Can Chiropractors Treat Whiplash After a Car Accident?

Can Chiropractors Treat Whiplash After a Car Accident?

Can Chiropractors Treat Whiplash After a Car Accident?

Can Chiropractors Treat Whiplash After a Car Accident?

Around 3 million Americans suffer whiplash injury in a car accident according to research, and around 50% of those go on to experience chronic symptoms following the accident that resulted in their injury. Despite the relative low speed of the average whiplash injury (12mph) it is surprising to see just how big of a problem whiplash injury is in America. Fortunately, it is something that can be resolved with the help of a chiropractor.


What is whiplash?


Specifically affecting the neck, whiplash is an injury caused by the sudden and forceful movement of the head. This causes the overextension of the connective tissues in the neck and upper back which damages them. Along with the connective tissue damage, there can be other issues too, such as damage to muscles, bones, discs between the vertebrae and even nerves.



The extent of damage and severity of whiplash can vary quite widely, and an injury may not be immediately noticeable by the victim, as when involved in an incident our bodies naturally produce adrenaline which serves to hide or mask certain levels of injury and the resulting pain. Around 50% of whiplash injury victims do not actually get diagnosis until 24-48 hours after the accident that caused the issue.



Whilst traditionally assumed to be cause by automobile accidents, particularly ones where the vehicle is hit from behind, there are several other notable causes of whiplash. These include sports injuries, slips or falls, or physical assault.



What symptoms does whiplash cause?


As we know, it can take sometimes take days or even weeks for people to be diagnosed with whiplash due to the delay in the onset of noticeable symptoms. When symptoms do manifest, they may include some or all of the following:



  • Neck stiffness and pain that gets worse when moving your head/neck
  • Restricted range of movement in the neck
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling and/or numbness in the arms
  • Shoulder and upper-arm pain and tenderness
  • Back pain and stiffness
  • Headaches that originate at the top of the neck at the base of the skull
  • Tiredness/Fatigue



Whiplash can also cause symptoms which are not directly attributed to the neck or head including:



  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Irritability or impatience
  • Depression
  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to focus or concentrate


If you experience any of these direct or indirect symptoms following an accident, we recommend that you book an appointment with your chiropractor as soon as possible.


How can my chiropractic practitioner help to treat whiplash?


Totally drug-free and non-invasive, chiropractic treatment is a method that focuses on pain and injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system. In the case of whiplash, this means primarily focusing on the cervical spine, which is found in the neck, and is the area of the musculoskeletal system most commonly affected by whiplash injury.



Using a wide range of techniques including spinal manipulation/adjustment, massage, hot/cold therapy, physical exercises and spinal decompression, your chiropractor can:



  • Reduce inflammation, which can help restore wider movement and reduce levels of discomfort without the need for medication.
  • Ease tension in the muscles that may be causing any pain or stiffness.
  • Increase circulation to stimulate blood flow and boost the amount of nutrients to the part of the body that needs healing - in this case the muscles, connective tissue and other structures within in the neck area
  • Strengthen your ability to keep your neck stabilized.



Previous, healed whiplash injuries that have gone untreated can also be helped through chiropractic care. Further strengthening of the muscles and the stimulation of endorphins (chemicals in our body which help relieve pain) can help prevent any longer-term issues and help to keep the affected area as comfortable and as healthy as possible.


For more information or to book an appointment please call our expert team at Aktiv Integrative Chiropractic at (915) 975-9094 to reach our practice in El Paso, Texas.

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