Whiplash: the Facts You Need to Know
Here at Centennial Chiropractic Clinic in Springfield, we commonly see patients with whiplash injuries. Whiplash is defined as a soft tissue injury to the neck. Essentially, whiplash occurs when the neck is moved back and forth quickly and with a lot of force. The motion is similar to that of a whip, which is where whiplash gets its name.
Whiplash as an Auto Accident Injury
Anything that causes sudden and forceful movement of the neck can cause a whiplash injury. This includes physical assault, falls, motorcycle accidents, amusement park rides, and blows to the head. However, auto accident injuries are the most common cause of whiplash.
Two-thirds of people who are involved in an auto accident will experience whiplash. Most of these are rear-end collisions. The head and neck are thrown forward then back violently. Unfortunately, whiplash symptoms take between 2-24 hours to appear. Even with more severe injuries, it can take 12 hours for the full range of symptoms to develop. Many people do not seek medical treatment immediately after an accident, only to end up with long term problems from whiplash.
Pain and stiffness in the neck is the defining symptom of whiplash. It may radiate out into the shoulders, arms, upper back, and chest. Once whiplash sets in, neck movement becomes painful and difficult. The next most common symptom of whiplash is a headache, occurring in about 2/3 of patients. Dizziness, difficulty swallowing, and blurred vision can accompany the injury as well.
Traditional medicine offers little treatment for whiplash, and generally focuses on symptom relief. However, chiropractic care can be very helpful in restoring alignment and facilitating healing.
Chiropractic adjustment is the most well-known aspect of chiropractic treatment. It helps gently realign your body so the healing process can begin. Your chiropractor will likely utilize muscle relaxation techniques as well. This will relieve pain and aid healing by relaxing muscles that are tensed due to your injury. Lastly, McKenzie exercises can be performed in the office and at home. These exercises will help strengthen your muscles and speed the healing process.
If you believe you have a whiplash injury, Centennial Chiropractic Clinic in Springfield can help. Don't suffer from the pain. Make an appointment with our office and let us see what we can do for you.