Tis the season of neck injuries

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While the changing of the seasons means colder weather, colorful leaves and pumpkin-spice lattes, it also means a rise in car accidents and neck injuries. Rest assured, Dr. James Stirton of Winters Chiropractic is back to discuss everything from whiplash to remedies.

When the rain falls it causes the roads to get slick with oil and debris. The roads also give zero regard to people who give zero regard in the dramatic change in driving conditions, resulting in a spike in car accidents. These fender-benders, spin-outs and collisions are the primary cause of neck injuries – among a litany of other injuries.

“A lot of patients are more hurt than they think they are,” Stirton said about the importance of seeking immediate help. “If your car can’t leave the scene by itself, then you shouldn’t either. Go to an ER and get checked out so you can rule out internal bleeding and see if you have a concussion.”

Stirton also mentioned how important it is to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident regardless of the impact intensity. This is emphasized by the fact that one can get a concussion without a blow to the head.

“Your brain has weight and its suspended in a fluid sac called the meninges. It’s cerebral spinal fluid to protect the brain, but when your head is flung and abruptly stops, the momentum of the brain continues and travels into the skull,” Stirton said breaking down how a concussion occurs without impact. “Your organs hold weight as well. When they get flung they’ll pull from the inside and tear tissues and blood supplies which is where internal bleeding happens.”

Additionally, whiplash effects more than just the neck. According to Stirton, the forces of whiplash causes compressions that affect the entire spine and cause significant injuries to other parts of the body as well.

When it comes down to it, seeking immediate medical attention after an accident is the best remedy. ‘Toughing-it-out,’ however, could prove to be a fatal mistake.

“It’s always good to have a multidisciplinary approach to check for fractures and dislocations. ER’s and urgent care centers are more apt to be looking for those,” Stirton said recommending seeing those institutions first. “Even NASCAR drivers get checked out and they have helmets and are prepared for accidents. Injuries happen at these levels of forces can really hurt you and I see people waiting a month before they go in and get checked out.”

After one seeks immediate attention and major injuries are ruled out, getting physical therapy and joint manipulation help the healing process. Stirton emphasized that one should start physical therapy within the first few weeks after an accident. Reason being, one needs to pull and stimulate a flexible repair of the tissues. Opting for stagnation will heal in a stiff and dysfunctional way.

“There’s also nutritional value in making sure your body stays hydrated. Have a little bit of protein, Omega-3’s, flax seeds and vitamin C,” Stirton said discussing nutrition and supplements. “You really can’t heal without adequate nutrition, which is why I also prescribe a joint supplement, AnthroAid. It has Amino Glycans which are some of the nuts and bolts of the ligaments and collective tissues of the body.”

For more information on these injuries and steps to take to alleviate them, one can contact Dr. Stirton directly at jimstirtondc@gmail.com. It’s like he always says, “If you’re not certain, ask Dr. Stirton.”

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