Chiropractic Care for Whiplash
Have you ever been involved in a fender bender or other minor automobile accident? If so, did your neck feel sore later that day or the next morning? Perhaps you visited an amusement park and took one too many rides on that giant roller coaster. You may have had a headache later or muscles aches in your neck, back, and shoulders. If you have ever experienced any of the above, you were probably suffering from a minor case of whiplash.
Although motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of whiplash by far, this injury can also result from a variety of events or activities. Certain trip and falls and contact sports can lead to whiplash associated disorders (WAD). In fact, each year there are over 2 million insurance claims for whiplash in Canada. Of course, the actual incidence is probably far greater. Fortunately, whiplash is a condition that the South Edmonton chiropractors at Whyte Avenue Chiropractic are very experienced in treating.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a term for a number of soft tissue injuries caused by a rapid movement of the neck. This forceful movement is called cervical acceleration–deceleration (CAD). Although it usually results from a front-to-back motion, whiplash can also be caused by side-to-side or twisting movements.
The exact mechanism of a whiplash injury varies according to the cause. In general, whiplash occurs when the spine is overextended. The suddenness of the neck movement can stretch and strain muscles and ligaments throughout the spine. The cervical (neck) facet joints or vertebral discs can be injured. Furthermore, the natural curve or alignment of the neck vertebrae may be affected.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Oftentimes, people who sustain a very mild case of whiplash walk away with a little short term soreness and never have further problems. Unfortunately, the opposite is also a frequent occurrence. A whiplash injury can lead to a whole constellation of chronic symptoms, known as whiplash associated disorders. In 1996, a US study found that 43% of whiplash patients experienced long-term symptoms after their injury.
These symptoms can range from ongoing neck and shoulder pain to sensory and motor dysfunction of the arms and legs. Tension and cervicogenic headaches are common after whiplash. Another common whiplash symptom is vertigo or chronic dizziness. This can be exacerbated by turning your head from side to side or looking up and down. Vertigo is associated with nausea, balance problems, and may contribute to headaches.
Lower back pain is not as common as neck whiplash in car accidents but is still a frequent complaint. Pain in the low back is more often the result of a side impact crash, but like whiplash, may also be caused by rear-end collisions. Low back pain symptoms can result from soft tissue issue sprain or strain, or facet joint or disc injuries.
Whiplash Treatment by Chiropractic Methods
Fortunately, there are treatment options available from your South Edmonton chiropractor. Your automobile insurance automatically covers chiropractic care if you have been recently injured in a motor vehicle accident (MVA). Chiropractic treatments for whiplash are multifaceted and are designed to relieve pain and promote healing.
After making a diagnosis, your chiropractor will recommend a treatment plan. Treatment with specialized adjusting instruments or manual chiropractic manipulation (adjustment) often reduces pain and spasm associated with whiplash. Various other treatment modalities may also be appropriate. Your Edmonton chiropractor may include other treatments, like focused massage, myofascial release, mobilization, laser pain therapy, traction or decompression, kinesiology taping, and specific exercises.
Appropriate chiropractic care for spinal whiplash injuries can be extremely effective and will help to reduce inflammation, improve the mobility of your head and neck and aid in avoiding future complications. A study in 1996 found that in a group of whiplash patients, 93% reported improvement of their symptoms after chiropractic treatment. If you’ve been in an auto accident, no matter how minor, or suspect that you’ve suffered whiplash, you should book a chiropractic consultation.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care after a Car Accident
Chiropractic care after a car accident offers complimentary treatments to reduce pain, increase healing and improve long-term outcomes. Patients who visit Whyte Avenue Chiropractic & Wellness Centre after suffering injuries from a motor vehicle accident often experience pain relief, increased health, and a quicker return to their normal daily lives.