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Whiplash, Du Huo and Qiang Huo

Whiplash is the result of rapid, violent acceleration and deceleration of the head, causing the neck to flex like a whip. This forceful motion can injure nerves, ligaments, muscles, and bones located in the neck, causing a variety of symptoms that can linger long term.

Most people recover from whiplash with time and conservative treatment, but not everyone. Some people experience symptoms that last for months, or longer. Chinese medicinal herbs can offer an effective alternative treatment for patients with the condition.

Symptoms and Western Treatments for Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash is often the result of a rear-end vehicle accident, but any high-impact contact can cause it. Contact sports and physical abuse are two examples.

Symptoms of a whiplash injury may take several days to develop. If symptoms do emerge, they may include the following:

  • Neck, shoulder or upper arm pain and stiffness
  • Loss of motion in neck or shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling or numbness in arms
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood swings or depression

Some of these symptoms are rare, but they can be long lasting.

Western medicine takes a measured approach to treating whiplash. Pain management, exercise and physical therapy are usually the first and last line of treatment for whiplash. Pain may be addressed with rest, heat/cold application, over the counter or prescription pain medication, or lidocaine injections near the injury site.

Du Huo, Qiang Huo and Their Use in Whiplash Injury

Some patients don’t attain the relief they’re looking for through western treatments alone. For these patients, Chinese herbs like Du Huo and Qiang Huo may help. Both are used to treat a painful “obstruction” – either a blood-related or Qi-related obstruction. In either case, an obstruction represents a malfunction in how the body’s energies are communicated through organs and tissues. There are numerous pathologies in Chinese medicine that can give rise to an obstruction, including wind, dampness, or cold.

Du Huo (notopterygium root) and Qiang Huo (Angelica root) work in tandem to resolve these pathologies. Both are warm herbs that enter the bladder channel and disperse the wind, cold and dampness often associated with musculoskeletal pain. As the bladder channel runs up to the back of the neck, accessing this channel with the right herbs can target the source of the whiplash injury and deliver restorative herbal compounds where they’re needed most. Have a conversation with your Licensed Houston practitioner today to understand the ways they can be of assistance.

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