• Dr. Park


Patient in his mid thirty’s got rear-ended about a month ago. The accident was minor and he did not have any particular injury, so he went on with his daily life. However, the neck and back started to ache and feel painful, and he felt severe pain couple of days ago. This is “Whiplash Syndrome,” a musculoskeletal pain where the root cause cannot be seen via examination.

Out of all the patients coming in for accidents, patients expressing severe pain after minor accidents can be seen more regularly. The accident may have damaged areas where they already had injury from before. The neck especially receives the most damage as it sways back and forth during the accident because it is not fixed by a safety belt by the neck. This is called ‘Whiplash Injury’, where not only the neck, but as well as the shoulders and whole body pain feel painful, along with complex symptoms such as tingling in hand and foot, headache, dizziness, nausea, and other.

Symptoms showing after accident include severe pain, stiffness in the arms, legs, hips, and other parts due to strong shock. As the neck is bent excessively to the front, there may be pressure or alteration in the vertebra; and as the neck is bent backwards, there may be interspinous fracture, obstruction of oxygen delivery to the brain, and damage of the autonomic nerve. Tingling sensation in hand and foot like electrical sensation, cold sensation, and muscle pain come from the spreading of shock throughout the body. The body may also experience swelling and blood congestion because of sprain and microhemorrhage from muscle and tendon injury. Additionally, stiff muscles compress on blood vessels, which induces headache, dizziness, nausea, and in worse cases, tinnitus, numbness, and other autonomous nervous system issues.

Side-effects of accident must be prevented with proper diagnosis and treatment following after the accident. Examinations such as X-ray, MRI and other imaging diagnosis are required for accurate diagnosis, and the patient must receive treatments that regulate the imbalance of the spine and remove blood congestion. Acupuncture treatment stimulates the meridian channels as well as meridian points to circulate the Qi and blood. The treatment relives pain shown in the initial stage by eliminating congested blood and treating injured muscles and tendons. Chiropractic treatment is effective in adjusting stiff or distorted bone and muscles, and in regulating body homeostasis. An effective medicine treatment that eliminates congested blood is the one that restores incongruity of blood and Qi, and breaks congested blood.  This is especially effective in restoring psychological stability by relieving tension and stress.

Acupuncture is great because it can catch the root cause of pain that is not shown in imaging diagnosis, and can treat accordingly. It may seem like there is improvement after few weeks of treatments; however, full recovery of the injured tendons and muscles is difficult within a week or two.  There may be relapse of pain in different parts of the body where it did not hurt initially. Therefore, detailed observation of the symptoms after mild accident and regular treatments for four weeks, twice a week are recommended.

The muscles become stiff during winter time because of the cold weather, worsening the hip muscles.

The following is wormwood hot pack therapy that can be done easily at home:

Boil the wormwood and after wrapping them on a towel, place over the affected area and steam the area. Steam for less than fifteen minutes; it is recommended to repeat three to four times. Wormwood helps in blood circulation, and it is effective in relieving neuralgia, arthralgia, and myalgia. Wormwood hot pack therapy can be replaced with rice bran, or applying gauge dipped in boiled black bean water is as effective.

Published by KoreaTimes under <Health Column> on December 29, 2015.

505 S. Virgil Ave #306 Los Angeles, CA 90020

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