What is Whiplash?
When people hear the word “whiplash” most people think of a rear-end motor vehicle accident. While this is a common cause of whiplash there are other incidences that can cause this injury, such as sports like football or boxing, having a fall and going on rides like roller coasters.
Whiplash is an injury to the muscles, tendons, soft tissues, bones, discs and some nerves of the cervical spine. This type of injury occurs when the cervical spine (neck) is stretched beyond its normal range of motion in a forward (flexion), backward (extension) or sideways movement.
Generally a whiplash injury is acute, however in around 30% of cases pain persists and the condition becomes chronic. This is one of the reasons why it is important to seek advice and treatment quickly.
Usually the symptoms will start to develop within 3-24 hours after the accident and can continue to worsen for a few days. Depending on the severity of the injury symptoms can continue for months afterwards.
Symptoms of whiplash can range from mild to severe and may include:
- Pain in the neck, upper back and/or shoulders
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle spasms
- Mild swelling or bruising
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Irritability and even memory loss
If you start to experience numbness or pins and needles in the face, difficulty with balance or walking, fainting and/or problems controlling your bowel or bladder, seek medical treatment immediately.
How can Chiropractic care help?
The goal of Chiropractic care is to return neck joints affected by whiplash to their normal position to relieve stress on any affected nerves and strain on affected muscles.
At Body Care Health & Chiropractic we will use a range of treatments depending on the severity of your injury and your particular symptoms. While in the acute phase your Chiropractor will focus on reducing your pain and inflammation. Once the pain and inflammation have begun to subside your Chiropractor will work to restore your neck’s positioning and function. Your Chiropractor will also help you with exercises you can do, check whether your pillow is right for your injury, methods to help reduce the inflammation and answer any other questions you may have.