Whiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is an injury to the neck. Whiplash is caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head, either backward or forward, and often occurs but is not limited to the result of a car accident. Whiplash can be diagnosed by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck. Due to whiplash the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged. Whiplash can also injure the brain, causing concussion, or traumatic brain injury. Due to the number of different delicate body structures that can be hurt in a whiplash injury, the symptoms of whiplash can be widely varied.
Common Whiplash Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms related to whiplash injury are:
- Neck pain and stiffness: Trauma such as whiplash, if not properly treated, can cause neck pain for years following the injury and often result in a misalignment, called a subluxation, of the neck or spine. When the delicate bones of the neck, called vertebra, become misaligned pressure, tension, and stress are placed on the joints, muscles, discs, and nerves in the neck producing pain and muscle spasms. Chiropractors are the only doctors trained to detect and correct vertebral subluxations.
- Headaches: It is frequent for whiplash patients to experience severe headaches or migraines following their injury. There are several types of headaches including tension, stress, cluster, migraines, sinus, and more which may start as a result of the neck injury. You may experience these headaches occasionally or frequently and they may range from dull to throbbing with some causing debilitating pain and nausea.
- Pain and soreness in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades: What affects the neck will affect the shoulder and vice versa. This explains why changes in the structure and function of the neck are one of the most common reasons for shoulder pain.
- Decreased mobility: Due to the pain associated with whiplash injury most people experience a mild to severe decrease in their mobility and function. Chiropractic spinal manipulation help to gently move the misaligned bones back into proper position, decreasing pain and giving back full range of motion.
Other Whiplash Symptoms
Other whiplash symptoms include: upper back pain, lower back pain, nausea, tingling, jaw pain, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, changes in vision, balance problems, swelling, bruising, soreness, tenderness, tightness, light-headedness, wrist pain/numbness, sciatica (leg pain), fatigue, concussion, hormone disorders, menstrual disorder, occipital neuralgia, sore throat, loss of voice, weakness, feeling depressed, fibromyalgia, and anxiety.
Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. Due to this It is advised that you be examined as soon as possible after any injury that may have caused whiplash. If pain is present it is important to remember that pain is not the problem; it is a symptom of an underlying health issue that needs attention.
Research has shown chiropractic to be one of the most effective treatments for whiplash pain and injury available today. Chiropractic spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments are an important part of the treatment and recovery process when healing from any injuries.
Chiropractic care is an all natural therapy which involves the chiropractor using his hands to adjust and treat misalignments in the spine also known as subluxations. Spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments can in many cases fix the subluxation, relieve pain in the soft tissues, increase circulation, and stimulate the body’s nervous system. The doctor may also use physical therapy techniques and exercises in the office to help maintain pain relief and strengthen your neck. In some cases you may be given exercises to perform at home to help with pain relief and strengthening in between office visits.
Subluxations can be corrected with chiropractic care and works best when caught early. Please don’t wait to see if the pain will simply go away on its own. Pain may be sending you a message that you are suffering from spinal subluxations that over time can lead to a multitude of health problems.
Take the first step in stopping your suffering by calling our Chiropractic office here in Franklin, TN at (615)503.9900 to schedule a consultation and exam.