The most common type of injury associated with car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a sudden, jarring movement of the head is sustained backward, forward or even to the side.
You don’t need to be travelling at high speeds to sustain whiplash. In fact, whiplash was discovered to occur in sudden changes of speed of only four kilometers per hour. Whiplash destabilizes the spine and causes severe pain, as well as these other indicators:
- Blurred vision
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Reduced range of motion in the neck
- Arm pain
- Neck stiffness
- Low back pain
The tricky part about diagnosing whiplash is its effects aren’t always felt immediately following an accident. It’s not like a sports injury where you more than likely know the direct cause of your pain and feel it immediately. Whiplash can take days, weeks or even months for major symptoms to show up, that’s why it’s important to see your chiropractor as soon as you can after a car accident. If left untreated, whiplash can evolve into long-term pain.
How can my chiropractor help with whiplash?
Every case of whiplash is different. The appropriate chiropractic treatment is unique to each whiplash injury and your chiropractor will know that best course of treatment for you after your initial exam. The most common treatments chiropractors use on whiplash patients include:
- Ergonomic and lifestyle changes to limit habits or activities that may be amplifying the effects of whiplash
- Exercises designed to reduce disc derangement or train the nervous system to better coordinate and control movement patterns
- Muscle relaxation and/or stimulation
- Manually adjusting the spine/neck/joints