Have you ever come out of an automobile accident ‘unscathed?’ Surviving a road accident without a major or visible injury does not necessarily mean that there is no physical injury.
When your car is hit from behind while you are seated, the impact thrusts your upper body forward as your neck and head fall in the opposite direction, backwards. Your head and neck will fall forward a few seconds after the impact.
The injury is worse if you had your head turned during the impact and can cause further damage to your body, especially onto the upper neck and head region.
These sudden movements can cause pain in your jaw, headaches, upper arm, neck, and shoulder. Some other manifestations of whiplash are dizziness, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty with vision and/or concentration, and weakness.
Also, it is common to experience lower and/or upper back pain or worsening of your pre-existing symptoms post whiplash injury.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash describes damage to the neck’s soft tissue by rapid movements. This usually happens to people when they experience motor accidents or take part in impact sports.
In the short term, whiplash can result in neck pain, headaches, and stiffness of the neck. Untreated whiplash can lead to more serious problems later on and the damage can last years.
In simpler terms, whiplash is musculoskeletal injury caused by severe neck strain due to sudden violent movements such as what often happens when there is a car accident. Rapid acceleration or deceleration throws the human body around the inside of the car and the result is damaged muscles and tendons in the neck and shoulders.
Whiplash can be more or less severe depending on how hard the impact was and the patient’s overall physical condition. Chiropractors also consider the patient’s gender and whether they were aware of the impact coming before it happened.
Some people do not undergo treatment for whiplash, to their own detriment. It is unwise to skip going for medical treatment after surviving a sports injury or a car accident. Most people will go home thinking that everything is fine as long as they don’t see any damage on an X-ray. But X-ray study will only show you limited things and does not mean that everything is fine.
Some whiplash symptoms will certainly not show up immediately and may take few days to months to appear.
As whiplash Chiropractors, we combine X-ray technology and examinations to locate the injured regions, as well as to rule out bone damage or nerve damage.
After experiencing trauma on your neck, the most urgent thing to do is to rest. It is important not to perform self-care by stretching your neck muscles or massaging it. It is also important to go to the ER if you feel uncomfortable/ painful soon after the injury to rule out possible fractures or any other red-flags.
Once red-flags have been eliminated, whiplash Chiropractic care can be most beneficial within the first couple of days following the occurrence of whiplash. If you can relieve pressure on the spinal nerves and realign your spine sooner, it improves the way your body heals up itself.
When your body is not taken care of soon after the whiplash injury, your body will likely compensate and heal up in inappropriate alignment with scar tissues that can further weaken the area.
Phases of Whiplash Treatment
A chiropractor will treat acute whiplash by employing therapy to reduce inflammation and alignment of the neck.
Dr. Lisa and Jenna Kim will first perform thorough examinations which include analysis of your spine, gait, balance, reflexes, motor strength, and more neurological testings as necessary. They will also use X-ray and/or MRI studies to help understand the condition of your body better.
Both of our chiropractors are more interested in prevention, so once your body improves, they will be careful to give you the appropriate therapeutic exercises to help to restore your spine to its original condition as well as to help with the whiplash.
Anyone who has suffered neck and head pain from whiplash trauma is recommended to see a Chiropractor. The sooner you take care of yourself after the injury, there’s a higher chance of faster recovery.
Car accident victims are often portrayed in the media as exaggerating their whiplash injuries. This creates the impression that whiplash is not real.
Any car accident victim is a potential whiplash victim.
If you are going through whiplash, you are probably going to witness a stiff, painful neck, dizziness, a smaller range of motion, pain exacerbated by neck movement, shoulder and back inflammation, tingling arms, ringing ears, headaches, brain fog, and fatigue.
Because of these symptoms, whiplash can make it difficult for people to drive, work, or even sleep, which makes it hard for them to recover.
Many people diagnosed with whiplash initially underestimate how much their whiplash symptoms will affect their daily life.
Some people ignore whiplash, knowing that sometimes it will clear up without treatment.
The tension that comes with whiplash can lead to persistent pain, and make it difficult for you to focus on doing anything. People who work in demanding jobs might not perform well in their work.
You might have to take some time away from your work in order to achieve full recovery.
Thy symptoms of whiplash don’t always show up immediately after the injury. Sometimes it can take up to two days for them to manifest.
It is relatively easy to achieve a full recovery with enough rest, rehabilitation, as well as a treatment for symptoms, like pain. The recovery might take longer than expected, though.
Patients need to take time to rest, because sometimes even doing something as simple as raising your hand while washing your hair might cause a lot of pain.
Other simple activities like household cleaning can also be prohibited by a poor range of motion and feeling of weakness.
It is difficult to tell exactly how long it will take to recover from whiplash- recovering from whiplash can take as long as several months to as little as a few weeks. This depends on the strength of the patient’s body, how severe the injury was and the quality of chiropractic care the patient receives.
Why Chiropractic Care is Good for Whiplash Recovery
Anyone familiar with how chiropractic care works can easily see how it can help with whiplash. Chiropractic care works to achieve the best spine alignment possible.
Because chiropractic care is so suited to restoring the spinal and muscular health, it is ideal for addressing whiplash.
If necessary, a chiropractor may co-manage your case with different health professionals and may request an ultrasound, conduct laser therapy, medical massage, physical therapy, and implement many other procedures to manage pain.
By getting your body to release tension and reset itself, chiropractic care addresses the stress in the muscles as well as inflammation.
If you have any questions on how whiplash can be helped with Dr. Jenna and Lisa Kim’s care, please call Vitalpoint Chiropractic!