Whiplash injuries are usually suffered in a traumatic accident such as a fall, slip, or motor vehicle crash. Whiplash is so common that many people ignore its symptoms and assume it will just go away. As a result, people with whiplash often fail to see a doctor to help treat the pain. More importantly, they fail to understand that a chiropractor can help provide them with whiplash treatment.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the muscles in the neck. It occurs when the neck is suddenly and forcefully thrust forward and then backward. In most cases, whiplash happens in rear-end collisions. However, it can also be caused by any activity that makes your neck snap forward and back.
If not treated, a whiplash injury can get worse and lead to other chronic issues. If you have been in an accident and feel discomfort in your neck, you should visit a healthcare professional for an examination and treatment. A chiropractor is the best choice when it comes to helping you treat whiplash.
Symptoms Of Whiplash
Suffering from whiplash can be painful. Your neck could feel tender and sore, and your range of motion may be limited. The severity of the accident will determine the severity of your whiplash injuries. The symptoms you may experience if you have whiplash could include:
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Challenges concentrating
- Headaches at the back of your head
- Blurred vision
- Chronic pain in the shoulders, upper back, and arms
How Can A Chiropractor Help Treat Whiplash?
A chiropractor is the best health practitioner to help treat whiplash injuries. If you go to a chiropractor with complaints about neck pain after a traumatic event, your spine will be evaluated. The chiropractor will evaluate other areas of your spine because other regions may be affected too.
Through evaluation, the chiropractor identifies the areas where there are restrictions in joint motion, ligament injury, muscle spasms, and intervertebral disc injury. Then the chiropractor may apply diagnostic techniques that involve touch.
In the process, the evaluator will also feel tightness and tenderness in how your spinal joints move. This helps the chiropractic doctor gently manipulate the joints back into position.
There are other techniques that the chiropractor may use to treat a whiplash injury, and some include:
Spinal manipulation entails identifying misaligned joints and moving them back to their proper places. Spinal manipulation is done by gently moving the restricted joint into the position in which it is constrained. A chiropractor can apply a slow mobilizing movement and a swift but gentle thrust in the desired direction.
Additionally, the injury could aggravate a bulging or herniated disc. As a result, chiropractors apply a technique known as flexion-distraction. The flexion-distraction technique is a non-thrusting, gentle, hands-on manipulation to help ease the herniated disc.
Muscle Relaxation Or Stimulation
Muscle relaxation or stimulation is the primary treatment for whiplash injuries chiropractors use for related muscle dysfunction. It involves the gentle stretching of the muscles experiencing repeated contractions and excessive tension.
The chiropractor may apply a more vigorous touch if the muscles are too tight. The pain associated with tight muscles will be eased through gentle finger pressure techniques.
Specific Trigger Point Therapy
A chiropractor can identify spinal joints showing subluxations (limited or abnormal motion). With a gentle thrusting technique, the joint motion can then be restored.
Additionally, this technique can stimulate the nervous system and stretch body tissues to reinstate the normal motion of the spine. By using fingers and placing direct pressure on exact points to relax muscle tension, the chiropractor can identify the specific tight points.
Interferential Electrical Stimulation
Although many chiropractic treatments for whiplash injuries are hands-on, there are other alternatives. The use of an interferential electrical stimulation device is another common option. It involves the use of low-frequency and painless currents to stimulate the neck muscles that are injured.
This treatment option can lower inflammation and pain caused by whiplash. If the injury is severe, the chiropractor may employ therapeutic ultrasound to improve blood circulation, which results in reduced neck stiffness and fewer muscle spasms. This is achieved by sending out sound waves that create gentle heat and encourage the relaxation of the muscles.
Soft Tissue Therapy
Chiropractors can include soft tissue therapy in the treatment plan since whiplash involves injury to your soft tissues. This treatment is aimed at restoring the proper functioning of the muscle(s) by stretching or applying pressure to the muscles.
Another soft tissue therapy frequently used to relieve muscle tension is therapeutic massage. Depending on the extent of the injury, a chiropractor can include a different stretch/resist techniques or muscle energy therapies in the treatment plan.
Chiropractors often use an instrument-assisted technique to treat whiplash injuries. Instrument-assisted techniques are non-thrust methods. This involves the use of a specialized hand-held device in applying force without thrusting into the spine.
Additionally, the Graston Technique is another instrument-assisted technique used for the treatment of injured soft tissue. The chiropractor can gently stroke the affected area repeatedly using this instrument. Other than treating whiplash, this simulation is good for older people suffering from the degenerative joint syndrome.
Chiropractic Advice On Ergonomic Positions
Complementing other treatment options for whiplash injuries, chiropractors also offer suggestions on how to go about performing daily activities with minimal body strain. These suggestions can affect recreational, home, and work activities that may result in the after-affects of whiplash injuries.
Additionally, a chiropractor can teach you ways to reduce stress in specific areas of your body to help ease the pain from whiplash.
A chiropractor can help you treat the symptoms of whiplash if you are experiencing pain as a result of a traumatic event. A chiropractor will examine your symptoms and develop a treatment plan for you depending on the severity of your injury. Got whiplash? Call Champion Wellness Centers of Valrico at 813-409-3304.