If you have ever had to deal with the pain of whiplash you know how it can impact every aspect of your life. Daily tasks can be painful or even impossible to carry out. Even milder cases can make it difficult to turn your head from side to side. Whiplash can cause chronic pain and keep you from doing many of the activities that you enjoy.
Chiropractic is a very effective treatment for whiplash that not only helps with pain management; it also helps you heal faster. Your chiropractor can recommend exercises you can do at home between treatments and other lifestyle changes that will facilitate your healing and improve flexibility.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a term that describes an injury that is typically focused in the neck and spine. It is caused when the head and neck is thrown in one direction very unexpectedly and quickly, then is thrust in the opposite direction. The head is whipped quickly, usually front to back. It can be whipped from side to side though.
Most people associate whiplash with car accidents, but even just turning one way while a child tugs your arm in another direction can cause it. Anything that jerks your head suddenly has the possibility to cause whiplash.
What Damage does Whiplash Cause?
The damage that is caused by whiplash is called a vertebral dysfunction. It is the most common source of discomfort and pain that is caused by injuries due to whiplash. There are different kinds, caused by tension and emotional stress, poor sleeping positions, bad posture, weak muscles, and inadequate diet. This type of dysfunction is caused by injury and a chiropractor can diagnose the injury and treat it.
The injury from whiplash is in the neck and spine, but the pain can extend to the head, arms, shoulders, hips, and legs. You can experience frequent headaches, numbness and tingling in your hands, and have difficulty walking or moving about. The pain can range from stiffness and soreness to stabbing and sharp. The injury can affect various nerves, causing blurred vision, dizziness, low back pain, ear ringing, and even problems with your internal organs.
Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash
Chiropractors will use different techniques to relieve the pain of whiplash and help with healing.
- Chiropractic Adjustment – The chiropractor performs spinal manipulation to gently move the joints into alignment. This will help to align the body to relieve pain and encourage healing.
- Muscle Stimulation and Relaxation – This involves stretches the muscles that are affected, relieving tension and helping them to relax. Finger pressure techniques may also be combined with the stretching to relieve pain.
- McKenzie Exercises – These exercises help with disc derangement that whiplash causes. They are first performed in the chiropractor’s office, but the patient can be taught how to do them at home. This helps the patient have some degree of control in their own healing.
Each whiplash case is different. A chiropractor will evaluate the patient and determine the appropriate treatment on a case by case basis. Different cases of whiplash have different symptoms. The chiropractor will determine the best course of treatment that will relieve your pain and restore your mobility and flexibility.
Any accident that causes whiplash can result in the vertebrae moving out of alignment. This can damage and irritate the spinal nerves. Even whiplash from years ago can still affect you if you never saw a chiropractor. Your spine can still be out of alignment and injury or trauma from years ago can cause problems that seem unrelated. Whiplash can be far more serious than you may realize.