Whiplash is an injury that can start out as nothing and quickly develop at a pace that disrupts your entire life, making it one of the most subtle traumas a victim of an accident can experience – but undoubtedly one of the most painful.
Most victims won’t realize they have whiplash at all, as symptoms can wait days and even up to a week to manifest. Some of the more subtle effects can be mistaken or explained away as other things, allowing the trauma to go untreated until the physical effects kick in. Once the physical effects kick in… oh boy.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is caused by a sudden jerk of the head, such as with a car accident when the victim is slammed forward but then stopped by an airbag. This is also the case in horseback riding, should the horse take a stumble and the rider is whipped forward, or with self-defense training where a particularly powerful hit forces the head to snap forward and then back again.
The body’s natural response is to smother any pain sensors that may be warning of a deeper injury from this trauma. The instantaneous nature of this injury may also allow dislodged vertebrate to slide unsteadily back into place, where it does not cause pain but its subtle misalignment affects your mood, ability to focus, and sleep routine. As time passes, stiffness and headaches can manifest and won’t go away with time. Most notably, short-term paralysis and intense pain afflict victims.
Medical attention is necessary to realign the neck and cut off the symptoms that disrupt the patient’s entire life.
How Chiropractic Care is the Best Choice
- Immediate Pain Management
As a holistic approach to medicine rooted in science and a deep understanding of the body’s natural healing abilities, chiropractic care forces on immediately relieving the pain whiplash afflicts in the victims. A visit will consist of the chiropractor immediately assessing the injury, the patient’s range of motion, and determining their pain level. Before moving forward, the chiropractor will take immediate action to remove pain. Applying ice or heat, providing pillows or pads with spine health in mind, and in some cases applying electro-therapy to the site of pain to ease the immediate discomfort will relax the muscles, remove headaches, and reduces spasming. This allows for better assessments to be made and also preps the injury site for further care.
- The Patient Has Control Over Their Own Healing
The chiropractor will begin applying McKenzie exercises, which are designed to undo the initial damage a whiplash has caused by easing discs back into their proper alignment. This is a process that is carried out in the office, but is also taught to the patient so they can apply them at home, further improving their neck’s condition and getting rid of headaches, but also giving them control over their own healing process. Since chiropractic medicine is centered on adjusting the body to heal itself, this, unlike other medical practices, allows the patient to continue their treatment privately for faster healing and better results.
- Diversified Treatment Customized for Each Patient
Each patient and each injury are different. While some sufferers of whiplash can receive spinal adjustments immediately, depending on how long this condition has existed untreated and how the muscles surrounding the injury itself have reacted, this may not be possible without further pain or injury. Therefore, the chiropractor will develop a customized set of muscle stimulations and relaxation techniques designed to ease the muscle tension and relax the neck so that it can be properly adjusted. This involves the muscles being stretched and rotated so that they will release their tension, with pressure techniques and massaging reducing the pain.
- An Assessment That Looks Out for Further Injuries
The muscle tension and immobility whiplash victims experience isn’t always a bad thing – it’s a safeguard against a much worse thing. The sudden trauma to the neck can cause fractures in the spine or misalignments that pinch or even severe nerves. The muscle tension is the body’s natural response to hold these vertebras in place to avoid further injury. In simpler terms – the injury that gave you whiplash was trying to break your neck, and your muscle seized to hold it in place and stop this. A chiropractor is the best choice for whiplash, as the broken neck waiting to happen once the muscles unwind will be caught in their initial assessment before further treatment is applied. Through x-rays, the doctor will be able to see your full condition and apply braces, customized treatment, or even recommend further medical attention before the injury turns into something life-ruining.
- Solving the Root Issue With Adjustments
With spinal adjustments, chiropractic care is able to rearrange your misaligned vertebrae and joints into their proper position, undoing the exact damage that your neck underwent from the trauma. By seeking treatment early, a chiropractor can make this adjustment while the injury is still fresh and avoid your muscles taking on a memory of when it was out of place, which would encourage it to snap back out of line after a few weeks or months. Chiropractic care immediately will fix the injury at its core and prevent it from repeating in the future.
- Full-Bodied Results
Whiplash may most notably affect your mood and your neck’s range of motion, but the trauma spreads much farther. Pain in your legs, hips, arms, and lower back are all side effects of your neck trauma, if not direct injuries sustained from the initial whiplash itself. If you’ve gone untreated for a period of a few days, then your immobility will have slowly worked the rest of your spine out of alignment, and the strange positions you take to get relief only make it worse. Chiropractic treatment is focused on the entire body, so during your appointment, other effects and aches will be assessed and factored into the treatment. To an even greater degree, small misalignments that carried on unnoticed in your body before will be put into their proper place, with the chance of your body feeling even better than before your experienced whiplash. For example, if you experienced frequent headaches, the adjustment can ensure this is no longer a problem you face.
- No Medication Required
Chiropractic care is unique in that it requires no medication in order to treat an injury, so you don’t have to worry about surprise side effects or alterations to your mood while you’re seeking treatment for your injury. Relying exclusively on natural adjustments to the human body, the care you receive is focused entirely on returning you to your proper structure so that pinched nerves are relieved, blocks in signals to and from your mind to removed, and pain is eliminated without the need for pills or injections.
While whiplash may seem like a simple injury, the effect it has is profound, and finding relief is an immediate need. Chiropractic care not only offers that immediate relief, but does so in the most concentrated manner with long-term results. When an accident puts you or a loved out down, book an appointment immediately.