By Dr. John Conde Special to The Pineapple There are several variables that contribute to the likelihood of being involved in an auto accident which include the speed of the vehicle, design of the vehicle, road design, skill of the operator, and whether the operator was impaired while driving. The most common injuries sustained in an auto accident include strain/sprains of the neck (whiplash) or of the lower back, herniated discs, contusions (bruises), abrasions (scratches), lacerations (tearing of the skin), knee injuries, and rotator cuff injuries. The most ominous injuries include traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and internal organ disruption. The neck and the lower back are the most vulnerable and susceptible regions in the body for injury in an auto accident. In regards to the neck, whiplash is the most common occurrence. It is impossible to prevent the neck from snapping forward and backward during impact. This action creates micro-tears in the ligaments and tendons that hold the neck on top of the body. Subsequently, secondary to the force of the impact the rubber like material between the vertebrae called the intervertebral disc can tear. The intervertebral disc is made up of an outer, resilient layer called the annulus fibrosis and an inner gelatin-like substance called the nucleus which is an irritant to nerves. Upon tearing, the nucleus can herniate out of the disc and irritate spinal nerves producing neck or lower back pain and pain into the arm or leg. The impact experienced in an automobile accident may also have more ominous results such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Physical and cognitive symptoms may result such as headache, nausea, dizziness, problems concentrating, difficulty with short term memory, spasticity, weakness in the limbs, and gait difficulties. The brain can shift forward and backward in the skull in response to the violent forces put on the body producing a brain contusion which is termed a coup-contrecoup injury. A comprehensive examination must be conducted after the accident to detect the extent of neurological and orthopedic compromise. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment should be conducted immediately with a goal of reducing inflammation and restoring function. The current gold standard for soft tissue injuries such as strains and sprains and even intervertebral disc injuries is Class IV High Power Laser Therapy. This FDA approved, orthopedic tool enhances tissue healing by tenfold by increasing energy and protein production in the damaged cells through a process called angiogenesis which develops new blood vessels to increase circulation to the damaged tissue. The gold standard for the rehabilitation of disc herniations is a procedure termed nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy. This process significantly reduces intra-discal pressure and promotes retraction of the herniation into the disc and facilitates influx of oxygen, proline and other substrates. Lastly, neurophysiologic rehabilitation must be conducted to treat the under functioning brain regions through a process called plasticity. The gold standard for TBI and MTBI rehabilitation is the Dynavision D2 which is used across the world in major rehabilitation hospitals and in many collegiate and professional athletic programs and is now available at The Conde Center For Chiropractic Neurology. It works on visuo-motor-spatial skills as well as on a neurological process termed “efferent copy” which integrates two very important regions of the brain; the cerebellum and the frontal lobe. These areas of the brain are responsible for everything that makes us human such as problem solving, timing, sequencing, planning, initiating though processes, and coordination. Dr. John Conde is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist. He has achieved Diplomate status through the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. John Conde is the owner of The Conde Center For Chiropractic Neurology, which integrates traditional chiropractic medicine with advanced neurological rehabilitation protocols. The conditions treated range from orthopedic injuries such as lumbar disc herniations and shoulder rotator cuff tendinitis to neurological lesions such as stroke and brain injuries. The office can be reached at 561-330-6096 and at thecondecenter.com.