Whiplash- what a pain in the neck, am I right? Sorry, I had to get that out of the way. No more puns for the rest of this article, I promise. Whiplash associated disorder (or just “whiplash,” if you prefer) is the term commonly used to describe an injury that happens when the neck is suddenly jolted in one direction and then the other, kind of like a whip. The most common cause of whiplash is an automobile accident, but it can also occur in contact sports, or falls, and other accidents.
What happens during whiplash injury is that the muscles and ligaments that support the head are torn and/or strained. Disc herniation can also occur; this is when the discs that separate the vertebrae are torn. Your head is heavy and the muscles in your neck are strong, but the nature of this type of injury, where the head is jerked one direction, and then the opposite direction very quickly actually uses that weight against you. In an accident, gravity is not your friend.
The most commonly noticed symptoms of a whiplash injury are pain, soreness and stiffness in the neck. Moderate-to-severe headaches are also frequent with a whiplash injury, and the pain and stiffness can also extend on into the shoulders and arms. Some people can also experience dizziness, nausea and blurred vision. The symptoms may not start to show up anywhere from two hours to two days later.
One of the keys to recovering from a whiplash injury is to stay physically active. Unless there is some injury that requires that your neck and head be immobilized one of the best things you can do is to stretch your sore muscles. You can also use ice and heat to relieve some of the tension and pain in the affected area.
Chiropractic care can help you relieve much of your pain and get you back on the road to recovery faster. Spinal manipulation to get your joints lined back up, ultrasound or massage therapy to help relieve pain, or mobilization exercises are just a few of the many tools that your chiropractor has at his/her disposal. In addition, your chiropractor can make recommendations about the use of ergonomic pillows or other helpful devices to provide you with more support, and stability for your neck and head while you’re sleeping or resting.
At The Joint, we do not handle whiplash injuries since we perform manual adjustments only, and do not work with insurance. So once you’ve finished rehab and you start looking for routine maintenance, we are you’re chiropractors.
One of the greatest benefits of chiropractic care is that it will help you to regain your range of movement in the affected area faster after an injury or accident; this is very helpful in the case of whiplash injury. Your chiropractor can also help you to ensure that this injury is not affecting other parts of your body by treating your body as a whole, and not just treating your sore neck.
Whiplash is no fun and with a combination of medical care and chiropractic care you can whip back into your old lifestyle once again. Sorry, I guess I had one more pun in there after all.
Story credit: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=3131
Photo credit: http://compequip.net/pc/whiplash
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.