Dr. Michael Harbison of iCAN Clinic Discusses the Newest Research on Whiplash Injury & The Best Course of Treatment

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Whiplash was once thought of as a minor injury, but the research coming out now is showing that it is way more disabling than we previously thought. The treatment choice by your doctor can determine whether you are in lifelong debilitating pain or your problems are corrected.

“By understanding the unusual biomechanics of this form of trauma and diagnostic methods the treatment can be much more effectively administered in the clinical setting,” said Dr. Harbison.

Did you know that over three million whiplash injuries occur each year resulting from motor vehicle crashes? Of these whiplash injuries, 500,000 people will develop chronic pain, and up to 300,000 will have some degree of disability. Apart from the effect on health, there’s a significant cost to society. Approximately $43 billion of total annual HARM is attributable to whiplash and related injuries. (HARM is a metric for quantifying the total societal cost of road trauma.)

These injuries are affecting millions of Americans and if not properly assessed and treated can lead to debilitating injuries. According to the research out of the The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2012.0354) they took a sample of 42 whiplash injury patients and let them go untreated to assess the effects on their everyday lives. All 42 of them experienced debilitating symptoms during the untreated phase of the trial. Once they started to receive manipulative therapy their disability scores dropped by 31.5%. This was only after 5 manipulations. Along with this, 17 of the 42 had been diagnosed with PTSD from the accident and after the 5 manipulative treatments only 6 still had a PTSD diagnosis. If these injuries were left untreated the quality of life of these patients would continue to decline.

Dr. Michael Harbison of iCAN Clinic (http://www.icanclinic.org) says consumers need to be educated about the issues surrounding whiplash – both concerning its treatment and, importantly, its prevention. As we can see from the newest research it can be life changing if untreated. In order to more effectively treat persons injured in motor vehicle crashes, Dr. Harbison became certified in Whiplash and Brain Injury Traumatology through the Spine Research Institute of San Diego (SRISD), a research center devoted to the investigation of motor vehicle crash injury. For the past 28 years, SRISD has focused research and education on the more common injuries sustained in everyday motor vehicle crashes, such as whiplash and mild traumatic brain injuries.

As part of this intensive 48-hour training program, Dr. Harbison became familiar with the epidemiology of whiplash and brain injuries, the mechanical factors of motor vehicle crashes, and the wide range of physical injuries and clinical conditions that can occur. He learned how to conduct comprehensive physical examinations and all about the latest applications of cutting edge imaging technologies such as CT, MRI, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and others. Dr. Harbison learned how to provide patients with the most effective and comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation strategies to ensure optimal outcome potential. The program also included an intense discussion of forensic risk analysis which considers how the various known risk factors can increase a person’s chance for injury or long-term symptoms.

“By understanding the unusual biomechanics of this form of trauma, diagnostic methods and treatment can be much more effectively administered in the clinical setting,” said Dr. Harbison.

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Dr. Michael Harbison
iCAN Clinic LLC
+1 (618) 254-2273
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