Whiplash, or neck strain, is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck. Sudden backward and forward movement usually causes whiplash injury and is often the result of rear-end car crashes. A severe whiplash injury can also include damage to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles and nerve roots.
Some people experience pain right away while it may takes others a few days. Symptoms of whiplash may include a stiff neck, muscle and ligament injuries, headaches or dizziness, difficulty swallowing or chewing, hoarseness, burning or prickling, shoulder pain, and even back pain.
The symptoms of whiplash usually subside in 2 to 4 weeks. However, patients who continue to have symptoms despite treatment may find temporary relief by keeping the neck immobilized using a halter in the office or at home. This is referred to as cervical traction. Local anesthetic injections may also be helpful.
If symptoms continue or worsen after 6 to 8 weeks, further testing may be necessary to see if the patient suffered a more severe injury. Severe extension injuries like whiplash can damage the intervertebral discs. If this occurs, surgical repair of the discs may become necessary
The neck consists of 7 cervical vertebrae held together by muscles and ligaments, as well as joints enabling motion, and a system of nerves. The anatomy of the neck allows for a wide range of movement, which also makes it susceptible to a whiplash injury. As people age, their range of motion declines and muscles lose flexibility and strength, while ligaments lose some of their elasticity. This can make the effects of whiplash more severe for older people.
For advice on how a chiropractor can treat these conditions, please click to request a Free Chiropractic Exam.
How can Chiropractic Help Whiplash?
Your chiropractor is qualified to restore the health of your spine. Special chiropractic techniques may relieve the pressure that is causing your neck pain. After locating the misaligned vertebrae in your back, your chiropractor manually applies gentle pressure and repositions the vertebrae for neck pain relief. These adjustments can help restore alignment, improve mobility, and relieve neck pain and stiffness.
The physical and psychological damage of whiplash can become chronic, and deteriorate the victim’s overall health. Chiropractic techniques and skills are targeted at neck pain relief associated with a whiplash injury. Chiropractors can also help to restore movement in the neck, overcome muscle weakness, and straighten the vertebra thus eliminating persistent problems.
Consistent chiropractic adjustments have proven to be beneficial to many victims of whiplash. When not treated properly whiplash victims see themselves as helpless. Chiropractic significantly reduces patient distress and allows them to return to normal activities.
For advice on how a chiropractor can treat these conditions, please click to request a Free Chiropractic Screening.
Please Note: The information provided here is merely referential and informative. It is in no way a representation of professional medical advice and you should consult your chiropractor to determine any possible diagnosis and treatment methods that you may require.