What Your Chiropractor Can Do For Your Whiplash
Whiplash is a neck injury that can impair your quality of life. The injury occurs when there's a forceful and rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. The injury gets its name because that movement is whip-like. A rear-end car accident is the most common cause of whiplash, but it can also occur in other situations.
As an article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information points out, 43% of patients will suffer long-term symptoms from a whiplash injury. Find out how a chiropractor can help you with whiplash treatment.
Diagnose Your Whiplash
If you've been rear-ended or endured some other event that whipped your head around, you might be pretty sure you have whiplash. However, a licensed chiropractor can accurately diagnose your injury. Chiropractors will usually examine your entire spine to see if any other areas were affected by the event. They often prescribe an X-ray.
In addition to the examination, the chiropractor will usually take note of your symptoms. Whiplash symptoms include the following:
- Neck pain, stiffness
- Tingling, numbness in the arms
- Loss of neck range of motion
When you visit your chiropractor, don't try to downplay your symptoms. The injury can get worse if not properly treated.
Perform a Spinal Manipulation
Chiropractors have different hands-on techniques they can perform to help with the underlying whiplash injury. These techniques are usually aimed at alleviating pain, treating herniated discs, and improving the neck's range of motion.
One such technique is flexion-distraction. Patients lie on a special flexion-distraction table. Chiropractors then use their hands to initiate a gentle spinal manipulation to re-align the vertebrae and discs. They apply a slow pumping action instead of any thrusting.
Use Instruments for Whiplash Treatment
In addition to special tables such as the one above, chiropractors have a wide array of instruments at their disposal. These instruments can conform to your spine in ways the chiropractor's hands cannot, making them useful in whiplash and other treatments.
Quite often, chiropractors have their patients lie on the flexion-distraction table. They then use specialized hand-held instruments to apply tolerable pressure to the spine to try and manipulate the herniated disc back into place.
Perform a Spinal Mobilization Treatment
As noted, a common symptom of whiplash is a loss of the range of motion in your neck. This loss is more significant than what you feel if you slept wrong. The neck feels very stiff, and trying to move your head around can cause sharp pain. The stiffness and pain come from the neck muscles being injured.
As such, your chiropractor will take great care to not cause further injury. One treatment option chiropractors do have is cervical spinal mobilization. With this treatment, they use tolerable force to guide your head through a range of motions. Their movements are gentle as they loosen up your neck.
Don't suffer from whiplash symptoms — seek chiropractic treatment.