Auto Accidents and Whiplash
Auto accidents are the primary cause of whiplash. Although it can occur during other activities, such as athletic events and work related performance, auto accidents result in the highest number of reported cases. Because of where a seatbelt crosses the body, it does little to prevent the movement of the head and neck during a crash. The result is a severe neck and upper back injury that can be extremely painful and long lasting. If not properly treated, whiplash can lead to recurring pain for several years after the accident.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a severe injury that directly affects the head, neck and shoulders. It is the result of a fast moving vehicle abruptly coming to a stop causing a person’s head to be forced forward and thrown backwards at an alarming speed. The jolt can strain and tear tendons, ligaments and muscles resulting in inflammation and severe pain. Any movement of the head or neck is extremely painful and can result in further injury. In most cases, a person who is suspected of having whiplash will be immediately placed in a neck brace to immobilize the area and prevent movement and further injury.
After a medical examination, the person will be required to remain in the neck brace for a specific amount of time, depending on the severity of the injury. In some cases, this can be two weeks or longer. If the injury is not treated, the muscles and tendons can heal in such a way that the neck can no longer move without some degree of pain. It can also reduce mobility and prevent the person from turning their head from side to side.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help?
Chiropractic care is beneficial for whiplash injuries for several reasons. The stress and strain on the muscles and connective tissue can force the vertebrae in the neck to move out of place. If they heal in that position, it can lead to ongoing pain and suffering. A chiropractic adjustment helps to realign the vertebrae and restore balance in the structure of the neck. Massage therapy is also used to manipulate the soft tissues in the neck and restore blood flow to the area. When proper blood flow is restored, fresh oxygen is sent to the injured tissues helping them to heal more quickly. It also reduces inflammation and swelling, taking pressure off of the spine and allowing the bones to remain in their original position. In severe cases of whiplash, several adjustments may be needed to encourage complete and long lasting results. Even with chiropractic care, healing may take up to four weeks or longer, depending on the severity of the original injury.
At Twin Creeks Health, our highly trained professional staff can help to alleviate the pain and suffering that accompanies most whiplash cases. With chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy, we can bring about a healing response that addresses the original injury and hastens the healing process.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (916) 781-2600.