What are the Chiropractic Treatments for Whiplash

Whiplash injuries cost Canadians approx. $600 million dollars each year, with much of that money going towards medical care. If you have been in an accident and are dealing with neck pain from a whiplash injury, you may benefit from chiropractic treatment.

About Whiplash
Whiplash injuries occur when the neck is moved backward and forward violently. The backward and forward motion causes hyperflexion and hyperextension in the neck, which can cause damage. Nerves and muscles may be injured along with ligaments and discs. The discs may shift, because of damage to the ligaments that hold them in place. Shifted discs can irritate nerve roots and impair the function of body parts that these nerves control.

What Causes Whiplash?
Whiplash is most commonly associated with automobile accidents, though they can occur frequently in a wide range of other activities. Athletes can get whiplash as can people on amusement park rides. In car accidents, whiplash injuries tend to occur in low-speed collisions. In these accidents, the impact causes the head to move unnaturally.

Symptoms of Whiplash
In many cases, whiplash symptoms can take a while to show up. However, they’re usually apparent within 24 hours. When symptoms occur, they may include:

• Pain and stiffness in the neck
• Pain when moving the neck
• Headaches that start at the base of the skull
• Reduced range of motion in the neck
• Blurred vision
• Dizziness
• Tightness in neck muscles

Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash
The goal of chiropractic treatment is to improve your ability to perform routine activities without placing undue stress on the body. Each case of whiplash is unique, which means there is a considerable amount of variation from one treatment plan to the next.
Chiropractors have a number of techniques to provide pain relief and encourage healing in injured body parts. These include:

Relaxation and Stimulation of the Muscles
A chiropractor can gently stretch affected muscles to relieve tension in them. Vigorous stretching may be needed in cases where the muscles are very tight. Along with the stretches, a chiropractor may also apply finger pressure on certain pressure points in order to provide pain relief.

McKenzie Exercises
These are exercises designed specifically for treating disc derangement in whiplash injuries. These exercises incorporate simple movements like the lying neck stretch and chin tuck. At first, these exercises will be performed in the chiropractor's office but you can do them at home later in the treatment process.

Chiropractic Adjustment
Chiropractors can manipulate your spine in different ways to improve mobility and jumpstart your body’s healing mechanisms. Spinal adjustment techniques include non-thrusting spinal manipulation to treat herniated discs as well as thrusting techniques to restore joint motion and stimulate the nervous system.

In some cases, a chiropractor might not use all the above techniques. Sometimes spinal adjustments aren’t a good idea for certain damaged muscles and McKenzie exercises aren’t ideal for every affected area. Regardless of what’s involved in your whiplash injury, your chiropractor will have the knowledge and experience to assess and give you the best treatment you need.

Interested to see if chiropractic treatment is right for you? Call today for a free consultation.

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