More Than Standard Neck Pain: Whiplash and Chiropractic Care

Whiplash and Chiropractic Care

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries resulting from traumatic accidents, such as a fall or car accident. Because it’s such a commonplace injury, most people think it’s something to be expected during such accidents — failing to seek proper treatment for it. However, it’s crucial to make plains to get an efficient treatment for your whiplash injury. If you’re experiencing neck pain due to whiplash, it’s best to visit a chiropractor to receive proper Whiplash and Chiropractic Care

Diagnostic Process for Whiplash Injuries

When making an appointment to visit your chiropractor, you’ll need first to share the type and location of pain you’re experiencing. But don’t assume that they’ll jump right into treating your whiplash because chiros operate with an understanding that one’s body is more interconnected than what conventional medicine addresses. That’s why their more synergistic approach will usually look more like an evaluation. 

Regardless, they’ll determine your spinal cord is improperly functioning alongside other issues that you may be experiencing. They do this through physical examination, looking for details like tension, muscle spasms, injury, and limited range of motion. After completing the assessment, your chiropractor will better understand your condition, helping them develop a tailored treatment plan to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life. 

Whiplash and Chiropractic Care – Different Treatments 

The treatment your chiro will make for you depends on the severity of your whiplash injury, but the most common technique they use is spinal manipulation. That said, here are the different treatments chiros use to treat whiplash injuries: 

  • Spinal Manipulation 

This technique is also known as chiropractic adjustments, and they usually entail identifying the misaligned neck joints and positioning them back into the right place. Chiros do this by gently moving the affected neck joints into the direction in which it’s constrained. They also can apply swift yet gentle thrusts on the affected area or a slow mobilizing movement in certain situations. 

  • Muscle Stimulations or Relaxation

The primary whiplash treatment used by chiros to address muscle dysfunction is muscle stimulation relaxation, which includes gentle stretches to the tensed muscles. If the affected muscles are too tight, chiros apply a more vigorous “stretch.” 

  • Instrument-assisted Therapy

This treatment technique is a non-thrusting method that practitioners use with the help of a specialized hand-held device. They do this by applying force without thrusting into the spine, treating injured soft tissues around it. Chiropractors can perform gentle yet precise strokes using the instrument over the affected area. 

  • Chiropractic Advice on Ergonomic 

Chiropractors provide whiplash treatment suggestions to perform daily with minimal strain on your body. This method can address several factors, including work and home activities that can propagate issues caused by whiplash. Moreover, these practitioners can teach better ways to reduce stress. 

  • Specific Trigger Point Therapy

This form of therapy helps chiros identify spinal joints that are limited or show irregular motion, commonly called a subluxation. They will help store the ideal movement pattern in the affected area using gentle thrusting techniques involved in specific trigger point therapy, stretching body tissues while stimulating the nervous system, and reinstating regular spine motion. 

  • Interferential Electrical Stimulation

Although most chiropractic treatments are hands-on, some alternatives aren’t. One of the most commonly used techniques is interferential electrical stimulation, which involves painless and low-frequency currents stimulating your injured neck muscles. It can reduce pain and swelling caused by whiplash. 

  • McKenzie Exercises, Stabilization, and Sensorimotor

McKenzie exercises are unique exercises designed to reduce disc instability related to whiplash injuries. They consist of simple movements done in the clinic and at home, allowing you to take on an active role in your recovery — speeding up the process. 

Moreover, chiros use stabilization and sensorimotor approaches to help correct faulty movement patterns. These two can help your nervous system coordinate and control better movement patterns, enhancing the ability of your neck muscles to maintain stability. 

  • Soft Tissue Therapy 

Because whiplash involves injuries on soft tissues, these professionals usually include “soft tissue therapy” in the treatment plan. This technique can help restore proper muscle function by applying pressure or stretching the tensed muscles. The most common one chiros use therapeutic massage, relieving muscle tension. 

Chiropractors often look at patients as a whole, not just the pain. They view whiplash as unique to each patient, helping them develop custom Whiplash and Chiropractic Care treatment plans that’ll be most effective on each patient — all while emphasizing that prevention is the key to excellent long-term health. Additionally, they may prescribe therapeutic exercises to help you restore normal motion in your spine and reduce the pain. 

When to Get Treatment for Whiplash

Whiplash or neck sprain doesn’t always mean you’re suffering from whiplash alone. If you’re starting to experiencing any of the following symptoms a day after your accident, it’s time to visit a chiropractor: 

  • Stiff neck 
  • Neck pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Tenderness in the shoulders, back, or arms
  • Headaches at the base of the skull
  • Persistent tingling on the arms
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Concentration issues 
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Temporary impaired vision
  • Tinnitus 
  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Irritability 

How to Improve Whiplash Recovery

While chiropractors can provide immediate relief regarding whiplash pain, there are multiple things you can do at home to speed up your recovery process. Chiropractic care usually works best when you combine them with the following exercises and self-care activities at home: 

  • Rest – Although you must periodically rest for the first after your injury, it isn’t advisable to continue lying around the next day. Even if it still hurts to move, you need to do it to speed up the recovery process. 
  • Take Over the Counter Pain Medications – OTC medications like Ibuprofen can control mild to moderate levels of whiplash pain while you’re recovering. As your physician on the recommended dose. 
  • Heat and Cold Therapy – Alternately, holding a heating pad and ice pack to the injured area for 15 minutes six times each day can significantly speed up the recovery process. That’s because ice and heat are efficient in reducing inflammation and managing the pain associated with whiplash. 

If you’re experiencing whiplash pain, a chiropractor can help ease the pain and treat its root cause — and when it comes to the best Whiplash and Chiropractic Care, Dr. Herring offers the best services in town. She will examine the underlying cause of your discomfort and create a tailored treatment plan, depending on the severity of your injury. To make an appointment with Dr. Herring, don’t hesitate to contact us, as we’re always happy to help! 

References:

https://aica.com/can-a-chiropractor-treat-whiplash/

https://www.eihmd.com/2019/07/12/seeking-chiropractic-care-for-whiplash-treatment/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9039361/

https://www.acatoday.org/News-Publications/ACA-News-Archive/ArtMID/5721/ArticleID/116/Whiplash-More-than-Standard-Neck-Pain

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