Naturopathic care is often overlooked as a treatment choice for individuals who have experienced both minor and catastrophic motor vehicle injuries. However, it may be a valuable component of integrative rehabilitative measures you may wish to explore, particularly if you, or someone you know, is receiving care for musculoskeletal injuries, is currently in the process of healing their tissues, is experiencing ongoing locomotor deficits, requires assistance with pain management, or is experiencing cognitive concerns post-head injury.
Very recently, I was in a motor vehicle collision where I was rear-ended by a cube van driver who was preoccupied and did not decelerate on time to avoid contacting my car during the usual home-time rush hour traffic. The collision was not a pretty one involving my car, the cube van, and another car in on-coming traffic. After almost 2 months, my car was returned to me after $16,000 of repair. Thankfully, everyone walked away from the accident safe and intact. After the fright of the incident and in the aftermath of my soft-tissue injuries, I teasingly told my fiancé that it was a good thing the only thing dinged was replaceable metal and thank goodness he did not have to replace me with new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. From a curious scientific, physiologist’s and healthcare practitioner’s perspective, the accident provided me with first-hand experience of whiplash, whereby the head and neck are forced to go beyond its natural range of motion into hyper-flexion and hyper-extension.
With respect to MVCs, I now appreciate more than ever the importance of having a car with good safety features and a reputable safety track record. Post-accident, I spoke with a very delightful and caring Chiropractic Doctor who happened to be at the scene of the accident. Though I was ambulatory post-accident (likely as a result of large amounts of adrenaline pumping through my bloodstream from the fright of the accident) this very same Chiropractic Doctor later told me he thought I would have been immobilized for a good 2 months given the damage to the vehicles involved.
My secret? I attribute my relatively speedy recovery to diligent self-care utilizing the various tools provided through naturopathic medicine post-accident. I was diagnosed by the treating ER physician at North York Central Hospital with soft-tissue injuries to the neck and back, mostly localized to the left-side of my body from the seat belt. I was prescribed your typical musculoskeletal anti-inflammatories and was sent home to monitor changes in mental acuity and dizziness I had been experiencing. By the time I had been evaluated by the ER physician, the muscle stiffness had begun to set in and I was warned I would feel 10x worse than I did at present, and that it would only continue to get worse 72-hours post-accident before it got better.
It is difficult for anyone truly, to be able to foresee what may have happened had I decided to go the route of conventional medical care versus naturopathic medical care that evening. What I do know is that immediate post-injury naturopathic treatment with the combination of homeopathic remedies and creams, targeted nutraceutical therapy for pain management, the use of medicinal foods (including omega-3 fatty acids to alter the prostaglandin series associated with inflammation, tissue repair and injury), use of specific medicinal botanicals (including curcumin, bromelain, boswellia, rutin) and natural topical analgesics (including menthol and camphor) resulted in timely recovery, return to work and activities of daily living. To-date, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, massage and prescribed physical exercises focused on strengthening my neck, shoulders, back and core abdominal muscles have played a vital role in my improvements.
Alongside the sage advice of your medical doctor, chiropractic doctor, physiotherapist, massage therapist, certified exercise physiologist and psychologist I encourage you to consider the benefits of receiving naturopathic medical care to help you with your injuries and to help expedite your recovery time.