Whiplash Injury Treatment by Trained Medical Professionals
Our Chiropractors and Medical Doctors Can Assist You With Your Whiplash Recovery Process.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck strain or sprain that occurs from your head being jerked hard in a forward and backward motion.
The ligaments and muscles in your neck are extended beyond their normal comfortable range of motion cause you to experience whiplash.
Whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury typically treated by a chiropractor. (Read our Complete Guide to Whiplash Injuries).
If you have been injured in an accident and think you may have suffered a Whiplash Injury, click on the link below and schedule a Free Whiplash Injury Consultation with one of our experienced Chiropractors.
What causes whiplash?
Whiplash can happen at any time. You could get hurt playing high impact sports such as football, gymnastics, or boxing, or you could slip and fall in a work-related injury.
Click here to learn more about treatment for work injuries.
Whiplash occurs when your neck is forcefully thrown in a fast movement beyond the normal range. It causes vertebrae, spinal discs, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tissues in your neck to become injured.
In the event of physical abuse or assault whiplash often occurs.
The impact of being punched or shaken results in spraining your neck or upper back. Whiplash is the main injury encountered in shaken baby syndrome.
However, rear-end collisions are the most common reasons for a person to have whiplash. The impact of a car accident typically jerks the people inside of the vehicle causing neck pain.
Whiplash typically occurs when a person's head is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward over-stretching the ligaments and muscles.
The harsh movement can injure bones in the spine, discs, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues of the neck and upper back. The neck is extremely vulnerable to this they of injury because of its ability to move in so many directions.
What are Symptoms of Whiplash?
The odd thing about whiplash is that there usually isn’t a sign of right after an injury. Most symptoms show up a few hours or even days after the incident.
Common symptoms that a victim of whiplash will being to devolve are:
- Neck stiffness or pain
- Neck and back pain increases
- Numbness in arms
- Tender shoulders, arms or upper back
- Loss of motion in your neck
Here are symptoms that people have when they have more chronic neck pain that lasts longer:
- Ringing in ear
- Blurred vision
- Hard to sleep
- Can’t focus
- Hard time remembering
How is Whiplash Diagnosed?
There are three main steps to diagnosing whiplash. The three steps are neurological, physical and diagnostic images.
First your doctor will ask you a series of questions to better understand the severity of your pain and how it is impacting your daily activities.
Then the doctor of chiropractic will examine your range of motion, reflexes, sensation in your limbs, and tenderness to your shoulders neck and upper back. Sometimes they will have you perform tasks like walking, jumping, or sitting to observe your body’s’ movement.
They will need to check your entire spine for any misalignments. This part of the exam is done by the chiropractor placing their hands on the patient to feel for all of these potential issues.
The last part of the exam is the diagnostic images such as an x-ray, computerized tomography (CT) or a Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). X- ray are most commonly used to find fractures, dislocation or arthritis.
The nice thing about an x-ray is that it can take images of your neck from multiple angles. CT scans are special x-rays that take cross-sectional images of the bone. These images tell the doctor if there is bone damage or any subtle bone changes.
MRI scans use radio waves and a strong magnet to look soft tissues and cross-sections between the soft-tissues and bones.
After completing these three part you will be done with the exam and your chiropractor will be able to properly diagnose your injury. From there the chiropractor will go over your individualized treatment plan.
How do chiropractors treat whiplash?
Chiropractors have holistic views when it comes to treating their patient’s injuries including whiplash symptoms.
They focus on joint and muscle dysfunction, faulty movement patterns and disc derangement
The main treatment chiropractors provide are spinal adjustments. It is a manual manipulation to your spine. The chiropractic doctor will have their patient sit or lay down in the needed position for them to place their hands on the patient and apply a sudden firm force.
This causes a pop noise and realigns your vertebrae. Evidence proves that this type of treatment provides pain relief and works best with physical therapy exercise.
Other forms of treatment include spinal decompression and muscle relaxation. At times, lifestyle adjustments are necessary for a patient to get the best recovery possible.
How long does whiplash last?
Recover time is based on the severity of your injuries. The more severe the more time it usually takes to heal. Some whiplash injuries are minor enough that it only takes a few days or weeks to heal, while some injuries take longer. The most common time frame is around 3 months for a full recovery.
How can you prevent whiplash?
Stretch your neck regularly to help improve your odds of avoiding a neck sprain. Do strengthening exercises that help keep you neck muscles strong and limber.
These things can help but ultimately whiplash occurs because of an accident, so there is nothing that can completely prevent whiplash other than being careful and never getting injured.
If you have been injured and are experiencing whiplash symptoms, contact us for a free consultation. Make sure your neck is in the right hands for the best whiplash recovery.