Whiplash? Chiropractic May Help
Whiplash injuries, more than just a pain in the neck
Chiropractic Care for Whiplash Injuries
Your neck supports the full weight of your head yet, despite this, has the greatest movement of any region of your spine. This makes it very susceptible to pain and injury such as whiplash.
Pain resulting from the initial injury may be delayed by days or weeks and, in some cases, even a year or more after the event.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is not a disease or a diagnosis, it is an accurate description of a particular type of injury.
When your neck is rapidly and unexpectedly moved beyond its normal range of motion i.e. first in one direction and then back in the opposite direction, a whiplash injury to the neck will occur.
Whiplash can be caused by a car accident, sports injury or by any number of knocks, falls or slips and can be excruciatingly painful.
What Actually Happens in a Whiplash Injury?
In a rear end collision the neck is thrown into extension. What this means is that the person is forced backwards into the car seat as the vehicle is thrust forward. This force is what causes the most damage to the soft tissue area of the neck.
After the head comes into contact with the head restraint of the car, it rebounds forward forcing the neck into flexion. As the seatbelt tightens, the head is inadvertently thrown forward until the chin hits chest.
When this movement occurs many things happen in the body all at once.
- The muscles and ligaments that support the spine can be stretched or torn
- The discs can bulge, tear or rupture if the damage is severe enough
- Vertebrae can lose their normal range of motion
- The spinal cord and nerve roots can become stretched and irritated
How Long Does It Take for Whiplash Injuries to Show?
Symptoms of a whiplash injury can be immediate and severe; however, they are often delayed. They have been known to take days, weeks, months or even years to develop.
Whiplash does not always occur after a single incident, as is the case after a sports injury. The damage may accumulate from multiple small injuries; footballers and horse riders are prime examples. Many of our patients don’t realise they are living with whiplash injuries at all, despite the symptoms they face.
What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
While symptoms do vary, here are the most common ones we see in our office:
- Neck pain and stiffness – in upper lower neck and shoulders
- Headaches – these start in the neck moving to the base of the skull then to the forehead
- Lower back pain – in a whiplash injury there is often damage to the lower back at the same time
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
The exact nature of the symptoms will vary depending on the speed and direction of vehicle impact. Your age and physical condition are also determining factors in your symptoms.
What Can We Do?
Our chiropractic approach when dealing with whiplash related symptoms is to perform a thorough examination of your spine and then explain to you if chiropractic care could help you.
Chiropractic treatment for whiplash uses specific and gentle adjustments to help restore spinal function, combined with a series of rehabilitation exercises.
Find out if chiropractic Care can help your symptoms.
If you have been involved in an injury or accident, or suspect you may be experiencing aches or pains from an earlier injury, make an appointment to visit one of our chiropractors so see if we can help you. Our chiropractic care is aimed to help ease any symptoms from whiplash injuries and to improve spinal function.