Whiplash type injuries may occur with car accidents, but may also occur with sports injuries to the head and neck and even with slips and falls. The resulting damage to the cervical and thoracic spine and soft tissues can contribute to a variety of symptoms including but not limited to headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulders, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and low back problems. With mild injuries, the body may try to adapt to the trauma and over time, symptoms may slowly appear taking weeks or even months to show up.
A common result of whiplash injuries is the loss of the normal neck curve, and with this altered biomechanics positive chiropractic, orthopedic or neurological examination findings may also be noted. Most injuries to the neck caused by the sudden movement of the head backward, forward, or sideways would be forms of whiplash with the associated symptoms and clinical findings.
Unless the damage is so severe as to potentially cause instability, cervical collars are not generally used. Worn too long a cervical collar can further weaken supportive muscles and actually lengthen recovery time.
The chiropractic approach to these types of injuries is to use specific chiropractic adjustments to help normalize spinal function. After a thorough case history and examination, the doctor will recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position of spinal bones. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized. It is the chiropractic goal to reduce/eliminate pain and return the whiplash patients to the optimal biomechanics they can regain based on their individual situation.
You should consider consulting with our Doctors of Chiropractic before depending upon treatments such as addictive pain medication, NSAID's which with chronic use delay or prevent soft tissue healing or submitting to pain management injections or surgery which are invasive treatments with possible complications of infection and side effects from anesthesia.
When whiplash is car accident related:
Most auto-related whiplash injuries occur when a car is stopped and occupants are unaware that they are about to be hit from behind. Occupants often suffer more than the car.
Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a car that is struck from behind or that collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments supporting the head and spine can be stretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge tear, or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion.
Even though the car may have received little damage, occupants can suffer serious spinal injuries. Anyone with immediate pain or pain in the first few days should seek chiropractic care. It is also important to remember that the headaches that start with no apparent reason a week or two or a month or two after the accident may also be accident related and should be evaluated by a chiropractor also.
Our doctors have years of experience with dealing with car accident related whiplash and whiplash due to sport injuries. Contact us to see if we can help with your whiplash symptoms.