Acupuncture for Auto Accident Injuries with Neck Pain

neck pain

Traditional Chinese medicine includes acupuncture as part of its ancient practices. According to Chinese medicine practitioners, the human body has an estimated 2,000 acupuncture points connected by meridians or pathways. During an acupuncture treatment, thin, metallic needles are penetrated into the skin and subsequently activated by gentle, specific hand movements or electrical stimulation. Qi (pronounced "chee") flow occurs through these pathways within the body, which are essential for overall health. Disorders that disrupt energy flow can result in illness. It is believed that acupuncture improves health by improving the flow of Qi at specific points.

What Is Cervical Strain or Sprain?

Despite its sometimes comical depiction in old movies and television shows, cervical strain or sprain (whiplash) is anything but funny. A common occurrence in traffic collisions, cervical strain/sprain is caused when the head is moved violently forward and backward when an accident occurs. While many cases resolve on their own within a few weeks, others can exhibit symptoms that last for a year or more and affect the injured person's ability to live everyday life. Some of the symptoms of cervical strain/sprain include:

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Headaches
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms
  • Pain and tenderness in the arms and upper back
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Problems concentrating
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Affected vision
Can Acupuncture Help People With Cervical Strain/Sprain?

For those who have suffered specific injuries, including cervical strain or sprain, even highly reputable medical institutions recommend acupuncture to help alleviate symptoms such as headaches and neck pain. Highly rated hospitals such as Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and the Mayo Clinic include sections on their websites that talk about the use of acupuncture to treat certain conditions. As they point out, acupuncture relaxes and energizes some people, while others find no benefit. It may not be suitable for everyone to receive acupuncture. Talk to your doctor first before seeing an acupuncturist to find one who has the appropriate credentials and training.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture needles are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To ensure patient safety, all needles must be solid steel, sterile, nontoxic, and correctly labeled. Acupuncture needles should only be used by qualified professionals. Once the needles have been used, they must be discarded.

Is It Dangerous to Use an Unqualified Practitioner?

Unqualified practitioners may cause harm by administering acupuncture. Providers who don't follow sanitary procedures or use needles that aren't sterilized are more likely to cause infections and injuries to the central nervous system and organ punctures.

Have Tests Been Performed on the Efficacy of Acupuncture in Treating Cervical Strain/Sprain?

Several tests have been performed by professional researchers over the years on whether acupuncture helped alleviate the symptoms of whiplash. One study released in 2020 involved whiplash-associated disorder (WAD), which included 87 participants, all of whom had suffered cervical strain or sprain caused by an auto collision. After they received treatment, most of the study participants were able to return to work. 

What Types of Cervical Strain or Sprain Symptoms Can Be Treated Using Acupuncture?

The following types of injuries caused by cervical-related pain may benefit from the use of acupuncture:

  • Headaches
  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Lower jaw pain
  • Dizziness
  • Eye disturbances
  • Depression and anxiety
What Kind of Conditions May Benefit From Acupuncture?

There are some conditions where acupuncture is used as an alternative treatment or in addition to other medical care. Primarily, it is used to treat side effects from cancer treatments, headaches/migraines, and neck and back pain or traumatic brain injuries. There are few side effects or complications. 

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Acupuncture?

Acupuncture may be covered by some insurance companies but not by others, and coverage may also be limited. Find out how many treatments your insurance plan will cover from your doctor and insurer. A physician's referral may be needed.

Can I Recover Compensation After an Accident That Causes Cervical Strain or Sprain?

Some cases involving cervical sprain resolve on their own in a short time. However, in other cases, the condition may become chronic and long-lasting, which affects the injured party's ability to work and participate in activities they used to enjoy. This makes it essential for the injured person or their family to recover compensation if the accident was due to a negligent party or other entity. Medical expenses and lost wages can be costly, and few families can handle that financial drain. 

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Personal Injury Claim?

By filing a claim for compensation against the negligent party, recovery of damages can include all of the medical costs associated with the accident. This includes hospitalization, medical tests, physicians' bills, and rehabilitative care, among others. If the injury is long-term or permanent, those costs can be factored into the settlement. 

If the physician decides that acupuncture may be a positive addition to the injured person's treatment, that cost can be recovered too. This is in addition to the lost wages caused by the injury and compensation for the injured party's pain and suffering. 

How Many Acupuncture Treatments Will I Need?

According to recommendations by the Cleveland Clinic, your body's response and the severity of your condition determine how many treatments you will need. Most patients have weekly appointments. Other people may need treatment less or more often, depending on the duration of their symptoms. You'll be advised by your acupuncturist how often to receive treatment. Acupuncture may not be effective right away. A minimum of five treatments should be given to you if you decide to try acupuncture.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Sacramento

I'm Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. Acupuncture treatments may be helpful for those who experience cervical strain or sprain, but recovering compensation is essential to get the medical care you need. If you or your loved one suffered this type of injury due to another's negligence, call our injury lawyers at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for our free, friendly advice to find out if you can place a claim to recover compensation. Our record for winning cases has been proven repeatedly, which you can see by going to the verdicts and settlements page. We also welcome online inquiries.

Photo attribution: Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay 

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