How A Chiropractor Helps Treat Whiplash
Your treatment plan with Limitless Chiropractic depends on the severity of your whiplash injury. The most common chiropractic technique is spinal manipulation. Some spinal manipulation techniques commonly used are:
- Flexion-distraction technique: This hands-on technique is a gentle, non-thrusting type of spinal manipulation to help treat herniated discs with or without arm pain. Your whiplash injury may have aggravated a bulging or herniated disc. The chiropractor uses a slow pumping action on the disc instead of direct force to the spine.
- Instrument-assisted manipulation: This technique is another non-thrusting technique chiropractors often use. Using a specialized hand-held instrument, the chiropractor applies force without thrusting into the spine. This type of manipulation is useful for older patients who have a degenerative joint syndrome.
- Specific spinal manipulation: The chiropractor identifies spinal joints that are restricted or show abnormal motion (called subluxations). Using this technique, he or she will help restore motion to the joint with a gentle thrusting technique. This gentle thrusting stretches soft tissue and stimulates the nervous system to restore normal motion to the spine.
In addition to spinal manipulation, the chiropractor may also use manual therapy to treat injured soft tissues (eg, ligaments and muscles). Some examples of manual therapies your chiropractor may use are:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy: Your chiropractor may use the Graston technique, which is an instrument-assisted technique used to treat injured soft tissues. He or she will perform gentle repeated strokes using the instrument over the injured area.
- Manual joint stretching and resistance techniques: An example of a manual joint therapy is muscle energy therapy.
- Therapeutic massage: The chiropractor may perform therapeutic massage to ease muscle tension in your neck.
- Trigger point therapy: Your chiropractor will identify specific hypertonic (tight), painful points of a muscle by putting direct pressure (using his or her fingers) on these specific points to alleviate muscle tension.
The chiropractors at Limitless Chiropractic look at the whole person, not just the painful problem. They view neck pain as unique to each patient, so they don’t just focus on your neck pain. They emphasize prevention as the key to good long-term health. In addition to these treatments, your chiropractor may also prescribe therapeutic exercises to help restore normal motion in your spine and reduce whiplash symptoms.
Using these chiropractic techniques, a chiropractor will help you increase your daily activities. He or she will work hard to address any mechanical (how the spine moves) or neurological (nerve-related) causes of your whiplash.
What Is Whiplash:
Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents. But whiplash can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse and other types of traumas, such as a fall. Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.
Symptoms Of Whiplash:
Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within days of the injury, and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
Some people also have:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
Causes Of Whiplash:
Whiplash typically occurs when your head is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward. This motion can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues of the neck.
A whiplash injury may result from:
- Auto accidents. Rear-end collisions are a major cause of whiplash.
- Physical abuse or assault. Whiplash can occur if you are punched or shaken. It's one of the injuries seen in shaken baby syndrome.
- Contact sports. Football tackles and other sports-related collisions can sometimes cause whiplash.
Complications From Whiplash:
Most people who have whiplash feel better within a few weeks and don't seem to have any lasting effects from the injury. However, some people continue to have pain for several months or years after the injury occurred.
It is difficult to predict how each person with whiplash may recover. In general, you may be more likely to have chronic pain if your first symptoms were intense, started rapidly and included:
- Severe neck pain
- More-limited range of motion
- Pain that spread to the arms
The following risk factors have been linked to a worse outcome:
- Having had whiplash before
- Older age
- Existing low back or neck pain
- A high-speed injury
If you or someone you know if suffering from Whiplash, the chiropractic experts at Limitless Chiropractic specialize in many chiropractic services including: Chiropractic Adjustments, Pregnancy Chiropractic Care, Pediatric Chiropractor Care & Upper Cervical Care.