If you have been in a car accident, chances are you have experienced whiplash. It’s one of the most common results of car accidents and is responsible for expenses of approximately 30 billion dollars a year in the United States alone. Most people only suffer minor cases and recover quickly, but others experience the debilitating effect of chronic cases. So what exactly is whiplash? And how can you live a pain free life after suffering whiplash?
What is whiplash
Whiplash, also known as neck sprain or neck strain is defined simply as injury to the neck. The intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged in whiplash. A sudden backward and/or forward jerking motion of the head causes whiplash. There is a lot of chiropractic treatment techniques that are used to treat whiplash.
In some cases, symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for approximately 24 hours after the initial trauma. However, within the first few days, some sufferers may develop one or more of the following symptoms: headaches, low back pain, pain in the shoulder region, neck pain and/or stiffness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating or remembering, and sleep disturbances. The only way to determine if you have suffered whiplash is to see a doctor/chiropractor and for them to administer special imaging tests such as CT scans or MRI’s. Standard X-rays will not expose damage to the soft tissue such as discs, muscles, and ligaments.
Unfortunately, no single treatment has been scientifically proven as an effective rehabilitation of whiplash. However, a combination of pain relief medications, along with gentle exercise, physiotherapy, traction, massage therapy, heat, ice, injections, and ultrasound have been helpful to many patients.
Consulting with a Physiotherapist or Chiropractor is advisable if you have suffered from whiplash. Physiotherapy can help to reduce the amount of pain and can improve range of motion in the targeted area. Rehabilitating the region is important in relieving the symptoms but also in preventing future re-injury.
Chiropractic care can significantly improve the overall health of your neck and spine. Our Surrey chiropractor employ different chiropractic treatments for whiplash depending on the severity of the injury. These methods include: manipulation, muscle relaxation and/or stimulation, and ergonomic and lifestyle changes. Manipulation is generally used for joint dysfunction. It involves gently moving the involved joint into the direction in which it is restricted. Instead of a quick thrust, the chiropractor may employ a more gentle, mobilizing movement. Muscle relaxation is most commonly used as treatment for muscle dysfunction. It involves gentle stretches to the muscle that has excessive tension. McKenzie exercises are specifically designed to reduce disc misalignment related to whiplash injury. These exercises give the patient a chance to take an active role in the rehabilitation process. Stabilization and sensorimotor exercises are designed to correct incorrect movement patterns in routine activities. This treatment trains the nervous system to better coordinate and improves the neck’s ability to maintain stability. Chiropractors may also make suggestions for performing everyday activities with minimal strain on the body.
The symptoms of whiplash can range from relatively minor to debilitating. Once you have been diagnosed, it is important to reach out for rehabilitation in order for your neck and spine to re-align correctly.