Case studies

Whiplash injury

Patient: Male (mid 30’s)

He rear ended a vehicle, and the impact caused neck and shoulder pain. He was also experiencing headaches, and the range of motion of the neck was limited due to the pain and muscle tension. He came to my clinic three days after the accident.

week one

The pain level was 8/10 in the neck and shoulders. He had constant headaches. Also, he could not turn his head without causing excruciating pain. I released muscle tension in the neck and shoulders with the specific acupuncture techniques for releasing tight muscles. Additionally, painful areas of the body were identified, and the pain-relieving techniques were used in those areas.

Acupunture needles were also placed in the energetic points in the limbs to facilitate the systemic flow of Qi in his body. I spent twenty five minutes on the front and back of his body. At the end of the session, light massage and stretch were performed. I also gave him instructions for stretching exercises for him to do at home everyday for a week.

The pain level was reduced to 4/10 after the session, and he felt that the range of motion was improved.

week two

The pain level stayed about the same (4/10) throughout the week. The headaches were no longer constant. He still felt the muscle tension of the neck and shoulders. He also conveyed that certain movements aggravated the pain in the neck.

Similar session was held this week. At the end of the session, he reported that the pain level had been reduced to 2-3/10. Headache was gone as well.

He was instructed to continue the stretching excercise this week.

week three

He reported that the pain level was minimal in the neck and shoulders, and the range of motion was almost back to normal. He felt that there were still tight areas in the body, and I focused on releasing muscle and soft tissue tension in addition to the ongoing treatment.

At the end of the session, he said that he was almost back to normal. I instructed him to reinstroduce his own exercise regimen, provided that it doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort. Because of the steady recovery rate, we decided to skip a week in order to observe how he can manage the pain on his own.

week five

He reported that he did well on his own for two weeks. We had an final session and the exit physical examination.

My impression was that his recovery was remarkable because he was a healthy and active individual. Normally, the full recovery from whiplash injuries takes about ten sessions. In severe cases, two session weekly are strongly recommended.