Most often, people go to chiropractors the first time for relief from back pain. But chiropractors treat a broad range of complaints, from back and neck pain to headaches, arthritis, and more. Moreover, people don't need to have a specific complaint to benefit from a visit. Chiropractors also focus on ongoing preventive and wellness care.
How chiropractic helped Sam with neck pain and headaches from a car accident
Sam, a 33-year-old man, was injured when his car was rear-ended by another vehicle. He was taken to an emergency room by ambulance, complaining of neck and mid-back pain. The X-rays showed no fractures, and Sam was released.
The next day Sam visited his doctor because the stiffness in his neck was getting worse and he had a persistent headache. The doctor prescribed pain medication and suggested that Sam consult with his chiropractor.
Sam's chiropractor determined that the increasing stiffness in his neck was due to a soft-tissue injury resulting from the whiplash of the accident. The chiropractor explained that injuries of this type can take two months or more to heal and stabilize, but with treatment and home self-care, the discomfort might be diminished within a week or so. The initial goal was to increase Sam's comfort and reduce the inflammation.
The chiropractor applied electric muscle stimulation to the neck muscles and soft tissues, and Sam applied hot and cold pads at home. The chiropractor also used gentle adjustments to mobilize and realign the cervical and thoracic spine.
After three treatments in the first week, Sam's discomfort level diminished by 80% and his headaches were gone. After a month, Sam showed marked improvement in his range of spinal motion, and he reported that he could go about his daily activities without aggravating the injury. After ten weeks, Sam could hardly remember the trouble he had experienced from his accident.