Getting into a car accident can be terrifying. Accidents often leave the driver and passengers with lasting, chronic injuries. Whiplash is a common injury that occurs during accidents. A car does not have to be going very fast for whiplash to occur. It is the intense jerking motions of the neck that cause the injury. If you have been in a car accident, you need to seek medical care as soon as possible. A visit to the ER or to your general care practitioner might be necessary. After you have received the necessary medical care, it is time to see a chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment is extremely beneficial for those with a whiplash injury. It can help the neck heal a lot sooner and help reduce the pain.
What is Whiplash?
So what exactly is whiplash? As defined by the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a neck injury due to the forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. It is frequently caused by car accidents, especially when rear-ending is involved. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness and a loss of range of motion. In addition, patients can have headaches, dizziness, and more. Fortunately, with proper medical and chiropractic treatment, these symptoms usually go away within a few weeks.
Unfortunately, some people will experience symptoms longer, feeling chronic pain. With consistent chiropractic care, even patients with a chronic whiplash injury can start to feel better. If you have had whiplash in the past or already have preexisting neck/back pain, your whiplash symptoms may be worse. Be sure to share these preexisting issues with your doctor and chiropractor. This helps them as they formulate your treatment plan. Elderly people also can experience worse chronic whiplash than those who are younger. In addition to receiving chiropractic treatment, your doctor may suggest rest, hot/cold compresses, or over-the-counter pain relievers to help reduce pain.
The forceful jerking that happens to the neck during an accident is what causes the whiplash. In addition, this can cause the spine to get out of alignment. A spinal adjustment is a common treatment used by chiropractors to help patients with whiplash. When the spine is out of alignment, it can cause pain and issues throughout the entire body. Realigning the spine lets it receive the nutrients it needs so that natural healing can occur. An adjustment helps restore a normal range of motion and reduces inflammation.
If you have a whiplash injury, it is important to begin a consistent routine of chiropractic treatments. Work with your chiropractor to create a schedule for your adjustments so you can stay pain-free in the long run and so you don’t go back to having chronic issues. When you receive a spinal adjustment, the chiropractor will move your vertebrae and extremities with their hands or instruments to get the spine back into alignment. During your adjustment, don’t be alarmed if you hear things inside your body cracking or popping. This is completely normal and is simply your body’s way of releasing gases such as oxygen and nitrogen.
Massage therapy is another technique your chiropractor might use along with spinal manipulation. A massage is a way to relax the muscles in your body. Massage can release tension that you have acquired from the accident. In addition, a massage can be very relaxing. A car accident is stressful and can often leave drivers and passengers filled with worry, anxiety, and grief. Massage therapy not only helps the body relax, but it also allows the mind to relax as well.
Trigger Point Therapy
Have you ever heard someone say, “I have a knot in my neck”? This usually means they have a tight spot that is causing them pain. The real name for a knot is a trigger point. A trigger point is a tight area in the muscle that can cause pain or spasms. After getting whiplash, it is common for people to experience trigger points in their neck and shoulders. Trigger point therapy involves releasing these tight areas by applying pressure. Trigger point therapy can be part of a massage. Keep in mind that trigger therapy might not be the most comfortable experience. The patient will typically feel some discomfort as the trigger points are released.
Electro-stimulation is another healing method used by chiropractors for patients with whiplash. According to Healthline, electro-stimulation uses electrical pulses targeted at muscles or nerves. These pulses cause muscles to contract. This promotes blood flow and helps to repair damaged muscles. After an accident, it is completely normal for your neck and back muscles to have sustained injury. Electro-stimulation is a great way to help them heal.
What Can I Do Between Appointments?
Healing chronic whiplash does not end with your chiropractic appointment. In order to keep the healing process going, it is important to do more work at home. At My Hope Health & Wellness, we have specific stretching techniques and exercises to help you build strength and increase flexibility after your accident. Keeping up with these exercises will allow your body to stay loose and heal even faster!
Getting into a car accident can be overwhelming, especially if you sustain a whiplash injury. In addition to the pain and medical appointments, you may also be dealing with a personal injury lawsuit. When your injury seems like it’s not healing, this can be even more stressful. Reduce your stress today by knowing that chiropractic treatment can help your chronic whiplash injury.
At My Hope Health & Wellness, our goal is to provide treatment such as spinal adjustments, massage therapy, trigger point therapy, and electro-stimulation to help reduce pain and inflammation while increasing range of motion. Chiropractic treatment is an effective and natural way to feel better. Remember, if your spine is misaligned, it can cause many other things to go wrong within your body. If you have been in a car accident and are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, give us a call. We can discuss your symptoms and get you scheduled for an appointment so that you are feeling better in no time.