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CASE STUDIES: Whiplash

Please note: Case studies summarizing patientsí responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.

Male, Age 34, Head Injury, Whiplash, Headaches, Sleep Disorder, Fatigue

This 34-year-old male suffered a head injury during an auto accident in which he was rear-ended at 50mph. He described severe pain in his neck and back and headaches that originated at the base of his skull and spread to his left eye. His pain was so severe that it prevented him from sleeping, so he suffered from severe fatigue. To maintain some level of function during the day, he relied on multiple caffeinated beverages such as jolt or bull colas and/or coffee. At the time of his initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation (14 months after the accident), he had been suffering with all of the above symptoms for over a year. He had sought help from numerous practitioners including physicians, neurologists, and therapists, to no avail. He reported receiving some temporary relief from Pilates.

During his evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered, which had likely been caused by his auto accident. After the first month of care, be began to notice less pain and a slightly better ability to sleep. By the third month of care, he was reporting a larger reduction in pain levels, which was enabling him to resume exercising. After six months, all pain was absent, normal sleep was resumed, and he was able to partcipate in all previous activities and sports, including working full-time.

Female, Age 56, Neck Pain, Headaches, Chronic Fatigue

This 56-year-old female suffered from chronic neck pain, headaches, and fatigue for years. She thought the problems may have started sometime after an auto accident she experienced 14 years before. During the accident, she was hit head-on and totaled her car. The pain bothered her on and off for years-- sometimes on a daily basis and other times a month would go by without pain. She tried many practitioners such as massage therapists and chiropractors and received some relief but still the problem continued year after year. Finally, after struggling over a decade, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During her upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from her auto accident. Unfortunately the injury had never been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. After only 3 upper cervical adjustments, her neck injury was corrected. All neck pain, headaches, and fatigue healed and never returned.

Female, Age 52, Migraine Headaches, Neck Pain, Whiplash, Head Injury

This 52-year-old female was involved in two auto accidents three years apart. The first accident (she was rearended) caused migraines, neck pain, and head injury symptoms, including insomnia, depression, memory loss, and inability to multi-task. These symptoms were worsened after her second auto accident in which she was also rearended. She tried multiple therapies including physical therapy, chiropractic care, cranial sacral therapy, as well as medications from her neurologist but she could hardly function due to severity of her cognitive symptoms and pain.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered that had not been addressed by her previous practitioners. After the first upper cervical correction, she noticed that her migraines lessened. After two weeks of care, she reported noticing she was "in a better mood, had more patience, and was less grumpy". By the second month of care, migraines were greatly reduced and many of her cognitive symptoms were noticeably better. She reported sleeping better, having better energy, having a clear head to go about her daily tasks, experiencing an improved mood, and noticing excellent concentration. By the end of four months of care, she routinely reported feeling "excellently" and had few migraines and few cognitive symptoms.

Female, Age 25, Neck and Upper Back Pain

This 25-year-old female described a history of constant neck and upper back pain since an auto accident two years prior. During the accident, her car was hit at approximately 45 mph. She was hospitalized for two days following the accident and released. For the previous two years, she had struggled with chronic pain and was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation by her massage therapist.

During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was found, which probably stemmed from her auto accident. Once her head and neck alignment was properly corrected, all of her pain in her neck and upper back was absent.

Male, Age 56, Headaches

This 56-year-old male was rearended on the freeway at 60 mph. The impact rendered him unconscious and he awakened in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. At the hospital, some broken ribs and bruises were found but no other injuries were reported. Some mild headaches occurred several days after the accident and then temporarily went away. A couple of months later, the headaches returned and occurred daily. After visiting his family physician and neurologist who did not have any suggestions, he was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.

At his initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered that likely stemmed from the auto accident. During the first month of upper cervical care, the headaches diminished considerably. By the third month of care, all headaches were absent.

Male, Age 25, Low Back Disc Herniation

This 25-year-old male was involved in an auto accident in which his car rolled over at 55mph and was totaled. Two weeks later, he experienced his first episode of severe low back pain that shot down his right leg. The pain eventually subsided but reoccurred approximately six months later while playing volleyball, a sport he played his entire life. He immediately sought help from an orthopedist who ordered an MRI of his low back. He was diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation and prescribed pain pills and physical therapy. During physical therapy, he was put through a series of exercises, stretches, and traction for over six months. While the therapy seemed to help somewhat, he was plagued with chronic low back pain and stiffness and was unable to resume playing volleyball. His orthopedist recommended disc surgery. After struggling a year with chronic low back pain and wanting to avoid surgery, he sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During his initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from his rollover auto accident. Within his first month of upper cervical care, he noticed increased strength in his spine and less pain. After two months, he was able to incorporate exercise back into his life and noticed his back was feeling well. Several months later, he resumed regular activity, including volleyball, without pain, and was very happy to have avoided back surgery. One year later, he remained symptom-free.

Male, Age 25, Neck Pain, Headaches, Numbness in Hands, Fatigue

After an auto-accident, this 25-year-old male experienced spinal pain, fatigue, restlessness, headaches, and numbness in his hands for 6 months. After the first upper cervical adjustment, his symptoms improved substantially. One month later, all of his symptoms were absent. Years later, he had no return of symptoms.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Elster for her outstanding chiropractic care. I had been suffering for 6 months from chronic fatigue, restlessness, numbness of fingers and hands, neck pain, and headaches after a car accident. Upon referral from my girlfriend, I decided to set all skepticism aside and visit Dr. Elster's office. Even though Dr. Elster noted my skepticism right away, she continued to explain the possibilities available for me. I do have to admit that I did not believe that her care would help to relieve my numerous symptoms. After she explained the reasons for my discomfort through x-rays, experience, and acquired knowledge, I agreed to treatment. The treatment itself was comfortable and I could see positive results within a short period of time. The only thing I still don't believe about Dr. Elster's treatment is that all of my symptoms had nearly disappeared within one week -- after only ONE adjustment! My only regret is that I did not seek Dr. Elster's help sooner. I would highly recommend her services to anyone. Thank you very much, Dr. Elster!"

Dennis, age 25, December '97 Female, Age 16, Spinal Pain, Headaches

This 16-year-old female was a high school track star until an auto accident. Following the accident, she experienced neck pain, low back pain, and headaches. The pain hindered her performance in track. In addition, her performance in school was affected-- her grades dropped and she had trouble concentrating in school.

Within a week of care, her pain disappeared and she began running track better, winning races, and eventually won her team's most improved award. Her ability to concentrate in school also improved and so did her grades.

Female, Age 37, Insomnia, Headaches

This 37-year-old female presented with insomnia and headaches since an auto accident 2 years ago. When she tried to sleep at night, it usually took her 4-5 hours to fall asleep even though she was exhausted all day. When she tried to take naps, she could never fall asleep. She also had been plagued with headaches since the accident that involved pain near her ears and cheeks and occasionally caused nausea.

After 1 month of upper cervical care, she fell asleep within a half-hour when she went to bed at night and slept through the night. She also took naps but eventually did not find them necessary because she was no longer exhausted and fatigued during the day. In addition, the headaches were gone.

Female, Age 49, Headaches, Neck Pain, Loss of Sense of Taste

This 49-year-old female was involved in 6 different auto accidents during a 5-year period. After each accident, she suffered increased pain in her neck and head. Her third accident was most severe in that she suffered a head injury. After that accident, in addition to experiencing an increase in pain, she lost her sense of taste. Her neurologist told her the damage to the nerves controlling taste was most likely permanent and due to the head injury. She tried many forms of treatment over the years including pain pills, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. Sometime she received benefit, sometimes not, but the results were never consistent or long lasting. After struggling for 8 years with headaches and neck pain and 6 years with loss of her sense of taste, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.

During her initial examination, an upper neck injury was discovered, which unfortunately had not been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. Within the first month of upper cervical care, she experienced tremendous improvement in the amount of neck pain and headaches. By the second and third months of care, she noticed brief sensations of taste when eating certain foods and continued to show lessening in neck pain and headaches. By the fourth month of care, she experienced taste consistently, the first time in 6 years. After five months, all headaches and neck pain were absent.

Male, Age 50, Dizziness, Ear Congestion, Sinus Headaches

This 50-year-old male was involved in an auto accident in 1986. One year later, he experienced a stiff neck, fatigue, dizziness, ear congestion, and ringing in his ears. The symptoms came and went for the first three months after the accident. Finally they became constant, and were aggravated during flying. He tried many types of decongestants but the problems persisted for over a decade. Medical doctors had no answers for him.

During this patient's upper cervical chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was found, possibly resulting from the auto accident he had experienced over a decade prior. During the first two months of upper cervical care, his symptoms decreased dramatically and occurred less often and less severe. Several months later, he was symptom-free, the first time in years.

Female, Age 51, Dizziness, Labyrinthitis, Hearing Loss, Ear Congestion

This 51-year-old female suffered from her first dizzy spell in the early 80's while flying on a plane. She had a cold at the time and her ears did not adjust to the altitude. Her ears filled with fluid and she had them drained by puncturing her eardrum. Unfortunately, the clogged ears returned and she became plagued by dizzy spells and congestion and was forced to take Drixoral on a daily basis to keep the congestion down. She also suffered from hearing loss as a result of the congestion. Prior to the first dizzy spell, she was involved in an auto accident in which she sustained enough injury to her neck to require a month's hospitalization. She suffered from chronic congestion and frequent dizzy spells for ten years.

At her initial chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was found, most likely resulting from her auto accident. Once her initial upper cervical adjustment was administered, she never again suffered a single dizzy spell. She also reported that the ear congestion cleared so she stopped taking daily decongestants. Her hearing improved and her ears adjusted to the altitude during flying. She remained symptom-free ever since.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"After the better part of a decade, I've been able to stop taking a daily decongestant thanks to Dr. Erin Elster. About 10 years ago I began having dizzy spells, possibly the result of an earlier car accident that landed me in the hospital for a month with two fractured cervical vertebrae. Doctors, however, diagnosed me as having labyrinthitis and prescribed decongestants and anti-nausea medication. The decongestants kept the dizziness at bay, but each attempt to stop taking them resulted in catching colds, including stuffy ears and returned dizziness. I did not like the prospect of relying on a decongestant for the rest of my life, and became very excited when I heard the many successful results that Dr. Elster's patients were reporting. However, having had two fractured cervical vertebrae, I was not going to let just anyone mess with my neck. It is very reassuring for me that she measures my progress with her scanner and computer system, and gives me an adjustment only when I need it. I stopped taking the decongestants immediately after my first adjustment, and am elated that the dizziness has not returned. In the past eight months, I've taken a decongestant only two days because I caught a small cold and didn't want to fly with stuffy ears. It has been worth every mile that I travel to see Dr. Elster, and I am so thankful that she's been able to eliminate the dizziness and get me off decongestants. " Debbie, Age 51

Female, Age 37, Neck Pain, Arm Pain, Headaches, Thumb Pain, Low Back Pain

This 37-year-old female suffered from pain since a fall backwards on a slip & slide 15 years prior, in which she fell flat on her back and suffered a whiplash/concussion. She had constant pain in her neck, back, right arm, right thumb, right sacro-iliac joint, and daily dull headaches ever since. She had been told her pain was due to arthritis so she was prescribed arthritis medication that provided no relief.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found which most likely stemmed from her fall on the slip & slide. After 3 months of upper cervical care, all pains and headaches were gone.

Female, Age 36, Neck, Upper Back, Trapezius/Shoulder Pain, "Hunchback"

This 36-year-old female suffered from pain since a whiplash auto accident 12 years before seeking help from upper cervical care. The pain worsened after a second accident, five years after the first, in which she suffered a concussion. She suffered many days at work on a computer in which her neck spasmed and forced her to stop working. In addition, she was forced to stop exercising due to pain, which caused her to gain weight.

During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found which most likely stemmed from her two accidents. She also had a severe curve in her upper back (kyphosis), which she called her "hunchback". After six months of upper cervical care, all pain was gone. She resumed exercising including weight training without pain and was able to work at her computer without pain. In addition, correcting the neck injury had improved her spinal strength and function so the hunchback disappeared.

Female, Age 52, Whiplash, Pain, Dizziness, Anxiety, Numbness

This 52-year-old female was involved in an auto accident six months prior to upper cervical care in which she was hit sideways at 45 miles per hour. For six months, she experienced numbness of her face, blurred vision, headaches, ear ringing, anxiety, dizziness, loss of sleep, and neck and mid back pain. She tried general chiropractic care and had some relief but the results were temporary. After suffering for six months, she tried upper cervical care.

After a careful analysis of her neck injury from the auto accident, she received her first adjustment. After the first adjustment, she reported that her anxiety was cut in half, she had no headaches, her ear popped open and the ringing stopped, she slept better, the pain was reduced, and dizziness stopped. One week later, all symptoms were corrected except for some slight numbness in her face. Two weeks later, the numbness healed as well. Months later, she remained symptom-free.

Female, Age 40, Headaches, Neck Pain, Clavicle Pain, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), Numbness in Fingers

This 40-year-old female suffered with neck and clavicle pain and numbness in her 3rd and 4th fingers of her right hand for 6 months. Her right grip strength was weak and she complained of pain in her right elbow. Her neurologist gave her a possible diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) but had no treatment options. She also suffered from headaches, approximately one per week. The neck injury possibly stemmed from two different auto accidents she experienced eight years prior. This patient was adjusted only three times in her upper cervical spine and had complete correction of her neck pain, clavicle pain, headaches, finger numbness, and grip weakness within two weeks of upper cervical care.

Female, Age 61, Herniated Disc--Cervical Spine

This 61-year-old female was diagnosed with a herniated disc by her neurologist after an MRI showed a central disc lesion at C6-7. Her symptoms included neck pain, numbness in both arms and hands, and headaches. Her neurologist recommended surgery. The neck injury possibly stemmed from an auto accident one year prior in which she was rear-ended and knocked forward three car lengths.

During this patient's chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was discovered that possibly stemmed from her auto accident. After several months of upper cervical chiropractic care, her neck injury healed. She no longer felt pain, numbness, or headaches, so she was able to avoid surgery.

Female, Age 48, Head / Neck Injury

This 48-year-old female was involved in a ski accident three years prior in which another skier ran into her at approximately 15 miles per hour. She sustained head and neck injuries and could not work a full week for the past three years. Before upper cervical treatment, her complaints included headaches, neck pain, low back and left leg pain, fatigue, mental confusion, and frequent episodes of what she termed "brain shutdown" where she could not function.

After several months of care, she improved substantially. She no longer had periods of brain shutdown and resumed a full workweek. She rarely reported headaches or neck pain. The pain in her low back and leg was completely corrected. Her mental clarity and energy level were much improved.

Female, Age 44, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression, Neck Pain

This 44-year-old was involved in an auto accident in 1973 in which she hit her head on the windshield. Several years later, she had her first episode of neck pain in which her neck seized up and laterally flexed to the left. Over the years, she sporadically woke up in tremendous pain due to her neck seizing up. In the last year, the neck pain worsened with more frequent episodes. She also suffered with irritable bowel syndrome for the last year and experienced depression as a result of all of her discomfort.

After only a couple of weeks of upper cervical care, her neck pain and irritable bowel were completely gone. She returned to normal eating and normal exercise. Because she was feeling great, the depression was gone as well. Years later, she had no return of symptoms.

Female, Age 50, Chronic Neck Pain

This 50-year-old female had neck pain since the age of 10 when she dove head first into a sandbar in the ocean. The pain worsened over the last 5 years to the point that she hardly could turn to the left at all. After one month of upper cervical care, her neck pain healed and was gone. Female, Age 28, Dizziness, Neck Pain This 28-year-old female suffered from dizzy spells for the last year, and they had been increasing in frequency. Her neurologist ordered an MRI a year ago and there were no significant findings. She also had been suffering from neck and shoulder pain. Neither of these complaints had existed until an auto accident several years ago in which she was thrown forward against the windshield.

After only being adjusted twice, she was free of dizziness and pain. In fact, she never had another dizzy spell after her first adjustment, which was over one year ago.

Female, Age 47, Fibromyalgia, Whiplash

This 47-year-old female suffered from fibromyalgia since August '96 after a June '96 auto accident. She felt the pain most often in her back, neck, shoulders, chest, and hands. The pain in her chest became so strong at times that it hurt to breathe. During her initial exam, trigger points were palpable throughout her back, neck, chest, and legs. She rated the pain as an 8 or 9 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most severe. The pain was severe enough that it kept her awake at night. She tried many drugs to reduce the pain.

An upper cervical injury was found in this patient during her initial examination. After 6 months of upper cervical care, she routinely reported the pain being reduced to a tolerable "3" level-- a level which no longer ruled her life. She had not had pain during breathing and participated more actively in life.

Female, Age 30, Spinal Pain

This 30-year-old female had 2 different traumas 2 years ago and suffered with spinal pain ever since. The first was a fall on ice in which she hit her head on the pavement and the second was an auto accident in which she was rear-ended and thrown against the windshield. The spinal pain had been severely hindering her training and performance as a marathon runner.

After approximately 2 months of care, the spinal pain healed and she was able to train and run pain-free. Over a year later, she still trained without pain.

*** TESTIMONIAL ***

"After a head/neck injury from falling on ice and a rear end collision (where I was thrown into a windshield) two years ago, I suffered from spinal pain and tried chiropractor after chiropractor with minimal results. I was able to continue with my training (marathon running), but with a lot of pain and frustration. After only two weeks in Dr. Elster's care, I felt progress. Being a marathon runner takes its toll on my joints- especially my back. With the adjustments that Dr. Elster has made, my running has improved and I can run without pain! Also, she is training my spine to hold its position so I can continue injury-free!"

Tara, age 30, March 1998

Female, Age 48, Numbness, Pain, and Tingling down Extremities

After an auto accident 10 years ago, this 48-year-old female experienced neck pain, numbness and tingling down her arms and legs, and headaches ever since. An upper cervical chiropractic examination revealed an upper neck injury, most likely the result of her accident ten years prior.

After the first upper cervical adjustment, all of the numbness and tingling was gone. A few adjustments later, she was pain and symptom free and has remained symptom-free ever since.

 
 

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