Have You Been In A Car Accident?
Many people will seek out chiropractic care in Carmichael after having an auto injury. A common auto injury, whiplash, occurs when the head and neck are whipped from back to front, similar to how a whip is cracked. The majority of car accidents are rear-end collisions with whiplash being a common result. Whiplash can also occur from other kinds of trauma, accidents, abuse, and falls.
Many people in Carmichael who have been involved in an accident don't even realize they have received a whiplash injury until weeks or months later when the problem becomes persistent and leads to other issues. If your neck has been injured in an accident or other incident, this article will you to understand if you have a whiplash injury and how chiropractic care can help you to treat it.
Whiplash in Carmichael
When the neck is whipped from back to front during a car accident, while playing contact sports such as football, or occasionally from an assault or other physical trauma, a number of things can happen to the spine and surrounding soft tissue. Whiplash describes the initial impact, but the results can include:
- Disc bulges and herniation
- Subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae in the spine),
- Injured bones in the spine,
- Irritated and damaged nerves
- Pulled ligaments and muscles in the neck
What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
Whiplash injuries can range from mild to very severe. Injuries tend to be more significant when your headrest is positioned too low. If the impact was quite severe or the headrest was low there is the possibility that bones are broken or tissue is damaged. It is highly recommended that you see a chiropractor and receive a thorough examination and x-rays. Even if the impact seemed mild, you may have whiplash if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder, upper back, and arm pain
- Blurred vision
- Pain when turning the head
- Inability to move or turn the head fully
- Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, and fingers
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty sleeping
As you can see there are a wide range of symptoms and not all of them may be immediately traceable to whiplash. Even if you have been cleared by a doctor, your pain could still be related to whiplash and you may need treatment to correct the problem. If you have recently been injured it's important to get your spine checked as soon as possible. The sooner that you start treating the issue the less chance you have of it developing into a long-term problem.
If you have suffered a whiplash-type injury to the neck, chiropractic care is a good choice to reduce pain and return proper mechanics to the cervical spine.
To understand the chiropractic treatment of whiplash injuries, it is important to briefly review the nature of this type of neck injury. Whiplash is characterized as an injury to the muscles of the neck from the traumatic rapid forward and backward motion of the neck during an accident.
Chiropractic emphasizes a comprehensive picture of the mechanisms of neck sprain. As important as muscle injury is the response of the nervous system to trauma, and the injury to deeper tissues of the spine with resulting restriction or fixation of spinal joints.
The acute pain and restricted motion you experience after a whiplash injury is a product of injured tissue, and the protective response of the nervous system as it locks up spinal joints to protect you from possible injury to the spinal cord.
Additionally, trigger point therapy is very effective for locating specific hypertonic (tight), painful points on a muscle. He or she puts direct pressure (using the fingers) on these points to relieve the tension.
Interferential electrical stimulation: This uses a low frequency electrical current to stimulate your muscles in order to reduce inflammation.
Ultrasound: By increasing blood circulation, ultrasound helps reduce muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. It does this by sending sound waves deep into your muscle tissues, creating a gentle heat that enhances circulation and heating.
Massage is a popular therapy that helps millions of people with a wide variety of spinal conditions, including whiplash.
Using hands or specialized tools, a massage therapist kneads, rubs, and strokes the affected muscles to increase blood flow (circulation) throughout the body. This, in turn, delivers oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and helps eliminate any acids or other waste products that accumulate there, thereby relieving pain.
In the initial period after your whiplash injury, you should be wary of exercising. The first 24 to 48 hours would, in fact, be a great time to relax and use ice on your neck to help reduce the pain. After that time, you can switch between heat and ice (about 20 minutes of each); the heat will help the tissues heal.
If, however, your doctor doesn't suspect that you've fractured or dislocated something, you can and should begin exercising as soon as possible (that means as soon as your doctor says it's okay).
To help your neck heal from whiplash, you can do several simple exercises. And even after the pain and other whiplash symptoms fade, you can continue to do these exercises because they help maintain your neck's mobility. They'll keep your neck strong and healthy.
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