Research estimates that around 3 million Americans suffer from a whiplash injury every year, with 50% of these experiencing chronic pain as a result of their injury. Many people are surprised to learn that you don’t need to be traveling at high speed to suffer from a whiplash injury either. In fact, most occur at crash speeds under 12mph.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that affects the neck. It occurs when the sudden, forceful movement of the head causes the connective tissues found in the neck and upper back to overextend, damaging them. This rapid movement can also injure bones in the spine, the discs between the bones, the muscles, and even the nerves.
The severity of whiplash can vary considerably. It also may not be obvious right away. This is because when you are involved in an accident, your body produces adrenaline which can mask any immediate pain and injuries. For this reason, as many as half of the whiplash injuries aren’t diagnosed until 24-48 hours after the accident that caused them.
What Causes Whiplash?
Although whiplash is most often associated with vehicle collisions, and in particular, rear-end accidents, it can also be the result of other types of traumas, including sports accidents, a slip or fall, or physical abuse.
What Are The Symptoms Of Whiplash?
It can take hours or even days for the symptoms of whiplash to manifest. However, when they do, you may experience many of the following:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain that gets worse when you move
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches that normally start at the base of the skull
- Tingling/numbness in the arms
- Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
Whiplash can also cause a range of symptoms that don’t directly affect the head or neck. Some people may also experience:
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
- Issues with concentration
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep disturbances
- Low mood/depression
If you notice any of these symptoms following an accident or injury, we recommend that you make an appointment with your chiropractor as soon as you can.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Whiplash?
Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that is used to address specific and non-specific pain and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system, which includes the spine and cervical spine (found in the neck).
Chiropractors use a range of different techniques including spinal manipulations/adjustments, spinal decompression, therapeutic massage, heat/cold therapy, physical exercises, and more. These will help to:
- Reduce inflammation, which helps facilitate movement and minimize patient discomfort without medications.
- Improve your circulation, sending additional blood and nutrients to the cells of your body that require healing. In this case, this is the muscles, connective tissues, and other structures of the neck.
- Release of tension contained within the muscles that are causing pain and stiffness.
- Improvement of the ability of the neck muscles to maintain the stability of the neck.
Chiropractic care can also be used to treat past whiplash injuries after healing. It does this by further strengthening the muscles, improving mobility, and stimulating the response of pain-relieving endorphins which will help to prevent any long-term effects.
For more information about chiropractic treatment for whiplash, visit Auburn Hills Chiropractic and Rehabilitation in Wichita, KS. Call (316) 721-2220 today.