Were you recently in a car accident and are now experiencing neck pain?
Read here to learn what a chiropractor can do for whiplash from car accidents.
It came out of nowhere: First, a crash. Then the impact came...and you felt it. You were rear-ended. Great.
And, apart from the damage to your car (and theirs), the driver is also responsible for the pain that's been plaguing your neck and back ever since.
Not only are you frustrated because you're uncomfortable, but it's become harder to stay focused at work too.
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you may be suffering from whiplash.
And you may have had friends or family members recommend that you see a chiropractor after the accident. But what can a chiropractor really do for whiplash from car accidents, you ask?
In this article, we'll examine just that, so you can decide if seeing a chiropractor is the right course of action for you.
What Is Whiplash?
Before we can determine how seeking chiropractic care can help you ease the pain, it's important to define exactly what whiplash is.
After all, without a proper definition and understanding of it, how can you be sure that what you're suffering from is, in fact, whiplash?
Let's get down to it.
Put simply, whiplash is when you injure your neck due to rapid backward-forward movement (or jerking) of both your neck and head. In some instances, whiplash is also called neck strain or neck sprain.
While whiplash often sounds very serious and severe, many sufferers who have sustained the injury during an automobile accident are able to recover with relative ease. They are able to avoid chronic symptoms which can result in diminished productivity, having to take time off of work and racking up extensive medical expenses.
What Causes Whiplash from Car Accidents?
The most common cause of whiplash is car accidents. These are car accidents in which one car that is not moving is rear-ended by another vehicle.
The quick impact of the rear-ending causes a jerking motion in the neck and head of the driver and/or passenger of the parked car, which then leaves them with the aforementioned neck and/or back pain.
What Are Some Symptoms of Whiplash?
As with any injury, symptoms of whiplash are going to vary depending on the severity of the accident and the injuries that are sustained.
However, there are some common symptoms you may face if you are suffering from whiplash.
These may include the following:
Stiffness and pain in the neck
Shoulder or shoulder blade pain
Pain in the lower back
Pain or a numb feeling in arms or hands
Feelings of dizziness
Trouble remembering things
Trouble falling or staying asleep
The above are some symptoms you may find yourself experiencing in the event that you have whiplash.
How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?
In the event of an accident, you should be taken for an examination at a local hospital or doctor's office. The doctor will then examine you to get an idea of whether or not you have sustained injuries for which you will require treatment.
If the accident was severe, the doctor may decide to take an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to further assess the damage done to your muscles, ligaments, or discs - as damage to these areas could be causing the whiplash.
With a CT scan or MRI, your doctor will be better able to determine what types of injuries you are suffering from. And with a solid diagnosis, figuring out your course of action and treatment options will be a whole lot easier.
How Is Whiplash Usually Treated?
Because whiplash symptoms and severity can vary widely, treatment will often vary, too.
Some treatments for whiplash can be as simple as placing a collar on the neck and wearing it for additional support until the pain subsides.
However, if the case of whiplash is very severe, more treatment may be required. This is where chiropractic treatment often comes in.
Below, we'll go into more depth about how your local chiropractor can assist you in treating your whiplash.
Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash
There are several different ways chiropractic treatment for whiplash can be useful in the event of an accident.
Chiropractors can work with you to soothe inflammation, which can play a big role in the pain that's associated with whiplash. Don't be alarmed, though, as these kinds of treatment do not utilize force and are often very gentle.
These treatments can take the form of ultrasounds, massage, and muscle stimulation. Where massage is used, the benefit is two-fold. First, there is the reduction of inflammation. Second, endorphins are released - which can make managing pain a whole lot easier.
Other forms of treatment may involve spinal manipulation and, sometimes, electrotherapy.
In the case of spinal manipulation, adjustments are made to your spine in order to correct alignment and reduce pain.
Electrotherapy, however, is a little different. It involves applying an electric charge to the areas where the pain is radiating from via a portable battery pack that you wear.
These charges reduce pain by blocking pain signals sent to the brain.
A Final Note
Despite what you may be prone to think, whiplash is, in fact, a very common and real injury resulting from car accidents. If you or someone you know is suffering from neck pain after a car accident, you may have whiplash.
At the first signs of unusual pain, it's important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment as quickly as possible. That way, you or the person you know won't risk possibly making the injury even worse by way of leaving it untreated.
If the pain is plaguing you and making it difficult for you to sleep, be productive at work, and you've had to take time off just to cope - don't hesitate to contact us about treatment today.
You have options, and we'll work with you to figure out what they are and provide you with treatment so you can get back to living your life the way you want to as soon as possible.