Whip It Good!
If you have experienced whiplash at any point in your life, you understand how debilitating the effects can be. This soft tissue injury of the neck occurs due to a sudden and unexpected extension and flexion of the neck.
Pain can begin anywhere from 2 to 48 hours after the initial injury and can be felt in the shoulders and upper back, chest, and even the arms. Most patients report stiffness in the neck and many report accompanying headaches.
Because whiplash is quite common, many people simply accept this injury as a side effect of an accident. Consequently, they do not seek proper care for their pain. If you are reading this because you’d like to treat your whiplash – congratulations, you have taken a step that many people do not. If the injury occurred within the last 48 hours, a cold compress can be applied to reduce your symptoms. Additionally, chiropractic care can be very helpful on your journey to recovery.
So how do chiropractors treat whiplash?
The basis of chiropractic care for this neck injury involves spinal manipulation techniques to realign the spine and relieve pain. After an individual assessment of the injury, chiropractors will commonly use flexion-distraction technique, instrument-assisted manipulation, and/or specific spinal manipulation for whiplash. These techniques involve gentle pushing motions on the intervertebral discs, special instruments that apply controlled force, and thrusting motions to realign the spine.
Additional modalities can be useful in these treatments such as ultrasound therapy and interferential current electrotherapy. Ultrasound therapy produces heat using sound waves to increase circulation and promote healing, while with interferential currents we activate muscles and reduce inflammation.
Following your treatment, you will receive a plan to continue addressing your pain from home until your next visit. There are several light stretches that can be done to alleviate whiplash symptoms. A chiropractor can help recommend the best exercises and teach you how to safely perform these at home.
As you now know, there is plenty we can do to help with your whiplash and this injury should not go untreated. Do yourself (and your neck) a favour and contact us if you are suffering from a whiplash injury. We are more than happy to help!