Whiplash is an injury to the cervical spine (neck). In a whiplash injury the joints between the spinal bones (vertebrae), discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves may be irritated or damaged.
When does whiplash occur?
Whiplash is commonly seen with car accidents but it can happen in any case where a person is hit from behind. This can be from sports or even if someone playfully pushes you from behind a little too hard.
Symptoms of whiplash can happen within a two week period. It doesn’t necessarily happen right after the incident. Pain in neck, arm, hand and/or shoulders is common. Limited neck movement, swelling, stiffness, dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, concentration or memory difficulty, insomnia may also occur.
How do you know if you have whiplash?
Most of the time you will have discomfort and not be able to move properly. After car accidents it is common to take an X-ray. It will show the bone positions in the neck and soft tissue swelling in the neck. After a car accident it is common for most hospitals to take a CT Scan or MRI to see if there is any serious soft tissue or cervical disc damage.
How can whiplash be helped?
Well, first the swelling needs to be diminished. Ice packs help this problem tremendously. Then after the swelling is down, we can start working with getting the scar tissue and damage in the soft tissues of the neck repaired and functioning properly. Gentle adjustments to the neck allow the neck to keep its curve and move without promoting more damage. During treatment, exercised to strengthen the neck are performed.
In the past cervical collars were immediately put on patients after a car accident. This is not recommended unless there is a severe injury with a lot of instability in the neck. Normally, if a collar is worn and there is no severe damage, the muscles and ligaments in the neck weaken and this can promote further injury.
We have helped several patients that have come in with whiplash. Soft tissue repair and neck adjustments can get you back to normal. Just because you have a car accident and were hurt doesn’t mean you have to live your life in pain and dysfunction. We can help!
Call our office today!
Precise Moves Chiropractic
Redwood City, CA