Does Chiropractic Treatment Help After A Car Accident?

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A True Story About Car Accident Chiropractic Care

Growing up as the son of two chiropractors, I had no intention of going into the family business. Sure, I worked at the clinic while attending college, but I wanted to do something different with my life. All that changed one day in college when I got a phone call from my wife Khou. It’s the call everyone dreads: I’ve been in a car accident.

I didn’t realize at the time how extensive her injuries were. We would be embarking on a journey to recovery together, learning first hand not only the terrible effects of neurological damage, but also the how car accident chiropractic care relieves pain and restores health.

Concussion, Brain Damage and Memory Loss

Khou told me over the phone that she’d been rear ended. It was hard to understand her because she was crying so hard. The doctor told me she had extensive injuries to her neck and back. He warned me that her recovery would take a long time, and that she had a concussion, which might cause memory loss and other brain injury symptoms.

Boy was he right. She had sudden feelings of sadness, emotional outbursts, and repeated herself often. She started craving salt and sugar all the time, and gained weight. She had to drop out of college and she couldn’t work for months. She was in too much pain to go running, which she always enjoyed. She wanted to help around the house, but couldn’t. I drove her everywhere for over a year.

She didn’t really want to talk and when she did, she would lose her train of thought, which embarrassed her. Her memory lapses were sort of like sudden, temporary Alzheimer’s disease. She would be okay in the morning, and not okay in the afternoon. My wife’s life had collapsed and I felt powerless.

The doctor warned me to be patient, and I worked hard to help her through this, but I’m not going to pretend it was easy. It was hard not to be frustrated or angry with some of her behavior, but it made it worse if I got upset.

These changes were devastating and my greatest fear was that they’d be permanent. I spent a lot of sleepless nights staring at the ceiling. People don’t talk about the effects of concussion and traumatic brain injuries on someone’s life and the life of their family. And I knew that no matter how bad I felt, Khou was feeling 100 percent worse.

Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident

While my wife and I turned to neurological specialists for her memory problems, we relied on chiropractic treatment for her physical injuries and pain. We knew that if we ignored the physical injuries to her back and neck, they would only get worse.

Nowadays, it seems whenever you check the news there’s a new headline about the opioid crisis and addiction to pain medication. I am so thankful that my parents are chiropractors. We knew that relying on pain medicine would never lead to a full recovery and could easily lead to addiction. Imagine my wife dealing with an opioid addiction on top of all the other problems she had to face.

Chiropractors treat the soft tissues damage that happens during car accidents. My wife received spinal adjustments, physiotherapy, and massage therapy to relieve pain and help her body heal.

The Long Road to Recovery

After the phone call that would change my life, I learned what it takes to overcome these problems, and how long the healing process truly is. I learned that even when someone is in pain, they will still do their work and smile through the pain.

To assume that a person is not actually injured or in pain simply because they continue to function and appear normal is complete incorrect. People with chronic pain work very hard to continue their lives as normal as possible, even when their pain and physical limitations are severe. I learned not to “judge a book by its cover” but to realize that, while my wife smiled bravely, when I took the time to look more deeply there were tears behind that smile.

Through it all I recognized that we were lucky – we had access to specialists for her neurological problems and excellent chiropractic care for her physical injuries and pain.

It took two years – and a boatload of treatment and therapy – for her to get back to normal. We learned that chiropractic treatment and other forms of medical care go hand in hand. I kept taking her to appointments, and over time she began to feel better.

She returned to her work and trained for a new position. She was able to start running again. She felt like she could enjoy life once more. She is fine now, thanks to her neurological specialists and the miracle of chiropractic.

Dedicating my Life to Helping People in Pain

Khou’s accident had a profound effect on me. But it wasn’t just her accident that inspired me to become a chiropractor. In college my chemistry professor told me how cool she thought chiropractors were, and encouraged me to think about becoming one myself. I started paying more attention to the work my father was doing, and saw the results that our patients were getting.

I realized that I had taken chiropractic for granted, and hadn’t understood how really special it is. When I saw people coming in with pain and leaving feeling and functioning better, it made me truly appreciate the miracle of chiropractic, and I decided that this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

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About Author

Dr. Joe Graffeo

Chiropractor Dr. Joe Graffeo joined his family practice, Graffeo Chiropractic, in 1999. Patient education is an important part of his practice. He takes time to listen and talk with his patients about their symptoms, injuries and concerns. For Dr. Graffeo, being a chiropractor is more than a profession; it is a way of life – and health. When he's not helping his patients, he enjoys sports and outdoor activities with his family and their dogs. Call 503-255-5522 for a courtesy visit at Graffeo Chiropractic Clinic.

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