Every year, around 2 million Americans get whiplash, usually from a car accident. You can also get it from playing sports, falling, or even roller coaster rides. Whiplash isn’t technically a medical term, but it is a very real pain. In Charlotte Spine & Pain Relief Center, learn what you can do after you get whiplash.
Tests show that the soft tissues in your cervical spine can be injured in collisions as low as 10 mph. That is, if you’re rear-ended by someone going 5mph or slower, you have a lower chance of getting whiplash. Side impact is even worse because it can damage a portion of the vertebra or even break it off.
Whiplash is an injury to the neck muscles from rapid forward and backward motion of the neck caused by a trauma (eg, a car accident, roller coaster, slip and fall). It can cause acute (short-term) neck pain as well as restricted movement in your neck.
Chiropractic care can help you cope with whiplash because it can help return proper mechanics to the cervical spine (your neck).
How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose a Whiplash Injury?
Your chiropractor will evaluate your spine as a whole—even if you go to the chiropractor complaining of neck pain following a trauma. He or she will examine the entire spine because other regions of the spine may be affected not just your neck.
The chiropractor identifies areas of restricted joint motion, intervertebral disc injury, muscle spasm, and ligament injury. He or she may use a technique called motion and static palpation. Your chiropractor will also feel for tenderness, tightness, and how well your spinal joints move.
He or she will also look at your posture and spinal alignment. These details will help the chiropractor understand your body mechanics and how your spine works, helping with the diagnosis process.
In addition to the chiropractor’s evaluation of your spine, he or she may order an x-ray or an MRI of your spine to evaluate any degenerative changes that may have existed before your whiplash injury or possible disc herniations from the whiplash.
After the examination, the chiropractor will be better able to diagnose your condition accurately, helping to create a treatment plan for whiplash.
Stages of Whiplash Treatment
Soon after whiplash occurs—in the acute phase—the chiropractor will work on reducing neck inflammation using various therapy modalities like cold laser therapy and cryotherapy. He or she may also use nutritional supplements to help reduce inflammation naturally. The chiropractor may also recommend you apply an ice pack on your neck and/or a light neck support to use for a short period of time. As your neck becomes less inflamed and the pain becomes less intense, your chiropractor will use gentle spinal manipulation or other techniques to restore normal motion to the spinal joints of the neck.
If you or a friend or family member have been in an auto accident recently please call and come in for a no-charge consultation to have your spine evaluated. Often times, when people have been in an auto accident and have left their spine unchecked they can develop arthritis 8-10 years later. Don’t let that happen to you!