Croft Guidelines, or CG, are used to diagnose and treat whiplash injuries and other cervical acceleration deceleration (CAD) injuries. CG is particularly common in personal injury cases. Chiropractors can use Croft Guidelines to diagnose and treat occupants of a vehicle involved in a motor vehicle collision, including anyone who received a CAD injury during the incident.
The CG grading system was created by internationally-renowned chiropractor Dr. Art Croft. Dr. Croft, a whiplash specialist, proposed the system in 1993 and updated the system numerous times over the years. Today, most states and several Canadian provinces have adopted the Croft Guidelines. They’re the most-used national standards in North America for the treatment of CAD injuries. Since the 1990s, many doctors have also included Croft Guidelines in their reports to car insurance companies after a motor vehicle accident.
Ultimately, Croft Guidelines allow individuals with whiplash and CAD injuries to receive better care when attempting to return to the pre-crash condition.
How Do Croft Guidelines Classify Injuries?
Croft Guidelines classify the severity of injuries, the states of injury, and the type of collision that caused the injury. Here’s a basic overview of how Croft Guidelines work:
Types of Collisions
Type 1: The primary impact came from the rear (the struck car was moving or stationary)
Type II: The primary impact came from the side
Type III: The primary impact came from the front
Other: There were multiple impacts, the vehicle rolled over, the vehicle spun out, etc.
Grades of Injury Severity
Grade I: Minimal: The patient has no limitations of motion or ligamentous injury, nor are there neurological findings
Grade II: Slight: The patient has limitations of motion but no ligamentous injury or neurological findings
Grade III: Moderate: The patient has limitations of motion, some ligamentous injury, and neurological findings may be present
Grade IV: Moderate / Severe: The patient has limitations of motion, ligamentous instability, and neurological findings are present. There may be a fracture or disc derangement.
Grade V: Severe: The patient requires surgical management or stabilization.
Stages of Injury
Stage I: Acute: Inflammatory phase (first 0 to 72 hours)
Stage II: Sub-Acute: Repair phase (72 hours to 14 weeks after the accident)
Stage III: Remodeling Phase: Remodeling (14 weeks to 12 months after the accident)
Stage IV: Chronic: Permanent injury
Based on the information above, the chiropractor may recommend different types of treatment. Those with Grade I injuries, for example, will receive different treatment than those with Grade III injuries.
The Croft Guidelines also outline a number of factors that can complicate CAD trauma management and the duration of medical treatment. Factors like advanced age, metabolic disorders, and osteoporosis, for example, can complicate rehabilitation from whiplash-related injuries. Other potential sources of complications according to Croft Guidelines include degenerative disc disease, developmental anomalies of the spine, scoliosis, prior spinal surgery, fibromyalgia, and spondylosis.
How Chiropractors Can Help
Chiropractors, including Dr. Jumper and the team at Renew Chiropractic, can use Croft Guidelines to help patients begin rehabilitating from whiplash and CAD injuries. Chiropractors have specialized skills and techniques that can help patients regain function following a vehicle accident. Croft Guidelines help personalize that chiropractic treatment.
Request a free consultation from Lakewood chiropractor Renew Chiropractic. Call 720-493-5885 to speak with one of our friendly staff about how we use Croft Guidelines to provide superior chiropractic care.