Whiplash results from the sudden jerk of the head that causes injuries to the neck. Vehicle accidents are the common causes of whiplash. The sudden head jerk causes the muscles and ligaments to tear resulting in this condition. Whiplash is not only unique for vehicle accidents. It usually occurs in the engagement of physical activities such as sports. Although whiplash is a sudden traumatic experience, neck pain may take hours, days or even years to be felt. Once whiplash is suspected, it is best to consult a chiropractor Elyria at once.
When whiplash is left untreated, more problems such as premature disc degeneration and osteoarthritis may result. Unlike other injuries, symptoms for whiplash do not always occur right away. Symptoms of whiplash include pain in the neck or shoulder, limited range of motion of the head, headaches, numbness, vertigo, pains radiating to the limbs or face and nausea.
A chiropractor, after a thorough physical and diagnostic examination of the patient and a review of the patient’s medical history, may correctly diagnose whiplash. Whiplash sufferers usually have what is called whiplash associated disorder in which symptoms of nausea, discomfort, concussions and memory loss are noted. Whiplash, also known as cervical acceleration injury involves the neuromusculoskeletal system. Chiropractic or spinal adjustment is a common technique used for whiplash injuries. Each whiplash case is different and therefore not one treatment modality can be applied to all cases. Upon thorough medical examination, the chiropractor can determine what the best specific treatment to a particular case.
Spinal adjustment or spinal manipulation, as mentioned before, is the most common treatment for whiplash. With spinal adjustment, the manipulation of the neck area allows the patient to gain more neck mobility and mitigation of pain. Another effective techniques applied by chiropractors are the muscle stimulation and relaxation techniques. The former entails the use of mild electrical impulses to stimulate the muscles while the latter helps the patient to relax, sleep, reduce stress and alleviate pain.
Patients who are willing to heal slowly but surely are trained by the chiropractor to do various exercises to improve their range of motion and strengthen the muscles. Exercises such as the McKenzie exercises and Stabilization exercises are excellent exercises to improve neck muscle strength and function. These exercises are just right for whiplash sufferers to address the instability in their neck.
The length of chiropractic therapy depends on the severity of the whiplash and the response of the patient to the therapy. Normally, treatment sessions last 30-45 minutes and the duration of the treatment may last 2 to 4 months. Chiropractors sometimes prescribe NSAID or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for both the pain and headache problems of the patient after treatment.