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Environmental Factors Behind Thyroid Disease | Wellness Clinic

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of the neck. It's in charge of releasing essential thyroid hormones which control the body's metabolism, the way the body uses energy. The thyroid gland's hormones regulate vital body functions, such as breathing, heart rate, central and peripheral nervous systems, body temperature and more.

What causes autoimmune thyroid disease?
As essential as the thyroid gland is, however, the body's own immune system can sometimes malfunction and attack this important endocrine organ, ultimately affecting its function. Autoimmune thyroid diseases, like Hashimoto's thyroid disease and Graves' disease, have been on the rise in the United States. While the diagnosis of thyroid disease has increased, many doctors still don't know the cause of the issue, but these have been linked to several factors.

Environmental Factors for AITD
A number of environmental factors have been associated with the development an…

Whiplash & Neck Sprains from a Car Wreck

Whiplash & Neck Sprains from a Car Wreck - El Paso Chiropractor


Whiplash commonly occurs after a traffic collision. Although the symptoms for this type of injury usually ease on their own without the need of special treatment, it is recommended to maintain the normal mobility of the neck and seek medical attention immediately. In a majority of cases, people will turn to the use of painkillers to ease the pain but these only disguise the problem temporarily since they don’t directly treat the issues.

Whiplash-related injuries are the result of a sudden, back-and-forth motion of the head, much like a whip, as a result of an extreme force acting against the body. On account of the force from the impact of a car crash, for example, the muscles, ligaments and other complex tissues in the neck can stretch, or sprain, beyond their normal range, sometimes causing tears.

Who Can Get Whiplash?


Neck sprains, or whiplash, are significantly common. Many individuals who unfortunately experience an unexpected automobile accident experience symptoms of neck pain with or without other injuries. It’s been previously concluded that women tend to be more prone than men to suffer from whiplash-associated injuries as the structures of their body can be relatively different.

After being involved in a minor auto collision where the vehicle only sustained minimal damage, many people are often surprised to still have developed symptoms of whiplash. Including slow vehicle bumps may cause a sufficient enough jerking motion of the neck to cause symptoms.

Although less commonly, a whiplash-associated injury can also occur as a result of a sports injury or from strenuous physical activity. Some people have also reported injury from an everyday activity where the neck is suddenly jerked after a trip or fall.

Symptoms of Whiplash


While the symptoms of whiplash generally develop immediately after the auto accident, for some people, these can take up to several days, weeks, even months to develop. The common symptoms for whiplash include: pain and discomfort along with stiffness in the neck, usually worsening with each day, pain and stiffness may also be felt in the shoulders, down the arms, and in the upper and/or lower area of the back; turning or bending the neck may be difficult and painful; headaches; dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the jaw or pain when swallowing and abnormal sensations along the skin of the face; and finally, some individuals may experience fatigue and can have irritability and difficulty concentrating.

The presence of any of these symptoms could indicate the presence of a whiplash-associated injury. It’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible to receive a proper diagnosis and determine the true cause of the symptoms. If any of the above mentioned symptoms persist, be sure to tell a doctor immediately.
Diagnosing Whiplash

A healthcare professional specializing in auto accident injuries is most capable of diagnosing the presence of whiplash from the description of the incident, the symptoms the individual may be experiencing and through a careful evaluation. Because whiplash is a soft-tissue injury, many doctors may be unable to make a clear diagnosis, however, some healthcare specialists are specifically trained to identify whiplash. A careful examination of the structures of the neck, back, shoulders and arms can help determine if there’s been damage or injury to the spine or to the spinal cord or spinal nerves. Further tests may be recommended.

Treatments for Neck Sprains


Foremost, the individual must continue to stay active and appropriately stretch and/or exercise their neck. The goal is to keep moving the neck as normally as possible. Initially, the symptoms may be painful and the individual may require some time to rest their neck. Nonetheless, gently exercising the neck as soon as the individual is able to can help. It’s important to now allow the structures of the neck to stiffen up and become tight.

The individual can also gradually increase the range of motion in their neck. Every few hours, gentle movements of the neck in each direction, several times a day can help avoid stiffness in the muscles and other tissues of the neck. Continuing with normal activities is crucial at this point, natural movements of the neck will not cause further damage.

Practicing healthy postural habits can also be beneficial to ease the symptoms of whiplash. While at work or during any other situation of prolonged sitting, the individual should check the posture they are sitting in. Make sure you are sitting upright, not with your head flexed forward along with a stooped back. Several stretches and exercises, such as yoga and pilates, have been used to improve neck posture, however, there is not enough evidence to support the benefits of these techniques when improving posture. In addition, a firm supporting pillow can also help ease the symptoms when sleeping. The individual should avoid using more than one pillow at this time, to avoid further injury.

Chiropractic treatment is a common form of alternative treatment that is frequently used to treat whiplash and many other types of injuries and conditions. Chiropractic care focuses on musculoskeletal injuries and condition, particularly soft-tissue injuries like whiplash, including nervous system dysfunctions. A chiropractor often utilizes gentle spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to carefully restore the natural alignment of the spine and its surrounding structures in the case a subluxation is present. By doing so, these gentle treatments can relieve the stress and pressure being placed against the tissues around the spine, ultimately reducing the painful symptoms. Additionally, the chiropractic adjustments a chiropractor performs can help strengthen the muscles and other tissues of the affected area, helping to restore the original flexibility and mobility of the structures of the body.

A chiropractor may additionally recommend a series of stretches and/or exercises to help speed up the rehabilitation process and improve the individual’s condition through muscle strength, flexibility and mobility. As with any other type of treatment for an injury or condition, time and patience are required to ensure a proper recovery. Depending on the severity of the individual’s whiplash, the recovery process can differ for each person.

Preventing Whiplash with Head Restraints




Many vehicles today are being designed to reduce the impact from the force of a collision against the body, especially in the neck. All vehicles include head restraints on the vehicle seats which can help prevent whiplash and other neck injuries or conditions.  The head restraint should be positioned as high as the top of the head. A properly adjusted head restraint can further help decrease the chance of experiencing a serious whiplash injury or other type of neck damage as this can help stop or reduce the head from jolting backwards in an automobile accident. Safety is important and although an auto collision can be an unexpected and undesired incident, preventing harm through a few simple procedures can make a tremendous difference.


By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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