Whiplash-a soft tissue injury to the neck-is also named neck sprain or neck strain. It is characterized by a collection of symptoms that happen following destruction to the neck, typically given quick extension and flexion. The disorder generally occurs as the result of an automobile accident and may consist of injury to intervertebral joints, discs and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots. Symptoms such as neck pain may appear directly after the injury or may be delayed for several days. In addition to neck pain, other symptoms may include neck rigidity, injuries to the muscles and ligaments (myofascial injuries), headache, dizziness, abnormal sensations uch as burning or prickling (paresthesias), or shoulder or back pain. In addition, some people experience cognitive, somatic, or mental conditions such as memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness\/irritability, sleep disruptions, weakness, or depression.
Whiplash injuries can be sustained in any type of car accidnets but occur most often in rear-end collisions. Based on National Automotive Sampling System data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that there were 805,581 whiplash injuries occurring every year between 1988 and 1996. Of these traumas, NHTSA estimated that 272,464 occurred as a result of a rear impact. A 1999 Institute study found that 26 percent of drivers of rear-struck vehicles reported neck injuries to their insurance company. This was about the same as the 24 percent neck injury rate reported in a 1972 Institute study. Estimates of neck injury rates in other studies have ranged from 7 to 37 percent, depending on whether police or motorists reported the information.
Chiropractic Care for Whiplash
Whiplash is a common ailment after a rear-end car collision. Even low-speed car accidents can result in whiplash, which is the result of a sudden jolt that causes unnatural movement of the cervical spine located in the neck. The result is often painful, stiff muscles and an inability to move the head in certain directions without discomfort. Though every whiplash case is as unique as the patients who suffer them, chiropractic care to treat whiplash is a proven way to restore mobility, reduce pain and help you move on with your life.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Every whiplash case is different, but whiplash usually has a few telltale signs and symptoms that help doctors make an accurate diagnosis:
- Symptoms that appear within 24 hours of the injury
- Headache at the base of the skull
- Painful bending or moving of the neck
- Spasms of the neck muscles
- Why should I see a chiropractor for my whiplash?
Chiropractors take a unique approach when it comes to treating whiplash. While some medical professionals may turn to medication to relieve pain and take a wait-and-see approach, hoping time will help the injury heal, chiropractors treat whiplash much differently. Chiropractors understand the underlying causes of whiplash pain, and know that restricted movement and muscle stiffness need special care than can only come from spinal manipulation. Helping to relieve the pain of whiplash is an important part of the treatment chiropractors offer, but chiropractic care for whiplash goes beyond the pain, treating not just the muscles involved in the injury, but the nerves, joints and tendons that may also be effected. The holistic approach to whiplash treats the entire spine and protects the overall health of the body as a whole.
How does a chiropractor treat whiplash?
Chiropractors offer non-drug treatment options for whiplash, which can be safely combined with any general medicine treatments doctors may provide. The greatest benefit of chiropractic care for whiplash is that it does not simply mask symptoms; it treats the cause of the pain and helps speed healing with natural, painless techniques proven to provide relief. Chiropractors offer a variety of treatments for whiplash:
- Painless diagnosis techniques to pinpoint the cause of the pain and identify any other damage to the cervical area and the joints, nerves and muscles around it.
- Specialized spinal adjustments that realign the vertebrae and restore mobility.
- Targeted massage to soothe strained muscles around the injured area.
- Whiplash usually takes us by surprise, but donít let a sudden, unexpected injury like whiplash derail your life. Seek qualified medical care and diagnosis by a professional and remember that chiropractic care is the safe, drug-free way to treat whiplash, and not just mask the pain it causes.
Ask your chiropractor today about how chiropractic care can help you recover more quickly from whiplash after a traffic collision.