Whiplash is the most common auto accident injury. Because it’s so common, many people don’t seek medical treatment following a collision, which can result in health problems including chronic pain and inflammation, later down the line. When the neck is whipped back and forth in a collision, a number of things can happen to the spine and surrounding tissue. Whiplash can result in disc bulges, subluxations, pulled muscles and ligaments, nerve damage, and injured bones.
Medication may help ease the pain, but accident victims will find that it returns three to five hours later. Managing severe whiplash pain with medication alone will not treat the problem, only mask the symptoms.
Chiropractic treatment on the neck can provide a natural, gentle, and effective way to relieve pain, address spinal misalignments, minimize inflammation, improve range of motion, and more.
How Long Should I See a Chiropractor for Whiplash?
A chiropractor can assess the source of the pain associated with whiplash and create a plan that provides effective treatment. These treatments are safe, gentle, and natural. Through simple adjustments of the spine, a patient will find great relief from the pain associated with whiplash and can recover faster with ongoing treatment. The duration of chiropractic treatment for whiplash will depend on the severity of the condition and how the patient responds to treatment. It can also depend on how often a patient sees their chiropractor. Those who only have one visit a month will not see the same results as patients who seek treatment weekly or more often. A chiropractor can discuss treatment options and frequency with their patients during the initial exam. They will then create a treatment plan that may include other therapies that can help speed up the recovery process.
Whiplash may range from mild to severe. These injuries are usually more pronounced when the patient’s headrest was positioned too low at the time of impact. If the headrest was too low or the impact was severe, there’s a possibility that tissue may be damaged or bones may be broken.
Even if the impact felt mild, an auto accident victim may have still suffered whiplash.
Symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Shoulder, arm, and upper back pain
- Blurred vision
- Severe neck pain
- Muscle spasms
- Limited range of motion
Other whiplash symptoms can include trouble sleeping, tingling or numbness in the fingers, hands, and arms, and ringing in the ears.
Even if a person is cleared by their doctor, their pain may still be related to whiplash and may require chiropractic care to correct the problem.
Common Treatments for Relief from Whiplash
Treatments for whiplash often begin with spinal manipulation of the cervical spine. Spinal manipulation is when pressure or force is applied to the areas of the spine that are out of alignment. These adjustments can provide immediate pain relief.
Flexion distraction is one of the most common forms of manipulation used for whiplash injuries.
Other techniques can involve the use of a special instrument to apply force. These instruments are used to assist with setting painful areas.
Spinal tissue injuries may be treated with more than just adjustments. These manual therapy techniques can repair injured ligaments and muscles and restore normal range of motion.
A chiropractor may also utilize massage, stretches, trigger point therapy, and instrument-assisted therapy. It is recommended that you don’t try any at home remedies for whiplash.
Length of Treatment
The length of chiropractic treatment for whiplash injuries can depend on the severity of the injuries and how often the patient seeks treatment. In some cases, patients have reported long-term relief after a period of four to six weeks of treatment. Recovery from whiplash can take several days, weeks, or even months. Ongoing chiropractic treatment can help speed up the recovery time.
Possible Complications for Whiplash injuries
When whiplash victims fail to seek treatment for their injuries, complications can arise. Some people may put off treatment, hoping their injuries and symptoms will resolve on their own but in many cases, these injuries can worsen and may lead to serious issues including chronic pain and inflammation. Patients with more severe mobility loss and pain are at a higher risk of chronic pain and future complications.
Schedule an Appointment with an Experienced Chiropractor Today
An auto accident does not even need to be severe to cause significant damage to the musculoskeletal system. Even injuries that occur in a low-speed accident can cause a misalignment in the cervical spine, leading to debilitating injuries in the future. With prompt chiropractic treatment following an auto accident, patients can experience reduced pain and inflammation and a faster recovery. If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision and are experiencing pain, inflammation, and discomfort, schedule an appointment at Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center today and let us help you on your path to wellness and total recovery.