Whiplash Injury and What to Do

What is a whiplash injury?

A whiplash injury is often associated with car accidents or any impact that causes rapid flexion and extension of your neck beyond its range of motion. The ligament that serves as a support movement of the vertebrae are torn which we commonly relate to as sprain.  In severe cases, fracture or dislocation of vertebrae may also occur causing soreness, sharp pain, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches.

If you’ve experienced a whiplash, the symptoms normally develop within 24-48 hours after the injury. The usual symptoms of whiplash are often involves experiencing neck pain and sometimes stiffness of the neck. There may be instances that the pain and stiffness may spread down to the shoulders all the way to the upper back even extending the upper chest. Further you may also take notice of other symptoms such as experiencing unilateral or bilateral headache, feeling dizzy, having a blurred vision, irritability, ringing of ears, speech changes, memory problems and concussion among others.

Most people often think these simple signs of pain are normal, but it’s not!  No symptoms are normal and it’s a sign there has been an injury.  It’s best to get evaluated by an expert in car accident injuries.

Who do I need to see to get treated?

There are many cases of whiplash, and each case is different. When you’re experiencing symptoms that can be related to whiplash after a severe or mild injury due to accidents, having a well trained chiropractor specializing in car accident injuries can prevent future damage and complications to your neck. Chiropractic doctors aims to promote non-surgical therapy and all natural therapies when treating their patients. Other testing and protocols such as x-ray or MRI may be used in the process to have a more comprehensive idea of what may be causing your pain.

What is the treatment for whiplash?

Cases of whiplash may vary and depending on the severity of injury treatment may include e-stim, traction, manual soft tissue therapy, neuro-muscular re-education, and other therapeutic activities.  Spinal adjustments are also a part of the treatment.  The purpose of the spinal adjustments is to restore proper function to your joints as they have been injured in the accident.  There are several techniques in performing spinal adjustments, the common techniques are: flexion-distraction technique, Instrument-assisted manipulation and specific spinal manipulation;

  1. The Instrument-assisted adjustment is a method of spinal manipulation that chiropractors utilize an impulse machine or device such as Activator to help restore motion to the joint. This is a very gentle and safe method of adjusting.  Usually used with children and elderly patients.
  2. The Flexion-distraction technique is a gentle, non-thrusting hands-on method of spinal adjustment to help treat spinal disc herniation. In this kind of technique, the chiropractor uses a specific table that goes up and down and he places his hands on the affected areas to provide a passive distraction to the spinal joints. This allows the pressure to be released and in turn cause less pain.
  3. The Manual spinal adjustment is a type of technique which helps restore motion to the joint through a gentle hand force applied by the chiropractor to specific which stimulates the nervous system and restore the joint to its normal motion.

Whiplash is something you shouldn’t ignore as it may lead to long term chronic pain which affects your daily activities and quality of life.  If you have questions regarding whether you’ve suffered a whiplash from your car accident, give us a call at (904) 379-9412 and consult with our expert.  We’d be glad to help.

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