“Whiplash” is a strain-sprain injury to the ligaments, muscles and joints of the neck. It most commonly occurs in auto accidents when the head and neck are jerked suddenly during impact. Symptoms may be present immediately or take several days to develop as injured tissues swell and become inflamed. The most common symptoms are neck pain, stiffness and headaches. Neck movement may be painful and restricted and the head may feel “heavy” by the end of the day. There may be difficulty concentrating or focusing attention while reading. Pain may extend to the shoulders, between the shoulder blades or radiate down the arm producing tingling or numbness in the hand. The muscles of the neck and back may go into painful spasm. The low back may be injured with associated pain, muscle spasm or sciatica. Symptoms may vary from mild discomfort to disabling pain.
Chiropractic treatment can help. We have successfully treated many whiplash patients over the last thirty years and believe we offer superior management of these injuries. A careful clinical examination is performed to help identify as precisely as possible the specific tissues and joints injured. X-rays or other imaging is performed if needed. Our first treatment goal is to reduce pain, muscle spasm, and inflammation. To do this we use the careful application of manual trigger point therapy, gentle chiropractic adjustments, use of heat and cold and gradual stretching exercises. As you start to feel better our goal is to rehabilitate the injured area to its normal functional state. This involves restoring proper alignment and joint motion and strengthening the supporting muscles and soft tissues. This is accomplished with a combination of adjustments and exercises.
By taking a two-stage approach to these injuries, first eliminating pain then restoring spinal function, we have been able to help many patients return to a normal lifestyle.