligent, being able to ask better questions, which was the birth of Humpday conversation. So with that, have a great night. We look forward to seeing you next week. Same time, same channel. Dr. Ben and Dr. Crane saying good night. Thank you so much, Abi. What’s up? Listen, if you like this episode, you’ll probably like the other ones, chances are pretty good. So here’s what you need to do.

You need to like us and follow us on Facebook. Following means, you get notified when these two guys are alive. Next, family, friends, you need to share these episodes because you never know. You might help them because they need this information as well. And guys, if you ever miss an episode, make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube. That way, you can watch the episode over and over and over again. Guys, we love you and appreciate you. Take care.