Whiplash is a painful, sometimes immobilizing, injury of the head and neck that can often be effectively treated with chiropractic care. Whiplash occurs when a sudden backwards-forwards motion of the head, commonly the result of vehicular accidents or sports injuries, causes muscles and ligaments of the neck to move beyond their normal range of motion. Most often whiplash injuries are limited to strains, sprains, and inflammations of the nerves or facet joints.
Advantages of Chiropractic Care for Whiplash
Treatment of whiplash focuses on reducing pain and increasing range of motion. Resting the area and applying ice are usually the first remedies. Chiropractic care, because it is passive, gentle and non-invasive, can be instituted soon after the injury to begin the healing process. Since whiplash results in pain, stiff neck and sometimes headache, the chiropractor focuses on relieving these symptoms without medication or other invasive intervention. Chiropractic care for whiplash can provide both immediate and long-term relief.
Chiropractic Care for Whiplash
Typical chiropractic treatment of whiplash involves manual adjustments of the bones of the skull and cervical spine. By reducing nerve compression and increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to damaged tissues, these manual adjustments not only relieve pain, but reduce stiffness and cramping. Other chiropractic treatments used to treat whiplash may include:
- Deep tissue massage
- Cold therapy
- Heat therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Ultrasound therapy
Once patients have responded sufficiently to treatment and have regained mobility, they are usually advised to begin gentle stretching and rotating exercises on their own. A mild exercise routine, accompanied by regular chiropractic care, should effectively eliminate any residual pain and restore full cervical range of motion.