Chiropractic for Whiplash & Auto Injuries

Even though the car may have received little damage, passengers can suffer serious spinal injury.

Chiropractic WhiplashYour muscles and ligaments are a lot softer than the heavy bumper of your car. Even though the car may have received little damage, passengers can suffer serious spinal injury.
 
What is whiplash? Whiplash is an injury to the cervical spine, or neck, and occurs when the muscles and other soft tissues are hyper-stretched.
 
Most instances of whiplash occur during a front- or rear-end automobile collision. The force of the vehicle being struck or striking another object are quite powerful, and can cause the neck muscles, ligaments, and tendons to twist and turn with incredible, unnatural force. These tissues, which are stretched far beyond their natural limits, can become torn and in some cases, permanently damaged. In addition, vertebral discs in the cervical spine can bulge, tear, and rupture.
 
Symptoms of whiplash may include one or more of the following:
  • Blurred vision or dizziness
  • Ear ringing
  • General stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Numbness, or burning, piercing and/or radiating pain in the neck, jaw, face, shoulders (and between the shoulder blades) and arms
  • Pain in any of the extremities
  • Sharp pains when moving an extremity such as an arm or finger
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Low back pain 
The human body will attempt to immobilize the injured area following a trauma. This usually begins with "protective" muscle spasm. As the name implies, the spasm is an attempt to prevent further harm by immobilizing damaged joints and muscles. If function is not restored within 4-8 weeks, then scar tissue will be laid down at the site of injury hampering the return to full function.  This may eventually lead to increased bone growth with the risk of increased disc and joint degeneration.  Inflammation will also occur at the site of the injury causing pressure and pain.
 
Treatment for Whiplash
Since injuries following a motor vehicle accident tend to affect many different tissues, a multi-pronged treatment program is often necessary to achieve full recovery.
 
Ice, anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve), painkillers and muscle relaxants can offer short-term relief, but do not address the source of the pain. These methods only mask the symptoms and can sometimes be harmful especially if it allows the injured person to perform activities that should be avoided until significant healing has occurred. Remember, pain and muscle spasms are both protective responses that attempt to prevent further damage.
 
Chiropractic Adjustments return joints to their proper motion and position allowing your body to regain its lost function. This often relieves pain caused by inflammation trapped within the joints and reduces strain on tight, fatigued and spasmed muscles. Chiropractic adjustments are also effective in reducing pressure on "pinched" nerves and joint irritation often associated with headaches.
 
When should I get treatment?
Pain intensity does not measure your need for treatment.  A chiropractic examination should be performed immediately following an accident to determine if an injury is present and to commence chiropractic treatment.
 
The goal of chiropractic care is to return the injured joints, muscles and nerves to complete, healthy function to reduce this increased risk of degeneration.
 
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call us today for an examination and consultation to find out if you are experiencing an injury that can cause chronic issues and an increase risk of degeneration.