Whiplash can happen suddenly and create long-term problems, such as chronic neck pain and restricted movements. If you have been in a car accident, or recently experienced a sudden injury or trauma resulting in whiplash, it’s important to see a chiropractor in order to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose a Whiplash Injury?
If you think you may have a whiplash injury, getting a proper diagnosis and treatment from a professional chiropractor can not only help get you out of pain, but can also prevent the risk of any long-term issues associated with the injury.
When you go in for chiropractic care, the chiropractor will look at the spine as a whole. This is because even if you are only experiencing neck pain due to whiplash, there could be other regions of the spine that have been affected and could make the pain even worse.
The chiropractor will look for areas of restricted movement, disk injury, muscle spasms, and ligament injury. There are many techniques chiropractors use to determine the severity of a whiplash injury, including:
- Spinal manipulation: this chiropractic technique involves identifying the neck joints that are misaligned and using specific manipulations to bring them back into alignment.
- Gentle adjustments: If the joints in the neck are not in their proper place, the chiropractor can use gentle movements on the affected joint in order to ease them back into place.
- Muscle stimulations or relaxations: This involves gentle stretches to the muscles that are experiencing excess tension or contracting the muscle that is restricted. Finger pressure techniques can be applied to ease the pain due to tight muscles.
- Trigger point therapy: A chiropractor can identify specific spinal joints that are limited or have an abnormal motion due to whiplash. They will restore the joint motion by applying gentle thrusts that stretch body tissues and stimulate the nervous system. This brings the spine back into alignment and reduces the pain from a car accident injury.
- Soft tissue therapy: Because whiplash involves the soft tissue, this type of treatment works to restore muscle function through applying pressure or stretching muscles that have built up excess tension.
- Instrument-assisted therapy: This form of chiropractic treatment is a non-thrusting method that utilizes a specialized hand-held device. The chiropractor will use it to apply enough pressure in order to bring things back into alignment. Another way they can utilize the instrument to provide pain relief is to perform gentle repeated strokes over the injured area.
Setting up an appointment to see a chiropractor after a car accident injury can be beneficial for a number of reasons. They will not only develop a treatment plan to help get you out of pain, but they can also offer tips on things you can do at home to reduce strain and stress on the body. These can include maintaining proper posture, icing your neck, and performing specific exercises.
What Are the Common Risk Factors and Symptoms?
While whiplash is usually known as a car accident injury, people can also get whiplash from sudden falls, high-impact sports, or amusement park rides. Some common whiplash symptoms are:
- Neck pain and neck stiffness
- Pain in the upper back, shoulder, or arms
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dizziness or vertigo
Chiropractic care is an effective method of treatment that can provide pain relief from whiplash symptoms and a number of other injuries and conditions, including low back pain, neck pain, hip pain, knee pain, tension headaches, scoliosis, and more.
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident and are suffering from whiplash pain, give us a call today to discuss how chiropractic care might be the most effective treatment option for you.