Chiropractor for Algonquin and Lake in the Hills

Whiplash: Causes and Treatment?

Whiplash Causes and Treatments by Algonquin Chiropractic CenterWhiplash! We have all heard the term, but what does it really mean?

According to Mayo Clinic:

Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward — similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.

The most common cause of whiplash (or a more common term used in the literature, WAD – Whiplash Associated Disorders) is a rear-end motor vehicle collision. The actual tissue damage comes from shear forces that go thru the cervical spine; the body is thrust forward while the head whips backwards. These forces stretch and tear vulnerable neck soft tissues such as muscle, fascia, ligament, tendons, cartilage and discs. In severe cases, cervical fractures can occur.

The pain can be immediate or can take several days for the symptoms to develop. Whiplash symptoms are often described as a stiff and painful neck, dizziness, headaches, stiffness in the back, neck or shoulders, pain between the shoulder blades and pain and/or tingling in the arms. Patients may have a hard time concentrating, staying focused and sleeping and driving can be difficult.

According to the North American Spine Society statement on Whiplash Injuries:
We know the muscles and ligaments get strained and are probably inflamed, but they usually heal within six to ten weeks. Pain that lasts longer (than 6-10 weeks) is usually due to deeper problems such as injury to the disc or facet joint, or both.

Although the presenting symptoms might begin as a mild annoyance, without treatment by a knowledgeable healthcare professional, the injury and damage to the surrounding affected tissues may persist or get worse and become debilitating. Especially if your pain lasts more than 6-10 weeks.

Whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury, but as the North American Spine Society states, pain lasting longer than 6-10 weeks may be due to disc or facet damage. The “facets” are where the bones in your spine come together and form a “facet joint.”

The North American Spine Society goes on to say:
Facet Joint Pain is the most common cause of chronic neck pain after a car accident. It may occur alone or along with disc pain. Facet joint pain is usually located to the right or left of the center of the neck. The area might be tender to the touch, and facet pain may be mistaken for muscle pain. We cannot tell if a facet joint hurts by how it looks on an X-ray or MRI scan. The only (MEDICAL) way to tell if the joint is a cause of pain is to perform an injection called “medial branch block (MBB)”.

Chiropractic care focuses its treatment on the facet joints! We also treat discs, spine, nerves, muscles, ligaments, whatever structures are damaged we develop a treatment plan to accelerate its healing.
Consider chiropractic’s effectiveness:

93% of Whiplash Patients Improve with Chiropractic Care!

  1. 43 percent of patients will suffer long-term symptoms following ‘whiplash’ injury.
  2. If patients are still symptomatic after three months, then there is almost a 90 per cent chance that they will remain so.
  3. No conventional (MEDICAL) treatment has proven to be effective in these established chronic cases.
  4. Following (CHIROPRACTIC) treatment, 26 out of 28 (93 per cent!) of chronic patients had improved!

Woodward MN, Cook JCH, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Chiropractic treatment of chronic ‘whiplash’ injuries. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured 1996.

Chiropractic Care is the Only Proven, Effective Treatment for Chronic Whiplash
“Conventional treatment of patients with whiplash symptoms is disappointing.”
Our results confirm the efficacy of chiropractic, with 69 of our 93 patients (74%) improving following treatment.

“The results from this study provide further evidence that chiropractic is an effective treatment for chronic whiplash symptoms.”
The authors conclude:
“Whiplash injuries are common. Chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment in chronic cases.”

Don’t suffer any longer! Call 847-854-2000 to schedule your consultation to see if you can be one of the 93% that finds a better quality of life with chiropractic care from an Algonquin Chiropractor!

By Anthony Galante

Algonquin Chiropractic Center – We are Here to Help

We Are Here To Help at Algonquin Chiropractic CenterThere are a couple things that set us apart at Algonquin Chiropractic Center.  We develop individualized treatment plans depending on the specific needs of the patient.

One technique we use is the Cox Technique.  This technique has been around for over 40 years.  It was developed by Dr. James Cox from Fort Wayne, IN.  Dr. Cox has published dozens of professional papers, has over seen several federally funded clinical studies in conjunction with Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and is one of only two chiropractors to ever lecture at Harvard Medical School. I was personally taught by Dr. Cox, have consulted Dr. Cox on difficult cases and Dr. Cox has referred patients to OUR office in the past.

The Cox Technique allows me to work on the severe low back cases, the disc extrusions, the severe sciatica and the stenosis cases.  Before the Cox Technique, most of these cases would have to go to surgery.  Listen to what Margaret had to say on her Google review regarding her experience with the Cox Technique:

Margaret Herweg- “I cannot say enough about Dr. Galante. I had severe back and leg pain. I had so much pain I could barely walk. I saw several surgeons who recommended immediate surgery.  I was so frightened! Dr. Galante convinced me that his expertise and experience could help keep me from that surgery. I went with his program and treatments and am so happy to say that it has been 7 years and I am doing great and best of all, no surgery!. I truly feel he saved my life. Thank you Dr. Galante.”

The Cox Technique is a painless technique used in order to decompress the discs and nerves of the spine.  This is very different from the “decompression” techniques used in other offices.  This is a “hands-on” technique.  My hands are continuously on the patient’s spine detecting just the right amount of tension to be applied to the correct area of the spine.  There are no injections, no incisions, no recovery time and patients can continue to work during the treatment program.

The Cox Technique has been very successful in treating patients with lower back pain, leg pain and neck and arm pain in a non-invasive method.  It can be used as a holistic approach to well-being and pain relief.  The technique works very well for severe low back pain and works GREAT for every day, mild to moderate low back and neck pain.

In addition to the Cox Technique we may utilize manipulation, distraction, soft tissue techniques, massage, modalities, kineseotaping, rehab, diet and nutrition.  The combination of techniques works well for most people, and has little to no risks or side effects. For the small percentage of patients who do not respond to our treatments, we work with neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, pain management doctors and physical therapists if those services are needed.

Dr. Anthony Galante is an Algonquin Chiropractor who works individually with each new patient to understand their individual goals and needs.  The objective of the Algonquin Chiropractic Center has been to help patients achieve whole body health, return patients to long-term health and return patients to their normal activities as fast as possible.

By Anthony Galante

What is a Herniated Disc?

The spine is made up of vertebrae, between the vertebrae are spongy discs that cushion impact and absorb shock as the spine operates.

If one of those discs becomes damaged or torn, they may rupture; this is commonly called a herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc.  Disc herniations occur most commonly in the lower back and lower neck but can occur anywhere in the spine.

Herniated Disc may occur as a result of age (they lose flexibility and can become brittle), trauma, and heavy lifting and occasionally from trivial movements.

What is a Herniated Disc by Algonquin Chiropractic CenterThe outer disc is made up of cartilage tissue and in the middle of the disc is a gel-like substance.  When a disc “herniates,” the outer cartilage can tear and the gel-like fluid pushes out against sensitive nerves.

The resultant symptoms may include severe back pain, hip pain and pain and burning or numbness and tingling in the arms or legs.  If the pressure on the nerve is high enough, weakness may occur.

A common term you have probably heard of is “sciatica” which is low back, hip and leg pain and numbness that is usually caused by a disc herniation.

A herniated disc diagnosis can be made after a comprehensive history and thorough physical exam, however; X-rays, MRI and EMG testing may be necessary.

First, we need to control inflammation; if we can control inflammation we can control pain.  There are several ways we do that in the office with mobilization techniques, modalities and anti-inflammatory nutrition.  At home, the patient is encouraged to stay active, use ice, avoid aggravating activities and educated on how to move, bend, sit and sleep to decrease pain. Medication may be necessary and we work with several very good medical doctors and orthopedic surgeons.

As the inflammation and severe pain subside, spinal distraction may be performed to decompress the disc and nerve.  Soft tissue techniques can be helpful to decrease muscle spasm and pain, alternating hot and cold packs may be beneficial, as well as carefully selected home exercises.

As the disc heals, the patients home exercise program will also increase, muscles very quickly get weak after a disc herniation and rehab is necessary to restore proper function.

Herniated Disc is a serious back injury, most disc herniations do heal but they take a lot longer than if you strained your back doing yard work.  Herniations can heal in a few months, but some may take up to a year or longer and a selected few never heal 100%.

Only a small percentage of disc herniations require surgery; however, if surgery is necessary I will tell you immediately. Let an Algonquin Chiropractor help you regain control of your life!

By Anthony Galante

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