Whiplash is an injury that involves a quick cervical acceleration and then deceleration. Most damage occurs in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, nerves, and vertebrae of the neck as the result of a sudden hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck. When you experience a sudden force to the neck that moves the head forcefully back and forth, the ligaments and tendons that hold the vertebrae of your spine in position are damaged. This fast movement in your spine can cause tears in the ligaments, tendons, and discs as well as cause the vertebrae to change their position and irritate the adjacent nerve roots.
The most frequent cause of whiplash is an auto accident. The speed of the cars involved in the accident or the amount of physical damage in the car crash does not relate to the intensity of neck injury. Speeds as low as 10-15 miles per hour can produce enough force to cause a whiplash injury, even when you are wearing a seat belt.
Other common causes of whiplash include contact sport injuries and blows to the head from a falling object. Strains of the neck may occur from sudden changes in direction, for example, roller coasters, minor bicycle accidents, or slips and falls can all cause whiplash. Repetitive stress injuries or chronic strain involving the neck such as using the neck to hold the telephone are also common, non-acute causes of neck pain.
Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. However, people who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury:
Neck pain and stiffness, headaches, pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades, low back pain, pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand, dizziness, difficulty concentrating or remembering, Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue
Whiplash Diagnosis In most cases, are injuries sustained in the soft tissues such as the discs, muscles, and ligaments, and cannot be seen on an X-ray. Whiplash doctors use specialized imaging tests, such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be required to diagnose damage to the discs, muscles or ligaments that could be causing the symptoms of whiplash.
In the past, whiplash injuries were often treated with immobilization in a cervical collar or brace. However, recent research is to encourage early movement instead of immobilization, which has shown to provide a faster, more effective recovery. Ice is often recommended, followed by a gentle, active movement.
At Health In Motion Chiropractic our whiplash doctors use many different whiplash treatment modalities geared towards the primary dysfunctions found during our exam. These often including:
Muscle relaxation and/or stimulation
Ergonomic and lifestyle changes.
With proper and early treatment, we have found that our patients' pain quickly decreases and they have a much faster recovery. By allowing the joints, muscles, and tendons to heal in the proper alignment we help prevent future early degenerative changes in the spine. We are able to provide thorough, effect treatment all without the need for drugs or surgery. At times a co-management approach is taken, where we work with other healthcare professionals to provide the best care possible.
At Health In Motion Chiropractic we look at the whole person, not just the painful problem. Each injury is unique to each patient and requires tailored treatment depending on the severity of the whiplash. We will address all areas of concern, not only your neck pain. We emphasize proper recovery and prevention as the key to good long-term health. Contact our Chiropractor in Debary at 386-320-0325 for more information or to schedule an appointment at our Debary office.
Call us today at (386)-320-0325 for relief of your whiplash symptoms or for assistance in reaching optimal health.