Whiplash is a fairly common injury that is exacerbated by improper understanding and care of the condition. Whiplash commonly occurs through a quick rear impact while in a stationary position. The sudden acceleration-deceleration force causes rapid forward and back movements of the head and neck, most commonly experienced after vehicular accidents. Although quite painful, it has been found that as long as there is no real prolonged amount of time before treatment, the condition is fairly easily treated with proper chiropractic care. Starting therapy as early as possible is key to healthy spinal restoration.
Recent studies have shown that after a rear impact, such as during a vehicular accident, the lower cervical vertebrae are pushed into a position of hyperextension while the upper cervical vertebrae are pushed into a hyper-flexed position. This puts the spine into a very unnatural and abnormal “S” shape due to opposing ranges of motion. Soft tissues that hold the cervical vertebrae are in turn damaged, causing neck pain, shoulder pain, stiffness, back pain, and occasional headaches. More severe cases of whiplash can even cause strong shifts in mood, such as lingering anxiety and depression.
It is important to note that proper treatment of whiplash varies on an individual basis. There is no singular treatment that applies to all patients and each route of care is uniquely based on the patient’s chiropractic exam. However, many doctors use similar techniques including spinal manipulation, muscle relaxation/stimulation, stretches and exercises, and overall lifestyle changes. Spinal manipulation occurs when the chiropractor gently moves the impaired joint into the resistant direction. Spinal relaxation and stimulation consists of gentle stretches to tense muscles as well as contractions of inhibited muscles. A personalized exercise plan is then typically created around the patient’s specific needs and designed to address areas in the most need of chiropractic aid.
We never expect accidents to occur; that’s why we refer to them as accidents. They appear out of the blue and catch us in our moments of least expectance. Fortunately, the caring and qualified team at Ward Chiropractic and Rehabilitation is here to assist you in these difficult times. If you have recently been in a vehicular accident and have experienced a whiplash injury, contact our office today. We look forward to working with you on your journey to wellness.